How do I apply to university whilst at DIFC? This is a common question asked when students are joining the International Foundation Year or Pre-Masters programmes at DIFC. And, it’s a good question as the whole purpose of studying a university preparation programme is to get a place in a good university!
During your studies at DIFC, you will be full supported through the whole university application process with:
- Weekly individual and group tutorials
- Career planning advice
- University visits and counselling fair
All this is designed to help you make the right choice about what and where to study based on your career objectives and how you are progressing through your studies.
Step 1 – Career Planning
As a first step, we look to get to know a little bit about you. What are your dreams and aspirations, what subjects do you like and what do you want to get out of your future career. Your DIFC tutor will discuss this with you to help point you in the right direction when it comes to your course research.
Step 2 – Research
You have probably already looked into the course and university where you want to study. But this step is to really look into it. Look at similar courses in other universities. Compare them. Look at courses and universities you never considered! The more research you can do the better.
A good starting point for your University research is the DIFC University Course Finder, which provides up-to-date admissions information on all the courses offered by DIFC and NCUK partner universities.
Step 3 – Compare
Look at your shortlist of courses following your research. What are the entry requirements and how do these compare against your predicted grades at DIFC. Are your choices realistic, or do you need to consider some back-up options.
Step 4 – Personal Statement
Writing a strong personal statement can help your application stand out from the pack, especially for courses where there are limited places and high competition such as Medicine. In your tutorials, you will learn how to write a stand-out personal statement and get feedback from your tutor on your drafts to make it perfect!
Step 5 – DIFC University Fair
Every February, DIFC hosts its own University Counselling Fair over 2 days. This is an opportunity for students to listen to presentations of DIFC’s university partners, meet with university representatives and learn about life at the university and possible scholarships. This is an important opportunity to validate the research you did and get information directly from the universities.
Step 6 – Submit Applications
In March, it’s time to finalise your choices and submit your applications! To start with, we get students to prioritise the number of applications as follows:
- International Foundation Year: Business / Engineering / Science – 3 applications
- International Foundation Year: Health Science – 5 applications
- Pre-Master’s programmes – 3 applications
This keeps your applications manageable and focuses you on what you need to achieve to gain a place.
Step 7 – Conditional Offers Issued
As the universities process the applications, you’ll start to get your conditional offers and if you are on track to pass your Foundation or Pre-Master’s studies, you will be guaranteed at least two conditional offers from NCUK partner universities.
Step 8 – Respond to Offers
During this stage, you need to decide on your first choice – called CF – and your insurance choices – called CI. This decision can be based on the conditions listed on your offer, such as minimum grades. At this stage, you may need to pay deposits to the university in order to hold your place. Your tutor will advise on you on this.
Step 9 – Accommodation & Visa
Depending on your offers, you may need to apply for a visa – for example, if you are moving onto a university outside of Ireland. DIFC student services will provide you with support and advice on how to apply for your visa and where to research accommodation options for your study destination.
Step 10 – Final Results
Approximately a month after your final exams, your final results will be released. DIFC will submit your results directly to the universities on your behalf. Our Placement Team will liaise with the universities directly to support your applications and secure the unconditional offers.
Step 11 – Unconditional Offer
If you meet the conditions on your CF or CI choices, your offer will be made unconditional. Once you have an unconditional offer, you will need to confirm your place with payment of tuition fees.
Step 12 – Change of Course Offer
If you didn’t meet the conditions of your offer, our Placement Team will assist you in assessing your alternative options, submitting your applications and securing an offer for you. The important thing to remember is, if you have successfully passed the programme, you will successfully progress to university.
Step 13 – Congratulations! You’re off to University!