Students in a school group applying for university

 by Jon Cheek
, posted On 15 Jun '22
 Director, UniTasterDays.com

A school and college guide to the university admission process and the offers students may receive

This blog content was kindly supplied for the Teachers' Guide to University by Bethan Howe, when in employment as the Schools and Colleges Engagement Officer at Anglia Ruskin University.

With multiple deadlines and key dates for students to remember during their last year of school or college, it can make the university admissions process appear daunting and confusing. To support you to guide students in the correct direction, I have provided a short guide to the admissions process with some key points to take away.

Pre-application pointers

Once a student has decided on a course(s), and they’ve chosen one to five universities on UCAS, it’s time for them to submit their application. This should always be completed before the application deadline in January (October if they are applying to Medicine or Oxbridge). These deadlines can be easily accessed on the UCAS website.

Once the application is in

After applications are received, universities will begin their decision-making process. They will take into consideration the academic entry requirements, the student’s personal statement and reference, plus the skills and experience demonstrated throughout the application. In short, it is the university’s role to ensure every student has the capability to succeed on their chosen course.

Now is the exciting and nerve-wracking part for students, waiting for their offers. Students are likely to hear back at different times from their friends. Offers are emailed to them and displayed on UCAS Track, where each student will need to login to accept or decline them. Additionally, if the course requires an interview, audition, or portfolio, this will be displayed here.

University offers

If a student has been offered a university place, it will show as either unconditional or conditional. An unconditional offer means the student has already met the entry requirements and has a place. If they choose to accept an unconditional offer, they are committing themselves to the course and university. On the other hand, if the offer is conditional, the student will have to meet the conditions to secure a place. The criteria is shown on UCAS Track and will often mean waiting until results day in summer to confirm it.

Alternatively, students may receive an unsuccessful or an application withdrawal. If they are unsuccessful, the university has decided not to offer them a place. The student might be able to add extra choices if they’d like to, and this will show on UCAS Track if they’re eligible. With regards to withdrawal, this can mean that either the student has withdrawn/ not been in touch, or the university has removed their course choice. If this happens, there are plenty of options for students, our best advice is for the student to get in touch with their chosen University.



Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.


This brochure has been produced by UniTasterDays.com in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 35 colleagues at universities and higher education institutions throughout the UK. On topics covering how to support students with their university decisions, university events, widening participation & fair access, UCAS applications (including writing school references) and more. It also includes the key student finance facts from Martin Lewis.


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