How to apply for a university course

A group of smiling prospective students When your son or daughter has chosen a university course, it is time to apply.

Apply via UCAS

All applications for undergraduate university degree courses are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Typically, they must submit their application to UCAS by 15 January deadline to give them the best possible chance of securing a place at their preferred university. For further details, look up the key UCAS dates so you are aware of what you have to do when.

They can choose up to 5 courses to apply for. These can be at one university or spread across different institutions. The same application is used for the 5 choices so selecting similar topics will make it easier to write a focused submission.

Completing the UCAS application

If you have questions on how to apply, you can talk to staff during a university open day visit. You will also find useful information in the UCAS Apply video below.


The UCAS application is made online. Information required include:

  1. personal details and information about support requirements.
  2. background details.
  3. course and university choices.
  4. education and qualifications overview.
  5. employment details and experience.
  6. personal statement.

The reference

When they submit the UCAS application, it is automatically passed to their school so that a reference can be attached by their school or college tutor.

When the reference has been attached, the application is sent by UCAS to the universities applied for.

UCAS Track

Log in to UCAS Track to keep an eye on their application once it has been submitted. UCAS will use Track to keep them updated on its progress.

How to support your son or daughter

You should allow plenty of time to research courses and universities before it is time to complete the application.

Familiarise yourself with the UCAS application form and the key application dates so that you can guide your son or daughter if required.

Next step

Writing a personal statement
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