When to apply for university through UCAS

When to apply for university via UCAS
Our guide to the UCAS application process sets out the key deadline dates if you are applying for 2018 entry to university.

If you understand how the UCAS system works and know the key deadlines for applying to university, you’ll be well placed to get onto the course you want.

Before you apply through UCAS

The application process for UCAS begins quite early in your last year of school or college, so you need to take some time beforehand to think about the following questions:

  • What do you want to study and where?
  • If you don’t want to go on to higher education straight away, do you want to take a gap year, get a job, or look for an apprenticeship?
  • Use our advice on choosing your subject, course and university and on the alternatives to university to help you. Take time to research courses and universities online and to attend open days and taster courses.
  • Worried about the expense? Our guidance on the cost of a degree sets out how much you are likely to have to pay, and explains the options for funding.

UCAS application timetable for 2018 university entry

  1. 6 September 2017 Earliest you can submit applications using UCAS Apply.
  2. 15 October (6.00 pm UK time) Deadline for applications to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and applications for most medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and veterinary science courses.
  3. 15 January 2018 (6.00 pm UK time) Deadline for applications to the majority of courses, except those listed on UCAS with a 15 October or 24 March closing date.
  4. 25 February UCAS Extra opens. If you’ve changed your mind about what you want to do, UCAS Extra allows you to submit further applications without waiting for Clearing. You can use UCAS Extra if you have used all five choices in your original application and have either received no offers or have declined any offers you have received.
  5. 24 March (6.00 pm UK time) Deadline for applications to art and design courses, apart from those with a 15 January closing date.
  6. 2 May If you received all of your decisions from universities and colleges by 31 March you must respond to any offers by this date, unless you are using Extra or you have a postal address outside the EU.
  7. 3 May All university and college offers for applications submitted by 15 January must be made by this date.
  8. 7 June If you received all of your decisions from universities and colleges by 3 May you must respond to any offers by this date, unless you are using Extra.
  9. 21 June If you received all your decisions from universities and colleges by 7 June you must respond to any offers by this date, unless you are using Extra.
  10. 30 June If you apply after this date, your application will go into Clearing. You can only apply for one place at a time through Clearing.
  11. 4 July UCAS Extra closes.
  12. 5 July Clearing opens and you can search for vacancies. You need to talk to any universities or colleges you are interested in and if you have time, it's a good idea to pay them a visit. You need to have confirmation from the university that it is happy to offer you a place before you add it as a choice in Clearing. This is also International Baccalaureate results day.
  13. 12 July Universities and colleges make decisions on all applications received before 30 June by this date.
  14. 19 July This is the deadline for responding to any offers received from universities and colleges by 12 July.
  15. TBC Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) examination results day (was 8 August in 2017).
  16. 16 August A level results are published. If you had conditional offers but your results haven’t gone to plan, you can use Clearing to apply for other courses. If you've done better than expected and have got higher grades than are needed for your conditional firm choice offer, you could use Adjustment to look for another course.
  17. 31 August Adjustment ends.
  18. 20 September (6.00 pm UK time) Last chance to submit applications through UCAS for 2017 entry.

How to fill in your UCAS application form

UCAS applications: tips for handling offer

Teacher or parent?

Join our mailing list to receive monthly newsletters from our TARGETcareers and Inspiring Futures teams to help you support your school leavers in their career and university decision making.


Teachers and parents

Planning to discuss careers or university with teenagers? Get up to speed on their options and employability prospects with our help.

Explore options

Register today

Sign up to access to use your dashboard and receive extra advice in your inbox

Sign up