Applying for full-time study
Once you have decided which universities and courses are suitable, it's time to apply. Applications to all UK universities for full-time undergraduate courses are made through UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply for up to five courses. You should be able to get help completing your UCAS application from your college careers department or personal tutor. Support is availible from the Passport Team throughout the academic year.
How to apply
All applications are made online - www.ucas.com. You will be issued with a ‘buzzword’ – a word or phrase needed to register. You need a reference and your application must be approved by your college. You will get a username and password so you can check the progress of your application using UCAS Track.
Use the UCAS Applying Online guide – this answers many questions you may have when completing the application. There's useful information on the UCAS website including sections on before, during and after your application.
Be honest about your qualifications - you will have to show copies of your certificates.
Get a reference from your careers adviser or tutor.
Write a brilliant personal statement to sell yourself to admissions tutors. Many courses don't interview applicants, so this may be your only chance to make an impression.
When to apply
We strongly advise you to apply by the deadline dates, particularly for popular courses or there may be no places left.
Your school or college will set an earlier deadline to allow time for them to check all personal statements and attach a reference. You are strongly advised to meet this deadline so your application is not delayed.
For most courses, UCAS must receive your application between 1 September and 15 January in the academic year before you start your course. This deadline includes some Art & Design courses but not necessarily all of them.
Some Art & Design courses have a later deadline date at the end of March (24 March at Teesside University) in the same year you intend to study. You are advised to check on the UCAS website or with the university you are applying to as to which deadline you should meet.
If you are applying to Oxford and Cambridge Universities for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or science, UCAS needs your application by 15 October in the previous academic year to entry.
Gap year - if you defer entry put a D in the deferred entry box on your UCAS form - also check with your chosen institutions they will accept deferred applications.
What happens next?
Once you receive offers from universities you need to choose one as your firm choice and a second as insurance - your plan B.
Types of offer
- Conditional - if you get a conditional offer, you must get the UCAS points or grades to get your place.
- Unconditional - if you receive unconditional offers, you must accept one and decline the others.
Some universities invite you for interview before deciding to offer a place. For hints and tips on university interviews visit:
You may also be required to sit a pre-entry test. For example, we ask all applicants to nursing or midwifery to sit a literacy and numeracy test before interview. For advice please contact our School of Health & Social Care admissions office for more information. T: 01642 384110 E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I’m unsuccessful?
Competition is high but there is support if you don't get an offer. If you're a Passport member our team can offer advice and support.
Universities don't automatically tell you why you weren't offered a place but you make a request in writing for feedback.
If you haven't been made an offer you can apply again through UCAS Extra. If you're eligible UCAS will send you information around mid March.
If you haven’t got a place through UCAS or UCAS Extra, UCAS will send you details on Clearing after the exam results.
In Clearing, you can apply for any course that has places left - even changing your choice of subject. Course vacancies are advertised from the middle of August until late September. Not all courses will be available in Clearing, particularly those in high demand.