University Tips Blog
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A headshot image of the author, Andy Long

by Andy Long

Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Access Manager (UK) at Keele University

posted on 8 Feb '23

A parent guide to university application deadlines

Understanding what happens on different dates is one of the key aspects of the UCAS application process that can cause lots of headaches for students if they miss a key deadline.

These dates do change slightly year on year (so always check the dates for each year) but this guide will provide you with an overview of when different things open and close - to make sure that the application process is as smooth as possible for the person you support.

UCAS opens (May)

Students can begin creating their application 18 months before they apply and add information including personal details and their education profile. It might be useful for them to get a head start on the application and complete the easier sections as early as possible.

Oxford, Cambridge and courses in medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry (16th October for 2023 entry)

Applications must be submitted by 18:00 for these. Those submitted after this deadline will not be considered by those institutions. Other choices which do not fall into these can be added at a later date, so all five choices do not need to be used at once.

Fair and equal consideration deadline (last Wednesday in January)

Universities must consider any applications submitted by this point fair and equally against each other. This is also the earliest that a university can close courses where they have received enough applications for them.

Image of a student looking at university dates and deadlines

UCAS Extra opens (25th February)

Sometimes, a student ends up not holding an offer from their five choices. UCAS Extra allows a student to submit an application to another university for consideration, one at a time.

University decisions from the January deadline (May)

If a student has applied to university by the January deadline, they will hear back from their university choices in May. Universities have to stick to this timeline so students know when they will get an outcome to make their subsequent choices.

Firm/insurance choice (9th June)

Students need to decide where they want to go. From the offer they receive, they need to make their firm (first) and insurance (second) choice and then decline the others. This is a key decision that students undertake and should not be rushed.

A Level results day (18th August)

One of the most important dates within the application process. Although it is the results day for A Level students, it is also when the confirmation of places for students studying all different qualifications happen. This day is the most emotional day of it all, so it is key to make sure you are around to support students with whatever happens on this day, both good and bad.

Other key deadlines

There are many other key deadlines along the way that students need to meet. Many of these deadlines are linked into processes like accommodation, finance and scholarships which they do not want to miss out on. Schools and colleges can provide support with making sure the students can meet all the deadlines set by UCAS, universities and other key organisations.

Just a boring note from UniTasterDays...

Deadlines may be subject to change - so always check the dates.

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