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Knowing where to start when applying to university can be quite daunting, so we’ve put together some advice for parents and carers to help you guide your child through the process.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)

Students submit their applications via UCAS and will subsequently use the service to track their application and accept offers.

UCAS Deadline for 2024

The deadline to apply to UCAS is 6pm on Wednesday 31st January 2024. Add the date to your calendar and encourage your child to submit their application ahead of time. As there’s quite a lot to do when applying through UCAS, including writing a personal statement, it’s best to try and submit an application as early as you can.  

Do Your Research

As parents/carers, you will find a wealth of information on the UCAS website, which will help guide you and your child through the research and application process.

You and your child can use the UCAS search tool to shortlist courses of interest to them. Each search result lists an overview of the course, how and when to apply, information relating to finances and course fees, and entry requirements.

There are approximately 35,000 undergraduate courses to choose from, and while that may seem overwhelming, there are a lot of options available to help make the right decision. If your child is unsure about which course to choose, the how to choose the right undergraduate course for you tool provides step-by-step guidance to choosing a course. This will help your child to choose a subject that interests them, and the right type of degree and location to study.

To help you research the University of Chester, you can ask our staff and students any questions you have about the subject area your child is interested in, or speak to our student ambassadors about what it’s like to be a student here using our online service. You can also visit our University Blog where you can gain further insight into the Chester experience.

Once you have a shortlist, visit the selected universities’ websites together and visit their social media channels to find out as much information as you can, including details of subject-specific facilities. You may even be able to explore the campus(es) from the comfort of your own sofa via their virtual tours.

Attend Events

Many events are held to help prospective students make the right choice for them. UniTasterDays is a good resource to find out what’s happening at the universities your child is interested in.

You and your child can also visit a UCAS Discovery event where you can talk to universities, employers and apprenticeship providers, sign up for more information, and gather prospectuses to help with the decision-making process.

Additionally, some local schools and colleges host smaller-scale careers or higher education fairs, giving you and your child a chance to meet a variety of education and apprenticeship providers and gather information without having to travel to a larger venue.

If you're interested in visiting us at Chester, you may be eligible to claim up to £100 toward travel expenses with our Travel Bursary

Open Days

Make time to visit university open days with your child. Open days provide a great opportunity to have a look around, meet staff and students and get answers to your questions. At Chester Open Days, you and your child can attend subject talks, take a tour of the campus, ask about student finance and much more. Attending open days will help you gauge whether your child will be happy living and studying there, and if your child decides to study at one of these universities they’ll feel more comfortable returning to a familiar place. Use the open days search tool to find out when their shortlisted universities are holding an open day.

Applicant Days

Applicant Days are designed for those who are holding an offer at the university to go and have another look, and to meet more staff from the relevant academic and support departments. This is a chance for you to go along with your child and ask any questions that you may have thought of since your last visit, and for your child to experience what studying there might be like, so you can decide together whether it’s the right choice for them.

If you and your child are unable to attend the open days or applicant days, you can contact universities to see if they would be able to offer you a guided tour on a day to suit you, as many have this option. If you’ve missed our Open Days or Applicant Days, please email us at to arrange a tour.

Prepare Questions

It can be difficult to think of questions you’d like to ask on the spot at event days, so it’s best to sit with your child and compile a list of questions; your questions may range from modules that will be covered on a particular course, assessment methods and career prospects to questions about accommodation and social life. Being prepared in this way will ensure you and your child get the most out of event days and have all the information you need to compare the options available.

Every parent/carer wants their child to feel safe, secure and supported whilst they’re at university. At Chester, University accommodation is located either on-site or very close-by. Rated a Top 20 student city (Student Crowd, 2022), Chester has purple flag status in recognition of its safe environment during the day and night, so you can rest assured that your child is in a safe city.

A major concern for a lot of parents/carers and their child is affordability; having money worries while studying can be stressful. Supporting your child during their time with us is paramount – the University of Chester was awarded second place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023 for Cost of Living Support. Our Careers and Employability team can help your child to find local part-time work alongside their studies with our Earn While You Learn scheme, while our UniJob service offers paid part-time roles working at the University. We also have Paid Workplace Experiences where your child can get graduate-level paid work and offer Employer in the Foyer events where your child can find out about local work opportunities. These initiatives not only help our students financially, but they also give them confidence as they develop valuable transferable skills in the workplace.

Researching all the options and supporting your child in preparation for them completing their UCAS application will give you peace of mind, knowing that they have made the right decision and taken steps towards achieving their career ambitions. Rated third for Lecturers and Teaching Quality in the 2023 Whatuni Student Choice awards, your child can expect quality teaching if they decide to study at Chester, and with lifelong support from our Careers and Employability team you can be sure they’ll have a bright future ahead.

Learn more about studying at the University of Chester.

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