We've put together this guide to help you support your child when they are thinking about their university choices.
The application process
Your son or daughter will need to apply for their place at BU, or any other UK university, directly through UCAS. As well as the application portal itself, UCAS has a number of useful videos and how-to guides to help them complete their application.
Encourage your son or daughter to apply as soon as they have made a decision about which course they’d like to study. This will make the process much less stressful for them and you, as it will give them more time to finesse their application. We'd recomment they use their personal email address rather than a school/college one when making their UCAS application. This will ensure they receive any important emails regarding their application.
This is also a good time for your son or daughter to tell us if they have a disability or will need any additional learning support. Our Additional Learning Support team can advise them of what support is available and how to access it once they enrol at BU.
One of the things they are likely to find hardest to get right is their personal statement - we’ve created a guide to writing a personal statement to help them get started.
There are a few dates that you may want to put in your diary, so that you can remind your son or daughter to get their application in on time. Applications for undergraduate courses starting in September 2024 opened on 2 May 2023 with completed applications able to be submitted from 5 September 2023. The first 'equal consideration' application deadline for the majority of courses is 31 January 2024.
If your son or daughter has missed this year’s deadline, don’t worry, as they may still be able to apply for their course through UCAS Extra. This service opens on 28 February 2024 and your child can submit an application up until 30 June 2024. Not all courses will be available through UCAS Extra, but many courses continue to accept applications through this service. If your child can make applications using this service, it will automatically appear as an option when they log in to their application on the main UCAS website and UCAS will contact them with all the information they need about how to submit additional applications.
Applications made after 30 June enter Clearing - the last opportunity to find a university place in September that year.
What happens next
Once your child has submitted their application through UCAS, the organisation will process it and contact them directly if they need to provide any further information. Your son or daughter can log in to their UCAS Hub at any time to see how their application is progressing.
Our Open Days will give them and you a chance to see facilities specific to the course they’ve applied for and the opportunity to talk to academics and current students. Open Days are optional and have no bearing on your child’s application.
Your son or daughter may also be invited to attend an interview as part of the selection process. This will affect their application, so it is important that they attend.
Decisions on their application
Once we have made a decision on your child’s application, they will receive one of the following:
- Unconditional offer - This means they have already met the entry requirements and have been offered a place.
- Conditional offer - This means they have a place on the course, provided that they meet the requirements laid out in the offer. Usually these will refer to their current qualifications (such as A-levels, or your English language proficiency) and will state what they need to achieve in order to be successful.
- Rejection - This means that they have not been offered a place on the course.
It is then up to your son or daughter to reply to our offer. Be aware that there are deadlines associated with replying to offers.
We know your child moving away from home can be daunting, but Bournemouth University has plenty of accommodation options to make them feel at home!
How to pay for university
One of the biggest concerns for students and their parents is the cost of university.
Your child will typically pay up to £9,250 per year in tuition fees as a UK student. Fees don’t need to be paid upfront. Students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to cover all or part of their fees. Because of the way the system works, taking out a loan, such as a bank loan, yourself to cover the cost of fees and avoid your child getting into debt will almost always work out more expensive in the long run, so it’s not advisable.
The second loan they can apply for is the Maintenance Loan, to help towards living expenses while at university, such as accommodation, food, and course materials. The amount they’re eligible to borrow depends on several factors, including where they will be living during term time and your household income. You’ll need to declare this information to receive the maximum amount available.
Scholarships and bursaries
There’s no need for your child to wait to receive offers back from universities to apply for student finance – they can usually do this from February with the student funding body for where they currently live.
Repaying student loans
Repayments will not be taken until your child has graduated and are in a full-time job earning £25,000 or more (current figure). They will start repaying their combined loan amount automatically in their salary, like a tax, (by HMRC) in the April following graduation or leaving the course, only when they earn over the threshold.
If any amount remains after 40 years, it is written off.
Student loans are not taken into consideration when applying for other finance, such as a loan or mortgage.
Budgeting with your son or daughter
This will probably be the first time your child has had to take control of every aspect of their finances. It’s worth taking a bit of time to talk them through the basics of budgeting to help them keep on top of their money once September rolls around.
Although a lot of expenses - including utility bills and internet costs - will be included in the price of their rent if they are staying in university accommodation, they will still need to budget for food and other day-to-day expenses, as well as having fun. You can find more information on budgeting in the fees and funding section.
Support for your son or daughter whilst at university
We want your child to be happy and healthy throughout their university experience, which is why teams like our Students’ Union (SUBU), ResLifeBU, SportBU and Student Services work together to organise a range of social, sporting and relaxing events during their first few weeks…and beyond!
You’ll find an incredible range of support services here at BU, which can be contacted before your child arrives at university:
- Additional Learning Support
Supporting students with disabilities, specific learning differences and medical conditions
- Health and Wellbeing
The Student health and Wellbeing service is confidential, completely free and open to all BU students
- SUBU Advice
Free independent and confidential advice on housing, money and personal matters offered by our Students' Union
- Student Support and Engagement Team
Advice or support to help you through any personal or academic issues
- Student Medical Centre
Offers a full range of medical services, health and advice.
- 90.7% of BU first degree graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating*
- Every undergraduate student has the opportunity to undertake a work placement while studying with us and access to industry-standard facilities – just two of the ways that we help our students get career-ready
- We're a lively, vibrant and diverse community, where everyone is welcome
- We offer a range of support services, such as additional learning support and student wellbeing, that can be accessed before students join us and throughout their time at BU
- ResLifeBU is our social, wellbeing and skills programme. It's exclusive for first year students who decide to live in BU accommodation and is designed to help with adjusting to university life
- We're in a great location, with seven miles of award-winning sandy beaches on our doorstep and plenty of green spaces too.
* Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2020/21
Bournemouth University - To learn is to change.