When universities ask for UCAS points instead of letter grades it provides you with greater flexibility over the grade combination you need to get. For example, ABB and A*BC has the same number of UCAS Points (128 points).
However, you need to check if the university asks for a specific grade in a specific subject. For example, most science courses require As or Bs in science and maths subjects. Entry requirements vary from university to university. Some universities will not allow subjects such as Critical Thinking or General Studies to count towards the UCAS Points.
Calculate your UCAS Points here.
Whilst not all universities use UCAS points, there are lots of ways you can boost your university application for those that don’t accept UCAS points, and increase your UCAS points for those that do.
Completing a masterclass in your chosen subject demonstrates to the university that you’re genuinely interested in the subject and want to find out more. Masterclasses consist of research and studying to help you make sure it’s the right course for you. Not only can they boost your personal statement, but they can result in a reduced offer if you apply to the university you completed the course at.
Classes are available in a wide variety of areas, for example The University of Cumbria offers online masterclasses in subjects such as Biodiversity, Crime, Law, Microbiology, Forensic Science, Climate Change, Psychology and more. Successful completion of a course will result in a reduction of up to 16 points from UCAS applications to the University of Cumbria.
Extended Project Qualification
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an exciting way to prepare for university life and to develop your research and critical thinking skills. If you choose to take the EPQ at A-Level you’ll have to write a 5000 word report or produce and artefact (website, artwork, video, musical piece, etc.) on a subject of your choice.
You can do your EPQ on anything you'd like to research so long as it's approved by your centre, past examples have included reports entitled 'The 2016 US Presidential Election Revolutionised Political Marketing Forever' and 'Should the NHS Be Privatised?'.
Successful complition of the EPQ can result in 28 UCAS Points (A*). However, not all universities allow EPQ to count towards UCAS Points so make sure you research the entry requirements at the universities you're interested in carefully. Even if the university doesn't allow it to count towards your UCAS Points, it can still demonstrate your research, critical thinking and analysis skills to help your application.
Extra AS or A-Level
Taking an extra AS or A-Level is a great way to increase your UCAS points, however this is extremely time consuming and only recommended if you are able to manage the workload. This is most common if you took a fast-track subject and began studying for your A-Levels in year 11 so you're one year ahead and have an AS Level at the end of year 11 and an A-Level at the end of year 12.
If you’re a talented musician you could see yourself with up to 30 extra UCAS points if you’ve achieved higher than grade 6 theory or practical exams in any musical instrument.