Mar 27, 2020

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, commonly known as UCAS, is a centralised service that everybody who wants to study in the UK has to use during the university application process.

If you want to go to university to pursue undergraduate study you’ll need to know all about UCAS.The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, commonly known as UCAS, is a centralised service that everybody who wants to study in the UK has to use during the university application process. To give you a head start we’ve put together some UCAS FAQs with information on clearing options.

General UCAS FAQs

What does UCAS stand for?

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

How do I register for UCAS?

You can register with UCAS and track your applications on the UCAS website.

What are university entry requirements?

Entry requirements differ depending on the institution — with requirements for each university or further education establishment visible using the UCAS search tool.

What are UCAS tariff points?

The UCAS tariff is the system’s way of allocating applicants points for their qualifications. Not all qualifications are awarded with tariff points. However, by speaking to the university or college directly you may be able to use all of your qualifications as an appropriate entry route.

How can I change my application?

You can make changes to your application choices depending on which stage of the process you’re at. Changes to information such as address, telephone number and email address can be made at any time.

How do I get a reference?

You can get a reference through your school or college which is registered with UCAS or apply as an individual.

What should I include in my personal statement?

You should include why you want to apply, including your ambitions and interests. Also include what makes you suitable for the course, including relevant experience, skills or achievements gained from education or work.UCAS also has a video containing advice on how to write a personal statement.

Do international students need to apply through UCAS?

Yes. The same process is used for applications from all countries.

Do I need to include a photograph in my application?


When is the UCAS deadline?

The UCAS deadline differs each year so check before starting your applications so you don’t miss it.

Can I apply after the deadline?

Yes. Your application will be processed by UCAS after the deadline but there are no guarantees universities will consider it equally alongside applications submitted before the deadline.

How many UCAS applications can I make each year?

One. Duplicate applications will be detected by the system and then deleted.

Do universities use Skype to conduct interviews?

Universities are increasingly using video calls to conduct interviews, especially when interviewing international and EU applicants.

Do I need to include all my choices when first applying through UCAS?

No. Additional choices can be added up to June 30th using the track function as long as no other applications have received replies.

What happens after my application is submitted?

You will be sent a welcome email with a personal ID that is used to log in and track the progress of your application.

Will the universities I apply for know which other institutions I have applied for?

Not until you have accepted your offers or if you have no live choices.

I am an international student — how do I log my qualifications?

Log them exactly how they appear on your certificates (don’t try and choose a UK equivalent).


What is UCAS Extra?

If you receive no offers from your initial choices or you’re not holding an offer you’ll be able to add additional choices using UCAS Extra. Once you accept an offer you cannot add any more choices.

Who is eligible to use UCAS Extra?

Those who have used all five choices in their application and who are you’re not holding any offers.

How many choices can I make with UCAS Extra?

There is no limit but only one application can be considered at a time.

Is there a deadline to reply to Extra offers?

Yes. The date you must reply to is shown in track. If you fail to reply by this date the offer will be automatically declined.

If I accept a place with Extra, can I decline it and go into Clearing later?

Yes. If you don’t meet the conditions of their offer, you will automatically become eligible for Clearing.

Clearing FAQs

When is clearing active?

Clearing is active between July and September each year.

Does clearing cost more than the standard application process?

No. The clearing process is available to anybody who has paid to use UCAS for their university application.

Where are clearing vacancies listed?

You can find them using the UCAS search tool from July.

I don’t want my firm choice, can I use clearing?

Yes. You can change your mind if you don’t want your firm choice by declining your place using the UCAS track function.

Where can I find my clearing number?

If you are eligible for clearing it will be visible on the ‘your choices’ section of the UCAS track function.


Will I need to use UCAS when applying for university in Scotland?

Yes. The process is the same as it is in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Can I apply for university in Scotland if English isn’t my first language?

You can but must prove your English language ability to prove you can take part in lectures, tutorials, seminars and be able to complete coursework and exams.

Do I have to pay for university in Scotland?

Tuition is free if you are a British citizen who is already a Scottish resident or a resident of another EU country (except England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and are studying for your first undergraduate degree.

Comfortable Student Accommodation

Once you’ve accepted an offer to move to university it’s time to think about where you want to live.Find out more about our comfortable living accommodation for students in Salford and Dundee.

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