Applying and Open Days

UCAS is The Universities and Colleges Admission Service, most students applying to universities and colleges apply through UCAS’s website.

The UCAS website has a search facility and provides information on courses and entry requirements.

Students can apply for up to five courses, which can be at different places or all with the same university or college. Your son or daughter can apply for undergraduate courses here

There is a cost to applying. If your child is applying for one course the cost is £20 and two to five courses cost £25 (October 2019).

The Prospects website has lots of useful information on how to apply to a university or college:

Throughout the application process your son or daughter will receive support from their school or college. For up to date information on when to apply and what you should be doing when, please visit:

Receiving offers and what they mean

Your child could receive an offer with different entry requirements. 

An ‘unconditional offer’ is an offer of a place on the course regardless of their final grades on results day, or for those who have already taken their exams and know their grades. 

A ‘conditional offer’ is where a place on the course is offered with conditions (usually grades, but could also include). If your child meets the conditions, they have a place.

Applying for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

Learners applying for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships do not follow the UCAS application process. Applications usually go directly to employers and vacancies can become available throughout the year. Many opportunities are advertised on both the UCAS Website  and the Government Apprenticeships website

Alternative offers

Depending on your child’s circumstances, some universities may offer your child a place on a course with an alternative offer. This will be either one or two grades below the standard entry requirements. Your child may be asked to accept this alternative offer as their firm choice before their results are announced.

Some universities run summer schools and taking part in these may mean a place is offered where grades are just below the standard entry requirements.

Top Tip! Find out about university alternative offers and summer school programmes. These will usually be open to students who are aged 16 or above.

Disrupted Studies

If your child has experienced any personal, social or domestic issues during their studies, universities may be able to take these circumstances into account when offering places. Speak to the university directly before your child applies for their course.

Useful dates

15th October – deadline for Oxford, Cambridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary applications.

15th January – deadline for students to apply for courses through UCAS and receive an offer before the 5th July.  

5th July – The Clearing system opens. Any applications received after the 30th June 2019 go into a separate system, this is called Clearing. Clearing is where unfilled courses are available to students who do not have a place at a university or college. Not all courses go into the Clearing system, some may be full by the time Clearing opens.

August – Results day.

20th October – Final deadline for students choosing a course through clearing, as long as they have a UCAS account.

Open Days offer the chance to get a lot of information about a university or college and the courses available.