What is UCAS? In your Grandparents day just 3% of the population went to university. An applicant was free to write as many applications as they pleased, tailoring a personal statement and really maximising their efforts to get into a specific university. Nowadays nearly 40% of students continue to higher education and the whole process has been streamlined and condensed, limiting your options and ability to make yourself known.
In a nutshell UCAS is sort of a middleman in the application process. Universities post online the requirements for students, course options and financial options. On your side your education profile, expected grades personal statement and references are uploaded and they sort of match somewhere in the middle and you are made either a conditional offer or an unconditional offer (see dates below).
UCAS has condensed options available to you. You can narrow searches of universities by field, institution, region and other options. The site focuses more on the academic side of university life and provides links to examine the university in more detail yourself. The service is a paid service (you pay) and allows you to apply for a maximum of 5 universities application year. The whole process is a fixed format and everyone is given the same fields to fill out and limit to how many characters they can write to apply for, so on the plus side you are just as likely as anyone before you start adding to your profile, so make it count!
Applications begin from mid-September.
Applications for Oxford, Cambridge or courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine/science should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time). Remember the reference has to be completed before the application can be sent to UCAS..
Applications for the majority of courses should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) today (check course details for the correct deadline). The reference has to be completed before your application can be sent to UCAS.
Applications for some art and design courses should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) today. Others have a 15 January deadline – check course details to confirm the correct deadline.) The reference has to be completed before your application can be sent to UCAS.
If you receive all your uni/college decisions by 31 March you must reply to any offers by this date (except for Extra) or they'll be declined.
If you applied by the January deadline and you’re still waiting, unis will decide whether they’re making an offer by now (otherwise those choices are automatically made unsuccessful).
If you receive all your uni/college decisions by 3 May you must reply to any offers by this date (except for Extra) or they’ll be declined.
If you receive all your uni/college decisions by 7 June you must reply to any offers by this date (unless you applied in Extra) or they'll be declined.
If you send your application to us by 18:00 (UK time) today, we'll send it to your chosen Unis and colleges; after this date you enter Clearing.
Last date to apply through Extra.
Clearing entry opens.
If you applied by 30 June and are waiting for decisions, unis and colleges will decide whether or not they’ll make you an offer by this date.
If you receive all uni/college decisions by 12 July – including Extra choices – you must reply to any offers by this date (or they'll be declined).
GCE A-Level and Advanced Diploma results day – and the start of the full Clearing vacancy search. Adjustment opens for registration
The deadline for any remaining conditions to be met – otherwise the uni or college might not accept you – plus Adjustment ends.
The final deadline for applications to 2018 courses. Applications must arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time).
The Clearing vacancy search closes; you can still add Clearing choices in Track, but contact unis/colleges to discuss vacancies first.
The deadline for adding Clearing choices and Unis or colleges accepting Clearing applicants.