When Should I Apply to a University in the UK in 2023 – 2024

When Should I Apply to a University in the UK

When Should I Apply to a University in the UK in 2023 – 2024

Navigating the process of university applications can be overwhelming, and one of the most common questions asked is, “When should I apply to a university in the UK?” It’s a crucial question, as the timing of your application can significantly impact your chances of acceptance. In this article, we will break down the key deadlines and provide a comprehensive guide to help you plan your application process effectively. Let’s get started!

How to Apply to a University in the UK?

Applying to a university in the UK may seem daunting, but with a little preparation and organization, it’s completely manageable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

  1. Research Universities and Courses: Start by researching universities and courses that interest you. Consider factors such as location, course content, entry requirements, and overall university ranking.
  2. Prepare Your Application: Your application will include your personal details, your academic history, a personal statement, and a reference. Spend time crafting a strong personal statement as it’s your chance to showcase your passion for the subject and why you’re a great fit for the course.
  3. Submit Your Application through UCAS: The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the online application portal used for applying to UK universities. Complete your application on the UCAS website and pay the application fee.
  4. Wait for Offers: After submitting your application, universities will review it and either make you an offer, invite you for an interview, or decline your application.
  5. Respond to Offers: If you receive multiple offers, you’ll need to choose a ‘firm’ choice (your first choice) and an ‘insurance’ choice (your second choice).
  6. Meet the Conditions of Your Offer: This may involve completing your current studies with certain grades, passing an English language proficiency test, or submitting additional documents.
  7. Apply for a Student Visa: If you’re an international student, you’ll need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Application Deadlines for Studying in the UK for 2023 and 2024

Navigating the university application process can be stressful, and different courses and universities have varying deadlines. Here are the essential UCAS deadlines for those planning to study in the UK in 2023 and 2024.

Deadlines for 2023 Entry:

  • General UCAS Deadline: The majority of courses required applications to be submitted by 6 pm, January 25th, 2023.
  • Late Applications: For those who missed the January deadline, June 30th, 2023, is the last chance to submit applications before entering the UCAS Clearing process.
  • Final Deadline: The absolute last date for entry in 2023 is October 15th, 2023.

Deadlines for 2024 Entry:

  • General UCAS Deadline: The deadline for most courses starting in 2024 is expected to be 6 pm, January 25th, 2024.
  • Late Applications: If you miss the January deadline for 2024, June 30th, 2024, is expected to be your last chance to submit applications before the Clearing process begins.
  • Final Deadline: The anticipated final date for 2024 entry applications is October 15th, 2024.

Additional Information:

  • International Applications: Some UK universities offer flexibility for international applications and may accept them after the general UCAS deadlines.
  • Extra Admission Tests: Besides the UCAS admission test, some courses and universities may require additional admission tests. Ensure you check the specific deadlines for these.
  • UCAS Clearing: Applications submitted after June 30th of the respective year will be entered into the UCAS Clearing list, a secondary recruitment list.


  • Oxford or Cambridge Courses: The anticipated deadline for these institutions is October 15th, 2023, for 2024 entry.
  • Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine Courses: The expected deadline for these courses is also October 15th, 2023, for 2024 entry.

Tips: To see which deadline applies to your specific course and institution, use the UCAS search tool. Remember, each university and course might have specific requirements, so always consult the university’s official website for the most accurate and current information.

Additional Tests for UK University Admission

Some top universities in the UK will require you to take extra admission tests. Most of these tests usually happen between August and November, a year before you begin your studies. Others take place even before submitting your application to UCAS. The passing deadline for most extra admission tests is October 15th, but you are advised to confirm the exact dates on the specific university’s website. 

UK University Admission for International Students

Besides applying through the UCAS portal, international students can consult a local advisor for help, apply directly through the university website, or an authorized representative like Boost Education Service. The local advisor is an advisory service agency offering information about studying in the UK or any learning institution staff member. 

At times, they can assist you with your visa application. A UCAS consultant can access the application system and take charge of your application through the online system. Most colleges and universities regard these centers as a trusted source of applications. 

You may be required to pay for this service. 

What Happens After Application?

As of March, you should receive the first responses from universities. There are three options: 

  • Conditional: You will be guaranteed a place if you meet the criteria required by the university (usually a specific grade at the baccalaureate and IELTS);
  • Unconditional: You have already met all the necessary criteria, and the place is yours; 
  • Unsuccessful: Your application was not accepted.

Once you have received the answer from all the universities, you will have to indicate your firm and insurance choices if there is more than one positive answer. 

  • The healthy choice is your first choice, the course that interests you most and wants you to attend. 
  • Insurance is your second choice if you do not meet the criteria required for a healthy choice. Therefore, it is advisable to indicate a university with lower entry requirements as a second choice.  

Receive the desired grade at the baccalaureate. The status of your application will change from conditional to unconditional – this usually happens in August when UK students receive their results. You can request a university room in the university halls and get ready for the move!

How to Finance My Studies?

Once you’ve sorted out your application deadlines, the next big question is, “How will I finance my studies?” The cost of higher education can be daunting, but don’t worry—there are several options available to help you manage your finances while studying in the UK.

Tuition Fees:

First and foremost, you’ll need to consider tuition fees. These vary widely between universities and courses. For international students, tuition fees can range from £10,000 to £38,000 per year, depending on the course and the institution. It’s essential to check the tuition fees for your specific course and university on their official website.

Scholarships and Bursaries:

  1. University Scholarships: Many universities in the UK offer scholarships to international students based on academic merit or financial need. Check the university’s website or contact their admissions office for information on available scholarships.
  2. Government Scholarships: The UK government also offers several scholarships for international students. For example, the Chevening Scholarships and the Commonwealth Scholarships are two popular options.
  3. Private Scholarships: Various private organizations and foundations offer scholarships to international students. Websites like Boost Education Service can help you find private scholarships that you may be eligible for.

Student Loans:

  1. UK Government Loans: If you are a UK resident, you may be eligible for a loan from the UK government to cover your tuition fees and living costs. The amount you can borrow and the repayment terms will depend on your circumstances.
  2. International Student Loans: Some private lenders offer loans to international students studying in the UK. These loans often have higher interest rates and stricter repayment terms than government loans, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.

Part-Time Work:

Many students choose to work part-time while studying to help cover their living costs. International students on a Tier 4 (General) student visa are usually allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. However, it’s essential to check the terms of your visa and consult your university’s guidelines.


It’s crucial to create a budget and stick to it while studying. Make a list of all your expected income and expenses, and try to find ways to cut costs where possible. Remember to account for unexpected expenses and give yourself a little leeway.

By exploring all these options, you can create a financial plan that will help you cover your tuition fees and living costs while studying in the UK. Remember to start planning as early as possible to secure your finances and focus on your studies without any worries.

Final Words

Understanding “When Should I Apply to a University in the UK?” is crucial for a smooth application process. Remember, timely preparation is key to success. Plan ahead, be aware of the UCAS deadlines, and consider the additional requirements if you are an international student. By staying organized and proactive, you can navigate the UK university application process with confidence and ease.

Share this post