Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

How not to order a prospectus


You can not actually order a prospectus from here. If you are interested in applying to the University of Bradford, the university I go to, then please visit their prospectus order form. The comments form is for commenting on the article only, not for requesting a prospectus or further details.
Here’s the first of the articles I promised about how not to request a prospectus from a univeristy. If you’re wondering why on earth I’m writing this, it’s because on Tuesday morning I was processing email requests for postgraduate prospectuses and there were some requests that were terrible.

  1. You don’t need to include your CV or Resume as an attachment. We only needed your address and a rough idea of what courses you were interested so that we can send you more specific information about them.
  2. But if you do include your CV, and it’s a PDF, make sure you don’t use a free PDF creator that watermarks your CV with “This PDF was created using a trial version of x”. There are free programs like PDFCreator that will create PDFs without watermarking, along with’s PDF export tool. It looks sloppy otherwise.
  3. And if you’re applying for a British university, make sure your CV is in English. Not French. And in particular a French CV with no real indication of which course you are interested in. One person did all 3 of these points.
  4. Another person sent his email using HTML stationery. A fancy border and big font may look pretty but plain text will do fine, thanks.
  5. Don’t CC the same email to several universities. It looks lazy and some uppity universities may be offended if you have sent the email to some less prestigious places.
  6. Spell the city you live in correctly. Especially if it’s only 6 letters long and not hard to spell (“London”).

What makes this worse is that these are all postgraduate students who already have degrees and probably should know better. The quality of the prospectus request has no bearing on the actual application process, but if it did I’d worry about some of those people.


  1. You forgot to add “Do not cc an email to serveral universities which has the name of the university you were applying to in one instance”

  2. You’ve brought a big smile to my face today!

  3. Tee hee – you have to worry about people sometimes.

  4. house#44,46 , y block , peoples colony Gujranwala