How to write UCAS references- guidelines in English

The student needs to use the buzzword 'studyengland2018' while registering in UCAS in year 2018. After registration the reference will be authorize and linked with the student by OXFORDON

You can use up to 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines) – whichever comes first.

  • We recommend you write in a word processor first and then copy and paste into the online application (but watch out for the character and line count – the word-processor might get different values because it doesn’t count tabs or paragraphs).
  • When you add into the online application, click ‘save’ regularly because it will time out after 35 minutes of inactivity.
  • You can use some European characters in the reference.
  • We recommend you save a copy of each reference you write for your records.

What to include

  • Their post-16 academic performance and their potential for success in higher education.
  • Why they’re suited to their chosen subject and career path, plus their attitude, motivation and commitment.
  • Skills and qualities like aptitude and enthusiasm, plus current or past achievements that will help with their chosen subject area.
  • Achievements, work experience, and extracurricular activities that relate to their chosen course(s).
  • Any commitments (like January AS assessments) that might prevent interview attendance on a particular day.
  • Any contextual information which might warrant special consideration. This could include individual circumstances – e.g. mature student, disability, widening participation activities, or information about your school which may affect performance, such as significant staff changes, or damage to buildings.
  • Any mitigating factors that might affect their performance, for example serious, acute or chronic illness, or significant adverse personal circumstances (with applicant consent).
  • Avoid repeating any of the information they’ve given in their application, unless you want to comment on it, and avoid mentioning any particular university or college.


  • If you’re writing a reference for an international applicant, please write in English. If their first language isn’t English, please comment on their ability to write and speak in English, and indicate if any of their studies were taught in English.
  • If you teach the applicant now or taught them previously, please give details and describe how they compare with others in their class.
  • If the applicant is on an access course, foundation course or other one-year course, you might not have known them long enough to write a full reference. In this case, please say so and explain that you’re providing a temporary reference (including as much detail as you can) and confirm you will provide a complete reference next spring. All supplementary references should be sent directly to all the chosen course providers, and should quote the applicant’s Personal I.D.
  • When writing a reference for any applicant, please remember that – under the Data Protection Act – the applicant can ask for a copy of the reference and any other personal information we have about them.

              Final reference please upload here >>


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