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A Guide to UCAS Deadlines and Application

A Guide to UCAS Deadlines and Application

Created At:06 December, 2022
Created By:Passant Mohamed
Updated At:17 March, 2023
Student Housing
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If you are an international student pursuing a UK university offer, you surely know about UCAS and how critical it is when it comes to studying in the UK. It can be a bit stressful to go through a thoroughly calculated process, knowing that your whole future depends on it. But as stressful as it may be, it’s also so exciting and thrilling.

You may be unable to keep up with the regular procedures of UCAS varied deadlines, and applications as a student who has always followed a system of education in another country. However, while dates differ depending on the course and provider, there are some common guidelines.

No need to worry, though, as we are here to tell you everything you need to know about UCAS, its application procedures, and its deadlines.

What is UCAS?

UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a United Kingdom-based organisation that provides information, advice, and admissions services. You will come across UCAS when you try to apply to your university, as all full-time undergraduate course applications need to come through it. UCAS’s main role is to operate the application process for British universities, as well as send out offers to students.

UCAS Deadlines

UCAS Deadlines and Key Application Dates (2023 Entry Application Deadlines)

For courses starting in 2023, your application should be submitted to UCAS by one of the following dates – depending on what courses you apply for. If you submit your completed application by the deadline, including all of your personal information and academic references, you are guaranteed that it will be considered.

Also, remember to check your school/college’s deadline if you are applying through it so you can get your application on time. 

Updated deadlines for the 2023 entry:

  • 25 January 2023 at 18:00 (UK time): for certain courses, including dance, drama, and musical theatre courses. If you miss the January deadline, check the UCAS application deadline

  • 23 February 2023: UCAS Extra begins.

  • 18 May: for applications submitted on or before January 25, university decisions are usually received by this date.

  • 8 June 2023: reply to offers by this date if you receive all decisions by 18 May. 

  • 30 June 2023: applications received after this date are routed to Clearing, but those received before are routed to universities.

  • 4 July 2023: application deadline for UCAS Extra.

  • 5 July 2023: UCAS Clearing opens with vacancies beginning to be published.

  • 12 July 2023: university decisions due for applications submitted by 30 June. 

  • 17 July 2023: you need to reply to offers by this date, if you received all decisions by 12 July. 

  • 21 September 2023: last date for applications for 2023 entry.

  • 17 October 2023: the deadline for adding Clearing choices.

Find out when you need to reply and about the different replies to UCAS undergraduate offers you can make.

How to Apply to UK Universities Using UCAS?

One of the most exciting experiences you may have is gathering the necessary information and paperwork for the UCAS application. Still, it is a lengthy process. Although there is a lot to do before you can submit your application online, you are not required to finish it all at once.

First, filter the courses available on UCAS’s platform and compare between them. Then, you have to check the university's entry requirements and ensure you are ready and fit all criteria. Finally, you have to complete the application online before university admission deadlines. Don’t worry, though, we can get you through every step via our How to Apply to a UK University as an International Student blog.

What Happens Next?

Waiting for decisions on your application can be agonising. You need to be patient though, as each university and college make their decisions at different times, which means you might hear back before your friends do, or vice versa. However, there are deadlines by which they will need to have decided. If the university you’ve applied to does not make a decision by the appropriate deadline, that choice will be automatically marked unsuccessful.

UCAS Offers

Conditional Offers

A conditional offer means that there are some conditions you have to meet to get your place confirmed. For most people, this means waiting for results day in the summer to see if your exam results meet the conditions. The conditions could be grades, scores, subjects, or additional documents, so the university can finalise your application. They reassess your application and the extra documents so that you can get your place.

Unconditional Offers

This means you've already met the entry requirements, so congratulations, the place is yours if you want it! But first, check the offer to see if there's anything else you need to do. You might need to get a DBS or PVG check, provide proof of your results or submit other financial/medical documents. Contact your university or college if you have any questions or if a further requirement is unclear to you. By accepting an unconditional offer, you’re committed to attending that college or university and proceeding with the payment and visa application, if required. 

If the offers you’ve received are not among the ones you’d like to go for, you can decline them and apply using Extra or Clearing. 

Also, if you have been made an unconditional offer, and you are taking exams, your exam results won't affect your acceptance.

UCAS Extra and Clearing

UCAS Extra

Extra allows you to get another shot at getting a university offer. It usually starts in February and lasts till July. It is the official process for applicants who used all five choices but have not received any university offers, or for those who have decided to decline their offers. Applicants can keep applying for one course at a time until they receive an offer they're happy with. UCAS Extra is your second chance to gain a place at a university or college.

UCAS Clearing

Most universities would still have available places on their courses after the exam results are published. The UCAS Clearing process helps applicants to find and apply for those places at universities across the UK, which helps universities fill up any vacant spots on their courses. 

If an applicant doesn't get the grades they need for the university course they wish to apply to; Clearing gives them the chance to be on another course. This could be at the same university or a different one. Students can also apply for a university place directly through Clearing, even if they have not already made an application this year.

You still have a chance to get your seat in a 2023 course if you went through Clearing. Pay attention to the dates and deadlines, use the UCAS search tool to find available courses, and then contact each university or college concerned for a place. We wish you all the success in your studying journey. Good luck!


What needs to be done by these dates?

Give yourself enough time to complete your application, address any issues, and ensure that it reaches UCAS by the deadline.

Here's a quick summary of what needs to be done:

1. Fill in your details, qualifications, and course preferences.

2. Create a personal statement to prove that you'll excel at school.

3. Pay your application fee and add your reference.

Missed your deadline?

Many courses still accept applications after the main application deadline. We advise you to check with the universities first to see if there are any openings, especially for courses with a deadline of 15 October. This is because it's uncommon for them to accept late applications as their programmes are so competitive.

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