Ucas Applications

The main role of UCAS is to operate the application process for British Universities. Application to all universities should be made through UCAS Apply, not directly to the university.

Applying for university

All students make their applications to university or college through an online system called UCAS.

As a parent/carer you don’t need to provide anything to UCAS as part of the application. However, UCAS provide lots of helpful information for parents & carers, including a newsletter and magazine.

Students can choose up to five courses for most subjects. These can be to five different universities or to the same university on a different course. When your child presses ‘send’ on their application, it is first sent to their school or college, not directly to UCAS. There are several sections for the school to complete, such as references, so it is important not to leave applications to the last minute.

Find out how UCAS works

Personal statements

A personal statement is the chance your child gets to show the university or college who they are as a person and write in their own style. It is the most time consuming part of the application and school can help with this. Personal statements are up to 4000 characters which is roughly 500 words or one page.

Tips for writing a personal statement
List work experience or other activities and how this is relevant to the subject.
Their life experience. What interesting things they have done and why that makes them the right person for the course.
What clubs and activities are they involved in?
How would they contribute to university life?
Students send the same personal statement to all five choices – it is crucial not to mention university names.
Focus on the student and the subject
What makes them interesting and stand out in a positive way?
Why have they chosen this subject?
Why does it interest them?
Encourage them to show their knowledge and passion for the subject.

UCAS Time Trail


Year 12 students decide what they want to study and where they want to go. Your child should register with UCAS.com at the end of year 12. Summer is a great time to attend Open Days. They will continue through year 13 but make sure you allow enough time to go to those your child is interested in before making final choices.


Schools set an internal deadline for all UCAS information, choices and personal statements to be submitted for year 13 students.

15th October

Deadline for applications to any course at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, or for most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science, and dentistry.

15th January

Deadline for most undergraduate courses to UCAS. Schools need time to check applications and write references – check the internal deadline. Applications made after this date will only be considered once those that met the deadline have been processed and some courses may close at the deadline.


Offers can arrive from the moment an application is received. Once all responses are received students must choose their final two – first choice and second. Once these are selected, any other offers are invalid. 25th Feb UCAS Extra opens. Visit UCAS.com.


Applications for Student Finance can be made from February and there is a ‘funding guarantee’ deadline of late May. If the deadline is missed, financial support may not be in place by the start date. Apply online Student Finance England at gov.uk. Students should apply for accommodation at their firm choice.

From July

BTEC & other vocational qualification results are published. Clearing vacancies will be listed on UCAS.com and are updated regularly by universities and colleges. If you don’t find the course you’re looking for straight away, try again later. Clearing is available from July to September.


Results Day A Levels & GCSEs – results are published via the school and offer outcomes are made on UCAS track. Students who meet expected results must confirm their choice. Those that didn’t may still get an offer or can go into clearing.


Courses start either towards the end of September or the beginning of October. Good luck!