Making Your Choice – Firm or Insurance?

Choosing the right university isn’t an easy thing to do. With seemingly endless options available it can be quiet a daunting prospect trying to whittle your decision down to just one! You’ve read through the pile of prospectuses that you’ve collected, you’ve scouted all the websites and drawn up countless pros and cons lists for each institution trying to find the one that ticks all the boxes on your wish list, yet you might still be struggling to pick.

Well don’t worry, we are here to try and make things a bit easier for you and help you get your head around some pretty major decisions.

Don’t Rush

It might be tempting to accept the first offer you receive, but what about all the other offers you might receive? Most of you don’t actually have to respond to you offers until the 4th of May. This will give you a lot of time and opportunities to visit and research your shortlisted institutions.

Remember that each course will be different depending on the institution that is teaching it. So if you have two courses with identical titles, be sure to look at the module lists and contact the course leaders where possible to find out how each course will differ.

Also remember, university is not just about going to lectures and pulling an all night shift in the library! There is much more to the university experience. Try to visit the university and see the facilities first hand, talk to the lecturers, staff and students in person and check out all the extracurricular activities on offer.

Let Them Down Gently!

Once you think you have collected all the information you need to make a decision, its time to let UCAS know your choices. To do this you’ll need to log in to UCAS Track and enter your personal ID, username and password.

First select your number one choice as your Firm (F), and then your second choice (if you have one) as your Insurance (I). It’s important to remember that if you get the grades to make it to your Firm choice, you are committed to going there, you CAN’T swap to your Insurance.

Your Insurance choice is there as a backup, in case you don’t get the grades you expected. Make sure your Insurance choice has a lower grade offer to ensure it serves its purpose! You don’t want to end up with no offers on the table!

Once you have made your top two choices, you will need to Decline (D) all your other offers.

Results Day

So after a restless night, it’s the day all that hard work has been leading up to. Results day is here! Hopefully this will be a joyful day, involving lots of happy celebrations. If this is the case, you don’t need to call the University; just log on to UCAS Track where you will see a big congratulations message and confirmation of your place at your Firm choice institution.

However, if you find you have missed the mark and your results weren’t quite what you were aiming for, try not to panic! You can always try and call your first choice university and see if they can still offer you a place. It might be a nervous wait to see whether their courses fill up, but if places become available (which they often do) then they will try their best to squeeze you in.

You also have the option of falling back into the safety net of your Insurance choice, if you have met the grade boundaries there. Failing that, you can always check out the Clearing section of UCAS and see if any other courses are available that take your fancy.  

Pack Your Bags

If you follow all the above steps you'll soon be packing your bags ready to start your own university experience at a university you are confident about. Who knows, it might be the next step of your own Chester story!

Want to Know More?

Contact us

If you have any questions relating to studying at the University of Chester just get in touch, we’ll be more than happy to help.

T: 01244 511000 E: enquiries@chester.ac.uk

Visit us

If you’d like to come and visit the University of Chester there’s plenty of ways to do it, from Open Days to campus tours.

T: 01244 511000 E: visitus@chester.ac.uk

Book a visit

Your journey towards academic success and a rewarding career is just starting here and wherever you end up, we wish you all the best in your future.

Good Luck