How Important Are Extracurricular Activities to UK University Entrance? 

If you want to study in the UK, then entrance to undergraduate courses at the main universities are very competitive. The level of undergraduate applicants is extremely high, so having extracurricular activities to add to your personal statement is extremely important. Most universities require you to have studied International Baccalaureate, the College Board AP exams or A-Levels. SAT subject exams are sometimes taken into account, but this is often dependent on what course you are applying to. Your personal statement showing extracurricular activities is extremely valuable to your application.

What are relevant extracurricular activities? 

Being part of an academic club is an excellent way of demonstrating that you have interests that are outside of your subject choices. It also shows that you are good at being part of a group, putting across your opinions in front of others and working well with other people. What a student learns outside the classroom is important. Whether it is history club, chess club or creative writing club, you are demonstrating social skills and a broad spectrum of interests. 97% of universities say that extracurricular activities are important – they are looking for independence, teamwork and communication skills. 

What about sports? 

Even if you are planning to take an undergraduate course in Applied Physics, having sports as part of your personal statement is a good idea. Team sports in particular demonstrates leadership, initiative and a competitive spirit. It also shows a level of dedication that comes only with practise. If you are planning to study in the UK then you will need to have interests and competencies that set you a step above the competition.

Competitive Scholarships

In 2017 the British Council offered 198 GREAT scholarships for Indian students across a range of universities including The University of Newcastle, Edinburgh and Kent. Courses included Law, Biosciences and Engineering. In Standard 12th, generally a mark over 80% is required, or AAB at A level. However the personal statement is of importance to the assessors. This statement shows not only your academic achievements, but gives a glimpse into your work ethic and interests. Your personal statement can be far more competence based and will demonstrate how your experiences can translate into information that is relevant to your GREAT scholarship application

Extracurricular activities are a vital part of your application onto an undergraduate course at the UK universities. They are your opportunity to demonstrate your personal interests and skills that go beyond your preferred academic subjects. 

Jackie Edwards

Date: Dec 4, 2017