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What to do if you miss the UCAS deadline

Missing the UCAS application deadline isn’t the end of the world and you still have plenty of options. Find out what happens and what you can do if you apply to uni after the deadline.

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  1. When are the UCAS deadlines?

  2. What are your options if you miss the deadline?

  3. How will universities respond?

  4. What's different this year?

When are the UCAS deadlines?

The UCAS 2022 deadline to apply for most undergraduate courses is 26 January 2022. You can still apply after this date but universities may now treat applications on a first-come, first-served basis rather than apply equal weighting.

Universities aren't required to wait until the deadline to make offers, but treat applications equally. Many students get offers before the deadline, some as early as October. 

Applying after the deadline means some popular courses won’t have spaces left once offers start to be made, but most courses will still accept late applications. 

Find out more about UCAS deadlines and applying to university

What are your options if you miss the deadline?

You can still apply through the usual UCAS application system until 30 June. Applications after this date will be automatically entered into Clearing.

It's not uncommon for students to send their applications in after January. In 2021, 9.6% of all undergraduate applications were submitted after the January deadline but before the June deadline. This may be so again as some students decide to apply to university after all, or students who've already left school or college decide to make a later application. 

UCAS Extra will open on 25 February 2022, giving you an additional option should you need it. It lets you add a further choice if you hold no offers or if you decline the offers you do have. 

Use our course search to check which courses still have places available, but bear in mind this will be continually updated as these spots are filled. 

How will universities respond?

Universities will consider every application. However, after the 26 January deadline, they’re no longer required to treat each application the same. 

Some popular courses (particularly those with caps on numbers) such as Midwifery and Primary Teaching may fill up quickly and some universities will have filled their spaces by the deadline. Contact the uni and check their available courses before you apply.

What’s different this year?

UCAS and universities will still work together to give students offers in the normal way. Unlike the previous two years, students are expected to sit exams at the end of the 2022 school year, rather than receiving teacher assessed grades. Some interviews, open days and offer holder days will continue to be online, while others will be in person. This will depend on what the university chooses to do.

Results aren't expected to arrive any earlier or later than usual this year. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has already confirmed that results day for Scottish students will be on 9 August 2022, while A Level results day has been confirmed for 18 August 2022. Clearing could be busier than usual, but this is yet to be confirmed. 

There will still be lots of spaces on courses and universities are working hard to make sure the application process isn’t interrupted too much by the pandemic. We suggest you go ahead with your application as normal to make sure you’re ready for university in September.

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