No doubt you’ve thought about how to write a great personal statement for your UCAS application, but that’s not all you’ll need. Getting someone to write you a good reference is just as important. Wondering how to go about this? We’ve compiled some simple questions and answers to help you.
Usually, someone who knows you well at school or college such as an A-level teacher or head of sixth form is the best person to write your reference.
It doesn’t matter if you left school or college a while ago. In this case, your employer or training supervisor would be a good person to ask. Your referee just needs to be someone who knows about your academic ability and can comment on your suitability for higher education.
Don’t ask family, friends or partners, though - they aren’t allowed to be your referee.
The process depends on how you’re applying.
If you’re applying through a school, college or other organisation, your referee e.g. your teacher or head of year will complete your reference for you and send it to UCAS.
Students don’t usually see their reference, so you don’t have to do anything at this point. Your school or college will let you know how and when to pay your application fee, then they’ll send us your application.
If you’re applying as an individual, you can still ask a school, college or other organisation e.g. your former school for your reference. Just go to the ‘Options’ section on the reference page of your UCAS application and click ‘Ask a registered school, college or centre to write a reference’. Make sure you contact them first, then enter their details here.
If it’s an employer or training supervisor who’s going to write your reference, simply enter their email address and phone number on the reference page of your application and click ‘Ask referee to complete reference’. Keep in touch with your referee and as soon as they’ve completed your reference you can pay your application fee and send your application to us.
It may be helpful to have a chat with whoever is going to write your reference before they begin writing it. You’ve researched the course you’re applying for and what we’re looking for, now what do you want our Admissions Team to know about you?
Here are some ideas for discussion to make sure your referee gets all the right points across: