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This information will help you understand the university application process. If you are in college, you can also ask your teachers and careers advisors for help.

How do I apply to university?

I’m applying for an undergraduate degree

To apply for a full-time undergraduate degree, you normally apply through UCAS. You can apply for up to five universities each year. The UCAS online application is quite easy to use and you can save your progress as you go along. This means that if you need to check a detail with your tutor or support worker you can save what you have done so far and then come back to it. UCAS also has very useful step-by-step guides and helpful videos, explaining how to fill in each section of the application form.


UCAS produce some guides to applying for international students in different languages that may be helpful. Check university websites for how to apply for other courses, such as part-time or language courses, as these may require a direct application to the university.


Please note that you will also need to pay £20 (for one university choice) or £26 (for multiple choices) to submit your application.


You will need to write a personal statement for your UCAS application. This is your chance to explain why you want to study a particular course, and what skills and experience you possess to make you suitable to study at university. You can find lots of helpful advice about writing this from UCAS here.


You may wish to include some information about your immigration background in your application, such as how this has created barriers to accessing education. Although this can be sensitive information, this will always be kept confidentially by UCAS and the universities, allowing admissions tutors and university staff to provide you with the support you need. You can also talk with your referee (usually your teacher or tutor) so that they can include this in your reference. See here for more information about getting a reference.

When do I have to apply for an undergraduate degree?

Make a note of these key deadlines so you don’t miss out:


  • Mid-September - You can start your application on, but you can register before then.

  • 15th October - All applications for Oxford and Cambridge, or any course in medicine, veterinary medicine/science or dentistry must be submitted - including your reference.

  • 15th January - The majority of other applications must be submitted - including your reference.

I’m applying for a postgraduate degree

To apply for a postgraduate degree, you can either apply directly through the university’s website or through UCAS depending on the type of course.


For more information about applying for postgraduate degrees, please see here for information available on the UCAS website.


Whilst there isn’t always a deadline for postgraduate applications, it is better to apply early in the academic year to ensure there is time to apply for scholarships and other types of financial support if needed.

Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward

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