Coronavirus updates for university applications 2021
Advice for students applying to university during the coronavirus pandemic.
Updated 6 January 2021
2021 applications: latest updates
A/AS Level and GCSE exams cancelled in 2021, vocational exams still going ahead in England
Teachers' estimated grades will be used to replace cancelled GCSEs and A/AS Levels in England this summer. Vocational exams – including BTECs – will still take place as planned in England.
2021 Scottish National 5 exams cancelled, Highers and Advanced Highers postponed
National 5 exams in Scotland will be replaced with teacher assessments and coursework next year. Highers and Advanced Highers exams to go ahead but will start two weeks later than planned, on 13 May 2021.
2021 Welsh A level and AS level exams have been cancelled and replaced by teacher-assessed grades
More details will be available during early 2021. Welsh students, or those taking these qualifications, should continue with their university applications as normal.
The cancellation of exams does not mean that students should stop working for their A Levels or AS levels, but alternative means of assessments are expected to take place in schools and colleges, including internal exams and mocks.
Changes to the 2021 application cycle
For January applications, the decision deadline for potential students has changed from 4 May to 10 June. Also, if you send your applications in to universities by the January deadline, they now have until 20 May to reply with decisions.
This gives universities more time to make offers, encourage campus visits and clearly set out their planned arrangements for teaching and accommodation in 2021.
It also gives applicants more time to visit universities and make informed choices. These decision date changes are a positive step for applicants.
You can find useful info to help you in your application journey in our articles on applying to uni.
Have a question about uni applications in the current situation?
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In the meantime, our advice about choosing a course and a university is unchanged: find the right course and the right institution for you.