Applying to uni

Here's an overview of how the process works, step by step.

Step 1: Choose Courses

Find out the UCAS codes for each of your child’s 5 chosen courses. You can find this on the UCAS course search, on the institution’s website, or prospectus.

Step 2: Apply to UCAS

You apply online, or often the school or college can do it for you. It’s a step by step process with lots of advice and you can always save and come back to it. It costs £19. Sections include:

The main deadline is the 15th January, but you need to apply by October, for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or any course at Oxford or Cambridge Universities.

UCAS links: Apply Guide to Applying Ask a Question Application Timetable

Step 3: Interview

Your child might be invited to interview, especially if the course is competitive and/or vocational. Examples of vocational courses include: medicine, hairdressing, nursing, teaching, social work, etc.

Interview Tips

Step 4: Offers

By May, the universities or colleges will reply with offers through the UCAS website. Offers will be either unconditional, conditional (depending on exam results) or no offer. If your child has no offers, they will enter ‘clearing’. See below.

The website will set a deadline for replying to offers. By that point, they must either firmly accept an offer, accept one as a backup in case they don’t get the grades they need, or reject the offer. See UCAS for more.

Step 5: Funding

If your child is made an offer, including a conditional offer, they should apply for funding NOW! If their course changes, tell SAAS.

Step 6: Results

If the offer was conditional, hopefully the exam results will get them in. Otherwise, they can fall back on their backup choice or go into ‘clearing’. If they had a conditional offer and they have much better results than expected, they can enter ‘adjustment’ which lets them apply for harder courses while still reserving their place.

Step 7: Clearing

If your child is unsuccessful in gaining a place on their first choice of course, clearing is a chance to apply for other courses which still have spaces.

What next? Getting Ready for College or Uni UCAS advice on getting ready Complete Uni Guide - Preparing