UCAS reference

A reference for UCAS application is required for every prospective student. How you obtain the reference depends upon how you apply, either through your school, as an individual or through a UCAS registered centre.

References often take a backseat when it comes to completing applications, with applicants more concerned with their grades or personal statement. It is important to note however that a good UCAS reference can make the difference between getting the place you want and been rejected from your university of choice.


Who can write my UCAS reference?

The main criteria is that your referee needs to be able to pass sound judgement on your academic ability. This will likely be decided for you if you attend a school or college, however if you are already out of education then you’re able to choose your referee yourself.

Those out of education should aim to ask their employer or trainer as these would be the closest facsimile of teachers.

If you are applying as an individual it is still possible to have a registered school, college or other organisation write your reference. This option is found in the option section of apply.

If however you are unable to utilise a registered institution then you will need to send your reference details to UCAS directly. UCAS will then contact them on your behalf to request a reference.

Who can’t write my UCAS reference?

Remember that family, friends and other loved ones are exempt from being able to provide a reference. This rule also covers any other sort of biased referee who is likely to give you a good report regardless of your academic standing.

What will my referee write about?

They will concentrate on both historical and current academic ability as well as suitability for your chosen future career. If there are any private or personal issues which have affected your learning such as deaths in the family or chronic health concerns these will be included as well.

Students with physical or mental disability, including learning difficulties, will not automatically have these facts made known to university. Instead you have to do directly give permission for your referee to mention these points. It is highly recommended that you do so so that the University can make accommodations for you as required.



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