UCAS Application Guide 2023: How to Apply to UK Universities

UCAS Application Guide 2023: How to Apply to UK Universities

7 mins read8.2K Views 1 Comment
Anumika Bahukhandi
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 30, 2023 00:55 IST
UCAS for United Kingdom

What is UCAS?

If you are harbouring a dream to study in the UK, you might be well placed if you are thorough with the system of UCAS. UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admission Services and is essentially an interface between students wanting to pursue a course of their choice in the UK and the various colleges and universities offering such courses. It is a central organization that deals with all admission-related processes of the aspirants to study a course of their liking in UK-based higher educational institutes. UCAS also assists you with facilities such as consulting, and research, and provides suggestions related to colleges, professional bodies, careers, etc.

USAS Application Procedure 2023

How to apply through UCAS?

To be considered for any college or university based in the UK, one must fill out the UCAS application form available on their website. You can register with them either independently or through your current institution (in case your school/college is registered with UCAS). Once you have registered, you will have to fill in detailed information about your course of study and related fields

Important aspects of the application

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Courses of study - One can choose a maximum of five courses in the UCAS application form, which means that you can either choose five courses at one university or five different courses at five different universities. Therefore, it is prudent that you explore the courses that you want to choose as also the institutions offering those courses exhaustively. You can explore these options on the UCAS website itself, which comes in quite handy with inbuilt filters like the subject, university, location of the university, and your location to streamline your research.  

Statement of purpose – As the name suggests, a statement of purpose is simply an overview of your strengths, skills, and qualifications that make you a perfect candidate for this course and university. Be sure that you invest a great deal of time in writing one as it will allow the assessors to gauge your suitability for a course. It is important, to be honest in demonstrating your skills and accomplishments. Stick to the word limit and write information that is relevant to the course of your study. You can take the help of professionals if this task seems to be daunting. However, you must own every word of it. Plan and redraft it till the time it best reflects your abilities and skills.

References – Reference is a letter of recommendation that is usually written by a teacher or an employer highlighting your strengths and credibility. In the event of filling out your application form, you will be required to upload two references; hence, it becomes necessary that you request the same from the concerned individual way before the approaching deadline. To be on the safer side, you can approach multiple people to recommend you so that you end up with the required number of references to get ahead with your application.

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Steps to Apply through UCAS

Follow the below-mentioned steps in order to apply for an undergraduate course through UCAS:

Visit the UCAS official website: Visit the official website of UCAS and move your cursor over the Discover tab on the page. Select 'UCAS Hub'. Select the year when you wish to begin your studies along with your level of study. Open the application form and answer the asked registration questions. Keep in mind that the name you provide in the application is the same as that on your official documents or IDs such as passport, academic certificates, birth certificate, etc.

Complete registration: You need to answer all the questions as skipping any of the sections is not allowed. You may complete half of your form, save your progress and sign in again next time and resume the registration process. The email address provided by you should be accurate as everything related to your admission will be communicated there only.

Education & Employment Details: Starting from your secondary education, you will have to provide details of all your qualifications, irrespective of the fact that your results have been declared or not. These details will be used to match the set entry requirements. You will also have to fill in your employment history, if any, which includes all your full-time/part-time paid jobs.

Selecting Courses: A maximum of five courses can be selected. Those applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science can select only upto four courses.

Personal Statement: Make your personal statement as attractive as possible. Write about your intention to study at a specific university or university as well as about the course you would like to study. 

Submit the Application: After you've responded to everything asked, you will get a chance to review all your responses. You may make any edits, if required, and ensure that every information provided by you is correct. Before the final submission, you will have to provide a reference from your teacher, mentor or professional who has been involved with you academically.

UCAS Application Deadline 2024

The application deadline for most of the courses for the year 2023 intake is over. But there still might be some courses which may have an existing deadline. In case you've missed the deadline, you can apply for those courses as there are many institutions which accept applications from overseas students till the end of the year. They can contact their selected universities separately and ask about the same.

We are therefore sharing the application deadline dates and details for the 2024 admission cycle below.

Date Details
May 2, 2023 Courses for the year 2024 will be displayed in UCAS search tool
May 16, 2023 Application filling begins for UG courses but the same can only be submitted after September 5, 2023
October 16, 2023 Last day for submitting the application for any programme at the University of Oxford and Cambridge (or for the majority of courses in dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine)
January 31, 2024 Last day for submitting the application for the majority of the courses

UCAS Application Track

Once you submit your application, the universities and colleges that you have chosen will decide whether to make you an offer which can be either conditional or unconditional, depending on whether you have the requisite qualifications. Once you have made your decision regarding the course that you’re interested in, you need to reply to the offers by a specific deadline.

UCAS Track- The UCAS TRACK facility on the platform allows you to track the status and progress of your application. It allows you to see whether the seat for the course you have chosen is confirmed or not. It also gives you a chance to make certain changes to your application, such as your contact details, and course details, adding more choices, or cancelling your application. To simplify your experience with this service, there is ample of advice available on the platform to help you throughout.

Is UCAS only for UK-based Universities?

UCAS is purely a system to get into universities and colleges based in the UK which comprises England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. No other country apart from the UK accepts UCAS applications as a way to gain admission into universities and colleges.

How your application is reviewed?

Once your UCAS application is received, the admission team will go through it and filter the same on the basis of the below-mentioned factors:

  • References
  • Academic qualifications and achievements
  • Interest to gain knowledge and a positive attitude towards personal development
  • An idea about the chosen subject/course and commitment towards it
  • Personal statement's impact
  • How fluently can the student communicate his/her ideas or thoughts in writing

What if you have not been offered a course by any university?

Well, in that case, all is not lost yet, you can still grab a place in a UK-based institution by using the UCAS Clearing facility. This service is available for students who don’t get their required grades or have not received an offer or have not yet applied. Alternatively, if you are applying after 30th June 2023, your application automatically goes into the clearing. UCAS Clearing runs from 5th July until mid-September.

Grabbing a seat in a prestigious UK-based institution is hard to come by.  However, once you are through with your admission process and have gained admission to a course and college of your choice, it’s time to sit back and relax. Studying in the UK comes with manifold benefits for students- it not only offers students the best of the curriculum but also allows them to explore a new culture jam-packed with unlimited possibilities. The various courses and programs designed for international students ensure that they adapt to the new culture and environment smoothly and contribute as well as acquire the best of student life UK has to offer.

Learn more about studying in UK:

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About the Author
Written by
Anumika Bahukhandi
Study Abroad Expert

Holding an overall experience of 5 years, Anumika Bahukhandi has worked in the field of Journalism as a reporter/journalist, feature writer, and senior sub-editor with renowned media houses. She has been associated ... Read Full Bio

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Expert in all courses in UK

She has done her Bachelors of Commerce from ‘’Delhi University’’ and PGDIB from ‘’Symbiosis- Pune’’. Her educational background and rich experience of 4.5 years in abroad education industry so far, has enabled her ... Read Full Bio




Rishi Saboo

3 years ago

but by january we do not even right the board exams? im getting confused.. can u please help me in this like say i want to apply for 2021-22 then what will be my application timeline??

Reply to Rishi Saboo

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