Application timeline

This is a guide to the key stages in the process for applications through UCAS (full-time study).

February to July RESEARCH

Make sure you research your options carefully. This will help you decide what and where you would like to study. 

September to January APPLY

Applications are made to UCAS during this period and are submitted online. The Activate Careers team will help you with your application and with writing your personal statement, which is the most important part.


This is the deadline for applications to Oxford, Cambridge and all medicine, dentistry and veterinary choices (but not nursing)


By this time you should have paid your fee to UCAS and submitted your finished application. The sooner you can get your application in, the better!

Mid-January    APPLY FOR A LOAN

You should apply for your student loan as soon as the process opens in January. Don’t wait until you have received any offers as this could delay your loans. There are two loans available: one to pay your tuition fee and one to help with living expenses.


This is when universities and colleges make decisions on applications and send out offers to applicants. When you have received all of your offers, you need to make one of them your firm offer (the one you most want) and make one an insurance offer (a back-up choice in case you don’t meet the requirements for your first choice). Don’t miss the date to respond otherwise your choices will be cancelled.

July to August   RESULTS

BTEC results are sent out from mid July. A-level results are released in mid August. If you receive your results and they meet the conditions of your firm offer, then you don’t need to do anything else – your place is secured.

If you aren’t going to meet the conditions of your firm or insurance offers, contact the institution if you were close to the offer grade and ask if they will still accept you.

August to September  CLEARING

If you weren’t holding any offers, you can enter clearing. This is the process where students are matched with institutions which still have places remaining. See for more information.

Please note that this is just a guide!

Submitting your application on time is your responsibility. The best place to check everything is with UCAS – visit for any information regarding applications.