Higher Education Help & Advice

Once you have decided what and where you wish to study, it is time to complete your UCAS application. You must make your application using the UCAS online service 'Apply' on www.ucas.com .

This is important so get yourself organised and don't leave it until the last minute. There are deadlines to meet and these vary depending on your chosen course. If UCAS receives your application by the 15th January they will send it to the universities and colleges you have chosen by 31st January.

If you want to take a year out (gap year) before starting your course, you must check that the university or college will accept a deferred entry application.

Before you make your online application, find out more about your preferred university or college and courses from their websites or by reading their prospectuses. You can access university and college websites via the UCAS website.

When you are completing any section of your application, you can click on a help button for guidance on entering information. You can also check the progress of your application using the UCAS online service 'Track'. You can use this to change your address, add new choices if you haven't used all five and reply to your offers.

Registration: Before you register, you are asked to read and accept the terms and conditions for using Apply. You must also obtain a Buzzword from your school or college before you can make your application. Once you have entered your personal details you will be given a Username, asked to create a password and to provide an answer to a security question. Keep a secure note of these. You do not have to complete your application when you register. You may log on as many times as you wish and complete your application in stages.

Once registered, there are 6 sections to complete: Choices, Education, Employment, About You, your Personal Statement and your Reference.

Obtaining your reference: Check that all sections (apart from your Reference) are recorded as complete on the main entry screen. You should then check everything on your application and print a copy to keep for your own reference. Once you are happy with your application you send it online to your referee. Make sure you leave sufficient time for your referee to complete the relevant section. Initially, your referee will check your application and could ask you to make changes. He/she will then write your reference, approve your application and send it to UCAS.

Paying for your application: If you are applying to just one course at a particular university or college the fee is £12. It is possible to add choices after your application has been submitted. If you are applying to more than one course the fee is £23. Your school, college or referee will tell you how to pay your application fee.