How to apply
If you would like to apply for a place on an undergraduate course in the UK, you will usually need to apply through UCAS.
UCAS are now accepting applications for university or college courses that will run in the 2024-25 academic year. The application deadlines for courses beginning in 2024 are:
2 October 2023 (18:00 UK time) - deadline for most UCAS Conservatoires music courses which begin in 2024 - check the conservatoire website for full details.
16 October 2023 (18:00 UK time) - deadline for courses at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry which begin in 2024.
31 January 2024 (18:00 UK time) - deadline for all UCAS Undergraduate courses which begin in 2024, except those with a 16 October deadline.
See the UCAS website for deadline dates for 2024 entry. If you miss a deadline, check our 'missed deadlines and Clearing' section below.
Applying to university or college
Applying through your school or college
If you are applying through your school or college, they will encourage you to complete your application at an earlier date, so the school has time to check the details of your application and complete your reference. Check with your school or college on the steps you will need to take to make sure your application is sent to UCAS on time.
If you are applying independently, you will need to find somebody to provide you with a reference. Make sure you give them enough time to complete the reference so you can include it in your final application to UCAS.
What do I need to do to apply?
Within your application, you will need to:
✅ Fill in your personal details and qualifications.
✅ Include the courses which you would like to apply for.
✅ Write a personal statement which will be reviewed by your chosen universities or colleges.
✅ Include a reference.
✅ Pay the application fee.
Please see the UCAS website for an overview of the changes made to the application process for 2024.
You may also find UCAS’ tips on Filling in Your UCAS Undergraduate Application and UCAS’ tips on writing a personal statement useful.
Missed deadlines and Clearing
If you have missed the main application deadline, you may still be able to apply for many courses. You should contact the university or college directly to check if they have any spaces first.
Any applications received by UCAS after 30 June 2024 will automatically be entered into Clearing. Clearing is the system that universities and colleges use to fill any spaces they have on their higher education courses. It is run by UCAS.
You may consider Clearing as an option if you:
- miss the UCAS application deadline for courses beginning in 2024
- don’t receive any offers from your firm or insurance choice (or you didn't accept any places offered)
- change your mind about your firm or insurance choice and want to apply to a different course or university.
Clearing will open on 5 July 2024. Please see the UCAS 'Clearing' pages for more information.
Applying to conservatoires
Most conservatoire courses use the UCAS application deadline dates given at the top of the page, but you should check the deadline for the course you are interested in on the course pages on the conservatoire's website.
Deferring a place
If you’re not sure if you are ready to start university next year, you could consider making a deferred entry application. This means that you apply to start your course a year later. If you have already been offered a place on a course and decide you want to take a gap year, you may also be able to defer the start date to the following year. If you are considering either of these defer options, you should check with the university or college by contacting them directly. You can find out more information on the deferral process on the UCAS website.
Take a look at our 'how to choose a course' section for details of things you might want to consider when applying to uni.
Applying for a course directly (not through UCAS)
For most undergraduate higher education courses in the UK, you will usually be expected to apply through UCAS. However, there are a few exceptions where applicants should apply directly to the course provider – for example, some part time or professional courses.
If you are only applying for one particular course, some providers will accept a direct application. However, this usually only applies to students with specific circumstances. If you are unsure of the application process for a particular course, it is best to check with the university or college directly.