How To Apply For University

APPLYING to university can seem confusing, daunting and even overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. You may be worried about how to get started but the process has been designed to make it as easy as possible for you. 

All applications to universities in the UK are made through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service. Although it might seem confusing at first, the system has been designed to be straightforward and ensure you can keep track of your application, choices and offers. 

How to begin

Firstly, register for your Apply account at where you will need to enter your personal details, get a username, create a password, and set your security questions. Your school or college will also give you a buzzword which you will also be asked to enter. 

Next, you will be able to choose your courses – you select up to five but they won’t be able to see where else you’ve applied and there’s no preference order. For medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or veterinary science, you can only apply to a maximum of four courses in any one of these subjects. You can only apply to one course at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. 


The next step is entering all your qualifications, whether you have the result or are still awaiting them. You then need to add in details of any paid jobs and include company names, addresses, job descriptions, and start and finish dates. Next, you will have to write a personal statement – this is your chance to show universities or colleges why you want to study the course and why you would make a great student. 

Make sure to check your application carefully before marking it as complete. Get a reference – this is a written recommendation normally from a teacher, adviser, or professional who knows you academically. After you’ve sent your application to UCAS – it will be processed and you will be sent a welcome email containing your Personal ID, which will enable you to track its progress. 

Key terms

Extra is a free service and allows students to apply to one course at a time between February 25 and July 4. To be eligible, you need to have had no offers. If you’ve done better than expected in your A-levels, Adjustment allows you to see what other courses are available. If you’ve had no offers or your exams don’t go to plan, there’s always Clearing. It’s how universities and colleges fill any places they still have. You will need to contact the course providers directly if you see a course that interests you. 

The Important Dates You Need To Consider

  • October 15, 2022: Deadline for applications to Oxford, Cambridge, and most medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine/science courses.  
  • January 15, 2023: Deadline for the majority of undergraduate courses.  
  • February 25: Extra begins.  
  • April 14: If you have received all your university/college decisions by March 16, reply by April 14 
  • May 5: If you have received all your university/college decisions by March 31, reply by May 5. 
  • May 6: If you submitted your applications by January 15 and you’re still waiting to hear from them, universities/colleges will decide whether they’re making an offer by now.  
  • June 4: If you received all your university/college decisions by May 6, reply to any offers by now or they’ll be declined.  
  • June 18: If you have received all your university/college decisions by June 4, reply to any offers by this date.  
  • June 30: Applications received after this date are entered into Clearing.  
  • July 5: Last date to apply in Extra.  
  • July 6: Clearing opens.  
  • July 13: If you submitted your applications by June 30, universities/colleges will decide whether they’re making an offer.  
  • July 14: If you have received all of your university/college decisions by July 9, reply by this date. 
  • August 13: A-level results day. All Clearing vacancies are displayed in the search tool via the UCAS website and Adjustment opens for registration.  
  • August 31: The deadline for any remaining conditions to be met – otherwise the university or college might not accept you. Adjustment ends.