Right Time to Apply to UK Universities

Published On: 26 Jun 2012

 | Last Updated On: 28 May 2014

Applying to universities in the right time is one of the most important parts of the process of moving to the UK for higher education. In order to avoid last minute rushes, or losing out on your preferred course because of a delayed application, make sure you apply for courses well in advance.

The dates for application depend on whether you are under graduate student or a post graduate student. While it is single process for UG courses through a single body, for PG courses, you need to sort out the courses and university and their deadlines before you start applying to them. Ideally, you should make a list of all university deadlines and mark them on your calendars. In case you have any doubts regarding the last date for applications, do check with your university.

Also, remember to set aside sufficient time for formalities or procedures including immigration, making travel arrangements, and finding accommodation. These formalities can take more time during the summer months when immigration departments are busy.

Applications to Under Graduate Programs:

Applications to UK universities for full-time UG programs are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UCAS website helps students with their applications to various universities in the UK. However, for part-time courses you will need to contact individual universities to find out the procedure for making an application.

The earlier you start with your research on colleges and courses, the sooner you can begin applying. To avoid missing out on a wonderful opportunity to move abroad for your education, keep a close eye on your deadline list. It is extremely important to send in your applications in time, as several universities as well as UCAS have stringent deadlines. There are mainly three application deadlines for courses you apply for through UCAS. They vary according to the course you choose.

Under Graduate application deadlines

Your application should be with UCAS by one of these dates – depending on what course you apply for:

15 October at 18:00: For the universities of Oxford, Cambridge or any professional course in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry. 

15 January at 18:00: This is the major deadline for the majority of UG courses in UK.

24 March at 18:00 For some art and design courses except those listed with a deadline of 24 March.

What needs to be done by these dates?

·         You need make sure your completed application reaches UCAS.

·         Your reference is included.

·         You've paid your application fee.

Applying after the deadline:

If you are an international student (outside the UK or EU) you must be well aware of the three deadlines mentioned above, although colleges may consider your applications up to June 30. However, this does not apply to those applying for courses in Oxford or Cambridge University. This also does not apply to students applying to courses in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.

For the mentioned courses, your applications must reach the UCAS by 15 October. Do keep in mind that universities do not guarantee to consider applications that they receive after 15 January. Also many popular courses may fill up by then. Do check with individual universities in case you have any doubts regarding deadlines. However, we suggest you apply as early as possible.

Applications to Post Graduate studies:

Unlike the undergraduate application procedure there is no single body that covers all postgraduate admissions. For most postgraduate courses you apply direct to the university and each will have its own process. There are some exceptions such as teacher training where you apply through UCAS Teacher Training.

You should apply as early as possible for postgraduate study and this is particularly important if you want to apply for funding as well. Most funding bodies will have deadlines and will expect you to have a provisional offer from the university before you apply for funding.

Applying early is particularly important for an Indian student. This is because an offer of a place is needed for many of the Scholarships available and closing dates can often be early in the year. Furthermore, you will need to have an unconditional offer from a course and be able to demonstrate that you have secured funding before you can apply for your student visa.

Post Graduate courses deadlines:

The majority of postgraduate courses do not have official application closing dates. However, there are exceptions which include teacher training programmes and courses in law and medicine. So you need to make sure you have applied very early to complete the whole process.

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