Applying to University

Applying to University

You apply for undergraduate degrees through the University & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), online at You can apply for up to five courses on your UCAS application. This could be the same course at five different universities, five different courses at the sae university, or a mix. The application fee is £26.50.

When to Apply?

For undergraduate degrees, applications open in September for courses starting in October the following year.


The equal consideration deadline is the 25th January. This means that all applications received before this deadline will be considered equally. Applications received after the deadline will be considered by the institutions at their discretion.


However, your college or sixth form will have an internal deadline. This is usually before the Christmas holiday. Make sure you stick to this, so that your tutors have enough time to write your reference.


The only exceptions to this rule are Veterinary Science and Medicine courses at Oxford and Cambridge. These deadlines are usually much earlier in October, so make sure you discuss this with your tutors if you want to apply.

Personal Statements

The personal statement is a piece of writing, submitted as part of your UCAS application. It’s a chance to make your application stand out and show why you think you’re the best candidate for the course you want to do. Your personal statement should include:


  • Why you want to study your chosen course?​
  • Why you would be a strong candidate for the course?​
  • What life experiences, skills and achievements could link to your chosen course/career​?
  • Is your previous or current study relevant to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that’s relevant to the course?
  • What ambitions do you have for your future career?

Things to remember…

  • Your personal statement is 4000 characters (around 47 lines). The software used by UCAS cuts off your personal statement at 4000 characters. This means that anything written over the word count, won’t be read
  • Although you can make 5 choices on UCAS, you can only submit 1 personal statement. This means that if you apply for very different courses, you won’t be able to tailor a strong personal statement for each one
  • Avoid cliches and empty phrases in your statement. They’re unoriginal, and they just waste space on the page. Write clearly and simply to make the most of your word count
  • Don’t copy someone else’s personal statement. Similarity detection software will be used by UCAS

Responses from Universities


You have been offered a place regardless of the grade you achieve


You have been offered a place on the condition that you achieve certain grades


You have been offered an interview to progress your application to the next stage


You have not been offered a place


Once you’ve received your responses, you must pick your 1st choice and your insurance choice. This is the offer that you would most like to accept and the offer that you’d be happy to accept if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.

If things don't go to plan...

If you’ve not received any offers, or declined all the offers you’ve received, you might be able to apply for another course through UCAS Extra. UCAS will notify you if you have ‘Extra’ status. If results haven’t gone quite to plan, you can contact universities directly to see if they have any spaces on alternative courses on results day. This is called clearing and it is how universities/colleges fill any places they have left.

Useful Links

City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK