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.

Applications for undergraduate courses which begin in 2023 are now open. You can set up an account and begin to complete your application on the UCAS Hub.

The deadline to submit your application depends on the type of course you are applying for.

📅 See the deadlines below:

3 October 2022 – the deadline for most UCAS Conservatoires music courses which begin in 2023.

15 October 2022 (18:00 UK time) – the deadline for courses at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry.

25 January 2023 (18:00 UK time) – the deadline for all UCAS Undergraduate courses, except those with a 15 October deadline.

When you have chosen the courses that you would like to apply for, you can check the deadlines for each to make sure you apply on time.

See our downloadable resource for support on researching and choosing courses.

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.

Applying independently

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.

If you are applying for a place on a practice-based musical theatre, music, dance or drama course at one of the UK’s conservatoires, you should apply through the UCAS conservatoire route.

Please see our ‘international applicants’ section for information about how to apply from outside the UK.

You can also use StudyUK to support you to research your options and find out what it might be like to study in the UK.

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.

New for 2023

UCAS have included a new ‘More about you’ section in the application for the 2023 cycle. The new section includes seven questions where you can highlight any personal circumstances which will help you to receive any support that you may need.

See an example of the new section and frequently asked questions for support.

Benefits

  • Students have the option to highlight their individual circumstances within the application.
  • Advisers can support their students with differing needs and encourage completion.
  • Universities and colleges can make more informed decisions about the applicant’s circumstances and ensure supportive measures are in place to support a potential student.

Within the section applicants can note if they are estranged, have caring responsibilities, are a parent or have parenting responsibilities, a refugee or asylum seeker, have had a parent or carer in the UK Armed forces, or if they have served in the UK Armed forces. Applicants can indicate if they have ever been in receipt of free school meals during secondary education, have a physical and/or mental health condition, long term illness or learning difficulties.

The section has been created to help applicants receive the support that they may need. Any information added is confidential and will not negatively impact your application or your chances of receiving an offer. It is optional to complete, and applicants do not need to declare any personal circumstances if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Sometimes declaring a disability or a personal circumstance can be difficult, the below guidance may be helpful in this situation:

Disability Rights UK – Telling people you’re disabled: clear and easy guide for students

Stand Alone – Estranged student guide

Propel – Pre-application support

Additional resources:

See UCAS’ tips on Filling in Your UCAS Undergraduate Application.

See UCAS’ tips on writing a personal statement.

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.

Clearing is the system that universities and colleges use to fill any spaces they have on their higher education courses.

You may consider Clearing as an option if you:

- miss the UCAS application deadline for courses beginning in 2023

- don’t receive any offers from your firm or insurance choice.

- change your mind about your firm or insurance choice and want to apply to a different course or university.

Clearing is run by UCAS. You can find full details of the Clearing process on the Clearing section of the UCAS website.

Clearing in 2022 has closed and will open again in 2023.

See Exam results and Clearing for tips on your options and for further information on Clearing.

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.

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