UCAS points from expeditions – learning the fun way
Students can gain up to 70 extra UCAS points by taking part in expeditions and enhancing their CV.
Entrance to university is incredibly competitive, and most students studying A-levels or IBs are keen to improve their chances of success in every way that they can. One way is through taking part in expeditions.
If the examination board science specifications are examined in detail, it is clear just how much of what students see and experience on an expedition is directly relevant to their A-level courses (Evolution, Classification, Ecology, Practical investigations and Sustainability and Conservation).
The CoPE scheme encourages students to produce a ‘portfolio’ documenting their preparations and experiences of an expedition
Schemes to gain UCAS points
Furthermore there are now a number of schemes that students can do as part of an expedition (in addition to their A-levels) which can gain them up to 70 extra UCAS points.
For example the CoPE (Certificate of Personal Effectiveness) scheme, now operated by a number of expedition companies including Operation Wallacea, encourages students to produce a ‘portfolio’ documenting their preparations and experiences of an expedition. If the students do this to an adequate standard the certificate and UCAS points are presented by the qualifications group ASDAN.
According to Debra Richards from ASDAN, “CoPE offers students the opportunity to develop essential skills in preparation for future study and employment. Many students who complete the CoPE Level 3 qualification feel much better prepared for life at university having honed their skills in areas such as research, discussion, presentation, independent learning, and teamwork”.
Other schemes, such as the increasingly popular EPQ (Extended Project Qualifications), and IB extended essay can also be carried out whilst on an expedition.
These schemes not only provide a more tangible benefit for students undertaking expeditions prior to university application, but also help to ensure that students are actively engaged whilst on expedition.
In this, our first year of CoPE, 40 students submitted portfolios which are currently being moderated by us and by ASDAN. We expect over 200 Operation Wallacea students (but will encourage more) to use CoPE, EPQ, or other schemes, in order to gain the maximum benefit from an expedition in 2011.