Application deadlines

2016 University Applications Timetable
1st September 
UCAS applications begin from mid-September
15th October  Applications closed for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and science, Cambridge and Oxford
15th January  Closed for all other applications excluding arts and design courses
25th February  Extra starts, allowing students who have applied for five choices but have no offers to add another choice.
24th March  Deadline for arts and design course applications

4th May

Must reply to university offers recieved by 31st March by this date
5th May  University decisions due for all applications made by 15th January
8th June  Applicants need to reply to university decisions made by 5th May
23rd June   Applicants need to reply to university decisions made by 8th June
30th June  All applications recieved after this date enter clearing
4th July  Last date to apply in Extra
14th July  University decisions due for all applications made by 30th June
22nd July  Applicants need to reply to university decisions made by 14th July
9th August SQA Results Day
18th August A Levels Results Day - Clearing & Adjustment opens
31st August Remaining offer conditions must be met - Adjustment Closes
20th September Final Deadline for 2016 entry applications
20th October  Last date to add clearing choices and for universities to make a decision

September's a busy time for students: starting your final year in school or college, catching up on holiday gossip and getting stuck into university applications.

In September the application window opens and the first applications are sent off for scrutiny. If you want to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, veterinary science, or you want to study at either Oxford or Cambridge then your applications need to be sent in September because the universities need to receive those applications by October 15th. This may seem like a long time frame but teachers at your school/college have to add a reference about you as well as check over the whole application. That takes some time.

The applications deadline for arts and design courses is March 24th while for all other courses applications need to be received by your chosen universities by January 15­­th.

This doesn't give you much time to complete your application so starting early is advisable: the earlier the universities get your application, the earlier they can respond. If you get it in before January 15th then most decisions will have been made by March 31st, but depending on how well subscribed the course is, it may take longer. So getting your application sent off as early as possible means you'll get your decisions quicker.

Once you receive your replies you can see what grades you need to aim for and make the decision about which two institutions you want to accept the offers from. Some courses also require extra qualifications such as LNAT and STEP - the offers you'll receive from the universities will include these if they are needed.

If you start putting your application together before September - or at least start looking into the courses you may want to take and the universities you may want to apply to - then you'll have more time to really look at the courses you'll be studying and the institutions you'll be studying at. Many courses can be quite different at different universities. So giving yourself enough time to look will help you make a decision on both the course and the institution you want to apply to. Open days are a good way of gauging whether you would want to study at an institution and there are usually some in September. That means working out where you want to visit before your final school/college year means you can plan which open days to go along to.

In August the results are published and you find out whether you've got into your chosen universities.

For those who don't quite make the grades, Clearing is an option. During Clearing the universities with vacant spaces try to hook up with the students without places. Obviously, the most popular courses tend not to have vacancies and another option is simply to reapply the following year.

SQA results day, when the Scottish Clearing services open, is usually the first Thursday in August. The third Thursday is A Level results day. That's when the English, Welsh and Northern Irish Clearing services open.

For those whose grades exceed the offer from their firm choice, 'Adjustment' is available. The idea of Adjustment is to allow you to trade up - to try to find an alternative course or university which has higher expectations of its students and will hopefully give you a better recognised degree at the end of your study.

Once you've been accepted somewhere all that's left to do is sort out things like housing, do your packing and wait for term to begin.