The application process

Most students apply to university a year before enrolment. Here you will find some key dates to help you keep track of what happens when.


UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) opens for full-time undergraduate applications for the following September.

September - December

Many universities hold open days during this time. They provide the ideal opportunity for you and your son or daughter to take a look around the universities that they are interested in attending.

Find out more about our Undergraduate Open Days


25 January 2023: the deadline given by UCAS for the majority of undergraduate applications to be submitted. Certain courses may have an earlier or later deadline, such as applications to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and most dentistry, medicine or veterinary science courses. Schools and colleges will also have an internal deadline for references that need to be completed by a teacher.


23 February: UCAS Extra opens. If your son or daughter has used all five university choices on UCAS and are not holding any offers, they can add more choices through this service.


18 May: the deadline for all universities to respond to applications that they received by the January deadline.


8 June: the deadline for students to respond to offers from universities if they received their offer by the May deadline.

30 June: the UCAS main cycle closes for new applications. After this date, all applications must be made through Clearing.


4 July: the last date to apply for a course in UCAS Extra.

5 July: Clearing opens. This is an alternative way to apply to university. Students who don't already hold an offer can check which universities have places available. The main activity takes place around results day in August.

12 July: the deadline for all universities to respond to applications that they received between 26 January and 30 June.

17 July: the deadline for students to respond to offers received from universities by 12 July.


8 August: SQA results are released.

17 August: BTEC and A-level results are released.

Students who don't meet the entry requirements for their firm or insurance choice can go into Clearing. They will need to contact universities directly to check if places are available. Clearing closes towards the middle of September, with most university courses starting around this time.

International students

Key dates throughout the year are still relevant to international students. Students will also need to consider visas and CAS as part of their application process, and plan accordingly.

See our guidance for international students for more information.