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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

How to apply for higher education courses

How and when you apply for higher education depends on what type of course you’re applying for - and, in some cases, which universities or colleges you’re applying to. Whichever route you use, it’s worth starting your preparations well in advance.

Full-time courses: how to apply

Apply now for 2012/13 courses

You can apply through UCAS for courses starting from September 2012 now. Make sure you apply by the deadlines

For the vast majority of full-time undergraduate courses, you’ll need to apply online through the UCAS website. See 'A guide to higher education admissions through UCAS’ to find out how this works.

If you don’t have access to the internet at home, school or college, try visiting your nearest UK online centre.

If you’re applying to a music conservatoire

Admissions to all UK music conservatoires, except The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, are dealt with by the Conservatoires UK Admissions Service (CUKAS).

Postgraduate courses

The application procedures are different for postgraduate courses, including Initial Teacher Training. See ‘Finding a postgraduate place’ for more information.

Full-time courses: when to apply

Make sure you're aware of the application deadlines

To be considered ‘on time’, you’ll need to meet the relevant deadline. For most full-time courses, this falls on the 15 January before you’re looking to start (so about nine months prior to courses starting in September).

For certain courses and institutions, the deadline can be earlier or later.

See ‘Completing your UCAS application’ for more details on deadlines.

Part-time courses: how to apply

For part-time courses, apply direct to the university or college. You can search for part-time courses online through Cross & Stitch.

Preparing to apply

To make sure you get the most out of your higher education course, it’s best to start researching your options well in advance.

Start thinking about it at least a year prior to the application deadline. You can find tips on what to consider in ‘Where to go, what to study’.

If you’re applying through UCAS, it’s a good idea to register for their ‘Apply’ service as soon as possible. This will give you plenty of time to work on your application - especially the ‘personal statement’ section.

Before you apply

If you’re planning to take a year out, be sure to contact your colleges and universities and check that they will accept an application for deferred entry.

If you have the time, getting some work experience relevant to your course may help to make your application more impressive.

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