Students at an art studio

How to apply - undergraduate

Applying for an undergraduate degree in the UK is very simple. You don’t need to get in touch with lots of universities - you can apply for up to five courses at once through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for a small administration fee and UCAS handles everything else.

Here’s how it works:

1. Register with UCAS

First, go to the UCAS website where you can fill in your application form.

Then write your personal statement. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd by explaining why you are interested in the course, the skills you have that make you suitable, and your life experiences and achievements.

You also need to include a written reference from someone who can confirm your ability to do the course, such as a tutor or one of your school teachers. Make sure you contact your referees early so they have enough time to write this for you.

Application deadlines

There are four application deadlines throughout the year:

  • October - for courses at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, or for most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry
  • 31 January – 'on time' deadline for most undergraduate courses
  • March – for some art and design courses
  • 30 June - late deadline for most undergraduate courses. Applications received after this deadline will automatically go into "clearing", so you will not be guaranteed your first choice.

While you will be able to apply after the January deadline right up until 30 June, it is better to apply early. You will still need to arrange your visa if you need one, as well as things like accommodation and flights.

2. Receiving an offer

UCAS will contact you with any offers from your chosen universities or colleges. If your offer is ‘unconditional’, you can relax as your place on the course is confirmed. Some offers are conditional – usually this means your offer is confirmed as long as you achieve certain results in your current studies or in English language tests.

Once you have decided to accept an offer then you can respond to it through the UCAS website – then you’re on your way to becoming a UK student.

More in this section

How to apply - postgraduate

Find out how you can easily apply for UK postgraduate courses.

Finding a university place through Clearing

Discover what Clearing is and how it can help you find a university place.

Education agents

Education agents can help you find the right university, college or school in the UK and assist you with applying for a course.

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