Application to universities in the UK

The application process to the UK universities can be complicated. But if you have an overview of everything you need, it is really not difficult. There are 5 steps that can help you.

Step 1: UCAS

UCAS is the central application system in the UK where you can create an account, enter all information and send it to universities.
You need to enter the following information:
  • personal details;
  • subjects and grades: you need to enter the grades exactly as it appears on your transcript. Do not upload any documents you will send them later;
  • courses: you can enter up to five universities.

Write a personal statement. It is challenging, especially when you do it for the first time. You need some time for writing it and editing may also require a lot of time.

A teacher, school representative or employer should write a reference for you on UCAS. So you enter the contact details of your referee and then he or she receives an email from UCAS with a link where they can submit their reference.

After that you should pay an application fee. It is approximately 20 pounds for one course and 25 pounds for several courses. You can pay by credit card and after payment you can submit the application.

Pay attention to deadlines: mostly it is the 15th of January (most recently the deadline has been on January 25th), but sometimes it is earlier. For example, the deadline for Oxford and Cambridge is on the 15th of October.

Step 2: Tests

Sometimes you need to take a test. You can do it at a local test center without going to the UK. You choose a test center, a suitable date and make sure that you have enough time for preparation.

Step 3: Interviews

Some universities do interviews. After submitting your application you will receive an email with an invitation to the interview. You will need to come to the UK or do it online: it depends on the place of living.

Step 4: Decisions

You can see a university decision on the UCAS track.

UCAS track is a section where you can check the status of your application. When the university makes a decision, UCAS will notify you by email.

University decisions can be the following:

  1. An uncoditional offer: if you accept it, the place is yours;
  2. A conditional offer: getting a place will depend on a fulfilling set conditions. For example, you should achieve a certain grade in your school certificate;
  3. A rejection: you do not get a place. But you can apply to five universities on UCAS and if you are rejected from one university, you have a chance to get an offer from others.

If you have received any kind of offer, you should follow next steps. There will be a deadline until which you have to decide if you accept the offer. It is better to make a decision according to your preferences:

  1. Pick a firm choice: if you accept an offer that is unconditional, you will get the place for sure.
  2. If you pick a conditional offer as your firm choice, you also should pick an insurance choice. In this case if you do not satisfy the conditions of your firm choice you may get the place of your insurance choice. It would really make sense if the requirements of the conditional offer of your insurance choice are not so high as in your firm choice.

Step 5: Further information

The universities will inform you via email about the course details or documents for submission. Just stick to the deadlines and make sure your application is complete.