UCAS deadlines and offer dates

When to apply for university via UCAS
Our guide to UCAS key dates for 2021 entry sets out the deadlines for when candidates need to apply and when universities must provide their decisions.

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. For most candidates it’s quite straightforward – you just need to know when UCAS applications start and when the UCAS deadline is that applies to you (either the main deadline or the early deadline for Oxbridge and medicine-related courses). However, there are additional deadlines if you want to make a late application, go through Clearing or use UCAS Extra to broaden your options if you haven't got an offer you want to accept.

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 2021 university entry

  1. 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.
  2. 29 January 2020 (6.00 pm UK time) Deadline for applications to the majority of courses.
  3. 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.
  4. 20 May All university and college offers for applications submitted by 29 January must be made by this date.
  5. 10 June If you received all of your decisions from universities and colleges by 20 May you must respond to any offers by this date, unless you are using Extra.
  6. 30 June (6.00 pm UK time) Last chance to make a standard application that includes more than one course. If you apply after this date, your application will go into Clearing. You can only apply for one place at a time through Clearing.
  7. 4 July UCAS Extra closes.
  8. 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.
  9. 13 July Universities and colleges make decisions on all applications received before 30 June by this date.
  10. 14 July This is the deadline for responding to any offers received from universities and colleges by 13 July.
  11. 10 August Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) examination results day.
  12. 21 September (6.00 pm UK time) Last chance to submit applications through UCAS for 2021 entry.

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