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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Completing your UCAS application

Applications for most full-time university or college places are made through UCAS. Make sure you know the relevant deadline - for some courses and colleges, it's earlier than others.

Registering to apply

Apply now for 2012/13

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

Applications to UCAS can only be made online. To register an application through a school, college or careers organisation you will need their 'buzzword'. If you are applying as an individual you do not need one. After registering you will be given a username and asked to enter your own password.

You can register in the summer before you plan to make your online application. The earliest you can submit a finished application is the September before you want to start your course, unless you are applying for deferred entry (for example, applying in the 2012 cycle for 2013 entry).

If you choose to defer your place until 2013, you will still need to meet any conditions (for example, qualification grades) by the end of August 2012, unless otherwise agreed with the university or college.

Completing the UCAS application

There are seven sections on the application: personal details, additional information (for UK applicants only), choices, education, employment, personal statement and reference. In the choices section, you can list up to five courses.

The application has an A to Z list of universities and higher education colleges, and also course codes, so you just have to click and select.

Personal statement and employment sections

Your personal statement should cover why you are interested in the courses you’ve applied for, and what you hope to do after your studies.

In the employment section, you can list your part-time or summer jobs.


Once you've completed all sections of your application, click 'Send to referee' so the person who's acting as a referee can check your details and add their reference. If you're not at school or college and are applying independently your referee sends their reference directly into your application through the UCAS secure website. You'll need to give your referee's contact details and then ask them by email to provide a reference online.

UCAS application fee and deadlines

Make sure you're aware of the application deadlines

For 2012 entry, it costs £22 to apply for more than one course, university or college through UCAS. It costs £11 if you only apply for one course at one university or college.

For most courses, you’ll need to get your application to UCAS by 15 January 2024 in order to be considered ‘on time’ (so about nine months prior to courses starting in September). However, you must apply by 15 October 2023 if you're studying medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science, or if you're applying to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge.

There are two deadlines for art and design courses, which are 15 January 2024 or 24 March 2012. Check the UCAS Course Search to find out the deadline for your art and design course.

Whichever course you're applying for, UCAS advises students to apply well before the deadline. However, you can still apply through UCAS up to the end of June 2012. Universities and colleges may still consider your application, but the most popular courses may already be full. If you apply after the end of June, you’ll automatically go into Clearing.

Personal ID and password

Once UCAS has processed your application, you get a Personal ID. You can use this, in combination with your username and password, to track the progress of your application. You also get a welcome letter in the post.

What happens next?

Once you've made your UCAS application, you can apply for financial help as soon as student finance applications open. You don't need to wait for an offer.

See ‘Student finance' for more on financial support, and the ‘Guide to higher education admissions through UCAS’ for details on what happens once you’ve submitted your application.

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