Top schools in the UK

Study in the UK

Applying to universities in the UKThe UK has a centralized university admissions service which handles all undergraduate applications – the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). This is used by both domestic and international students to apply for courses at universities in the UK. You’ll need to register on the UCAS website before completing and submitting your application. The website has all the details on how to apply, what to include, how to track your application and how to respond to your chosen universities. It also has a guide for international students, including information about visas, student finance and more.

UK university application requirementsOnce you’ve submitted the application, UCAS will send it to the institutions you’ve chosen, and then email or mail you back their response. If you’re accepted by an institution, you’ll get an ‘offer’. This can take the form of a ‘conditional offer’ which means the place is yours if you can fulfil the set admissions criteria, or an ‘unconditional offer’ which means you’ve already reached their criteria. If you’re unlucky, you’ll receive either a ‘withdrawn application’ response, which means either you or the university has withdrawn your course choice, or an ‘unsuccessful application’ response, which means the university has decided not to offer you a place. You might be able to add another choice if you've received decisions from all five universities or colleges and weren't accepted, or if you declined the offers you received.

UK tuition feesFor schools, English language centers, most further education courses and some postgraduate courses, there is no centralized application system so you’ll need to apply directly to the institution that provides the course. You can usually find application forms on the website.

All students are required to write a ‘personal statement’ explaining their reasons for wanting to study their chosen subject. If you are applying to more than one institution (as is usual), make sure not to mention any by name, as they all will receive the same personal statement. The UCAS website has a lot of tailored advice for writing personal statements, but as a rule-of-thumb, international students are encouraged to mention why they want to study in the UK rather than in their home country, how their studies will help them in the future, and describe their English language skills (perhaps by mentioning any English courses or tests they have taken).

As well as completing the UCAS process, international students may need to send copies of their academic transcripts to their course provider. This is usually because UCAS can only send some results from awarding bodies (such as the International Baccalaureate) directly to your chosen course providers. For most other international qualifications, the universities will ask that the results are sent directly to them.

There are different application forms and deadlines depending on the type of course you’re applying for. The UCAS website is usually very clear on deadlines, and it’s important to make sure you don’t miss these, as some universities may not consider late applications.

UCL quad Cambridge Corpus Christi

Interesting facts:

Durham Law School at Durham University is one of the UK's leading centres for legal research and teaching. Durham ranked joint 4th in the UK in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in terms of the proportion of research activity ranked at the highest 4...

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