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Applying to University and UCAS Deadlines

All applications to UK universities for full-time undergraduate courses are made through UCAS. Regardless of the course or university that you're applying to, you'll need to have a good grasp of the UCAS deadlines you're facing, as missing them could jeopardise your application.

Girl Applying To University
iStock/Willbrasil21
If you're looking to apply to university, you'll need to
use the UCAS website

Many colleges also recruit through the UCAS system. Along with universities, these institutions help to make up the list of over 700 providers featured in our Course Chooser.

If you're a performing arts student, you may want to apply to a conservatoire. Applications to most of these institutions need to be made through UCAS Conservatoires, and you can read about more about this system and the key dates here.

Applications to part-time courses are slightly different, and you will need to contact universities individually to find out how to apply.

If you are looking for postgraduate study, some are accessed via UCAS' UKPASS service, while others are processed by direct application. Read more about postgraduate applications here.

UCAS Application Deadlines – Key Dates for 2018 Entry

UCAS' online application procedure is called 'Apply'.

  • UCAS works closely with schools, colleges, libraries and other agencies to ensure that all applicants have access to this system.
  • Apply is available on the UCAS website alongside details of all the courses available so you can apply from any computer with access to the internet.
  • Read our advice on filling in your application.
  • March–September 2017 – During this time you should be researching and making choices about universities and courses. Open days, conferences and HE fairs/conventions take place between March and September/early October. You should make the most of school/college holidays to visit universities, colleges, and university cities/towns. Applications can be sent to UCAS from 6 September 2017.
  • 15 October 2017 – Deadline (by 18:00 UK time) to send UCAS any applications for Cambridge or Oxford, or Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science/Medicine in any university.
  • 15 January 2018  Deadline (by 18:00 UK time) to send UCAS most other applications to be treated equally from the UK or elsewhere in the EU (except some Art and Design courses – check with the universities, and see the infographic below for more details).
  • 24 March 2018 – Deadline (by 18:00 UK time) to send UCAS applications for some Art and Design courses (make sure to check; see infographic below).

If you miss the January deadline, you can still apply up until 30 June 2018 (by 18:00 UK time). But be aware, universities do not have to accept your application, and applications will be marked as 'late'.

Many schools and colleges will encourage students to apply well before the 15 January deadline, with early November a common school/college deadline. This allows the school to add things such as references, and check personal statements and choices.

Full list of UCAS Deadlines and Key Dates for 2018 Entry

The infographic below contains the full list of UCAS deadlines and key dates for students applying for 2018 entry. Some of the dates may not be relevant to you, but make sure to read it through and note down any that are. And remember, it never hurts to be sorted long before a deadline!

  • Check for any changes to the detailed UCAS procedures for 2018 entry here.