How to apply to universities in the UK? UCAS - application steps

Yocket Editorial Team

Updated on Apr 30, 2021


UK. is the third most sought-after location for indian students, after U.S.A. and Canada. It has a different education system (3 years for bachelors) but is highly recognized all over the world. The job prospects are also very high there. But, the question is, how does one apply to universities in the U.K.?

Well, that’s what i’m going to tell you.

All applications to the U.K. are to be completed on the UCAS website. UCAS stands for Universities and College Admissions Service. It is the common platform for all students to apply to all kinds of courses (undergraduate, post-graduate, part-time, internships, etc.) to all the universities in the U.K. This provision makes applications very simple. However, you can apply to only 5 courses. So choose wisely!!

You will need the following to apply via UCAS:

  1. Academic transcripts. For undergraduate applicants, this means all your school marksheets. You can include predictive scores or mid-year grades if you haven’t given your 12th standard exams yet.
  2. English Language Tests. This could be IELTS or equivalent (TOEFL). The general minimum criteria for IELTS for applying is 6.5 overall with no less than 6 in each band. The higher the score, the better.
  3. You do not need an SAT or ACT. You should still check the entry requirements of the courses you’re applying to.
  4. Statement of Purpose. Obviously.
  5. Two letters of recommendations.
  6. It is always better to have a passport while applying as you may need to upload.
  7. CV or resume.
  8. You need to pay an application fees of £18 if you’re applying to only one course and £24 for more than one course.

Can I add more than 5 universities?

Well no. You can’t. You have to apply to only 5. However!! If you have received decisions from all your applications and you have either been declined admission or have turned down the admission offer, then an option called ‘Extra’ appears for you. Here, you can apply to one more course. If you get accepted, then go to the ‘Track’ menu to either accept or decline the offer. In case you get rejected, then you can start the ‘Extra’ process all over again. You can keep doing this till you get an admit or till July 4th, which is the last date.

Now, another process called ‘Clearing’ is involved. It begins after most of the decisions have been made by the students as well as the universities. If any university has any seats left open, it chooses the most suitable students from the pool of students who haven’t been assigned any university.

If a university has any more seats left. You can also apply to them directly, if they permit you to do so.

Here are the top 5 universities in the UK:

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. Imperial College London
  4. University College London
  5. University of Edinburgh

But! These may be difficult to get into.

These are the universities popular among Indian students:

  1. University of Bedfordshire
  2. University of Greenwich
  3. Middlesex University
  4. Cardiff University
  5. University of East London

These are the most basic requirements for applying. Some courses may have more specific requirements that you will find on the course description page.

One thing to keep in mind the dates and deadlines. UCAS has specific deadlines for various application phases that get released on their website.

For example, applications for 2019 entry will open by June 2018. You should start applying in September 2018 and be done before January 2019 so as to be an early applicant. Being early may give you a priority and you may also get a decision faster. Most applications close by June 2019. However, do not wait till the last minute to apply!

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