UCAS Application: All You Need to Know

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 7, 2020 13:04 IST

What is UCAS?

If you are harboring 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 process of the aspirants to study a course of their liking in the UK based higher educational institutes.

How to apply through UCAS?

To be considered for any college or university based in the UK, one must fill 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

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 if you explore the courses that you want to choose as also the institutions offering that course 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 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 a 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.

UCAS Application Deadline for 2019

The deadlines vary for different courses.  If you are applying for the 2020 entry, then the deadlines range from October to January depending on the courses.  If you want to pursue a course in performing arts, the deadline for applying through UCAS Conservatoire was 1st October 2019. The deadline for Oxford, Cambridge, and most of the courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine was 15th October 2019. In the case of most of the undergraduate courses, the deadline is 15th January 2020.  One must ensure that the personal details, course choices, personal statement of purpose, references, and fee payment are completed before the deadline. You should plan a year before the deadlines to ensure your candidature.

What happens once you submit your application?

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, course details, adding more choices, or cancel 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 application as a way to gain admission into universities and colleges.

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 2020, 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.

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio




Rishi Saboo

2 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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