How to apply

When can they apply?

Students can apply from the middle of September onwards in Y13 for entry to university the following year, which is why we recommend doing research and going to Open Days in Year 12. Their school/college will probably encourage them to register on UCAS before they leave for the summer holidays and get them as prepared as possible for the application itself.  

Online application

Images of students on laptop The application is done online and is divided into sections:

  • Registration/Login/Personal Details
  • Student Finance arrangements
  • Course choices (up to five)
  • Education to date and results you are waiting for (tutor will input predicted grades)
  • Employment so far (work experience, part-time jobs, voluntary work)
  • Personal statement – the most important part of the application – some courses are heavily oversubscribed and this statement could make the difference between being offered a place and being rejected.
  • Tutor reference
  • Payment of fee (£12 for one choice, £23 for 2-5 choices)

The applicant marks each section off as they complete it and an appointed member of staff monitors their progress. 

The application is then sent off electronically to UCAS, the University and Colleges Admissions Service, which sends it on to their university choices. 

UCAS Track

UCAS will then send the applicant a Welcome e-mail after which they can follow their application using the ‘Track’ system.  UCAS can also mail the applicant every time there is an update to their application (e.g. a university makes them an offer).

Once all the universities have made their decisions, the applicant then chooses two: one firm choice with grades or points they are likely to get and one insurance choice with lower grades or points they can fall back on if they don't get their firm place.  They are then committed to those two courses.

Results day and clearing

On results day, applicants can check on Track as to whether they have a place but it won't show their grades.  Sometimes a university will still accept them if they are only a grade or a few points short of their offer. If they have been unsuccessful with both offers, they are then automatically entered into Clearing where they can consider remaining courses and contact the universities directly. 

When they have their place, they will be sent or have access to joining instructions and reading lists, usually online.  The first week of term usually starts towards the end of September or the beginning of October.

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