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This is when you need to apply to university

This is when you need to apply to university

by Caroline Hardaker

Sorting out your university application can feel overwhelming. How do you know when to submit your application? Is it better to submit it straight away? And when should you get started? Find answers to all these questions and more in our latest blog. 

From researching courses and visiting Open Days to accepting an offer, the journey to university can feel like a long slog. But it's important to take your time, and gather all the information you need to make an informed decision about your future. 

You can submit your university application from early September 2021, using the UCAS Hub. UCAS has a free guide on how to submit your university application, that you may find useful. 


When to apply for university 2022? 

For the majority of courses for 2022 entry, the university application deadline is 26 January 2022 at 18:00. 

However, there are exceptions to this. 

For any course at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, or for courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science, and dentistry, you will have to have applied by 15 October 2021 at 18:00 for 2022 entry.

Many universities and colleges will continue to accept applications from international students until later in the year, nearer the beginning of the course in September. However, it’s important not to wait too long! If you do get a place at your chosen university, you will need time to arrange your accommodation and visa. 

If you're applying through your school or college, be mindful that your teachers may have their own internal deadlines. This is so they have enough time to read your application, double-check your qualifications, write your reference, and submit your application to us. 


When should I start my university application?

Most UK applicants will work on their applications throughout November and December, whereas international students may wait until later in the year. 

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when you should get started on your application, exactly. Because this is different for everyone. 

However, do try to give yourself as much time as possible to visit universities, research different courses, and write your personal statement. University is a big decision, and it’s important that you give yourself the time and space you need to make the right choice.


Is it better to apply to university early?

As long as it's before the deadline, when you submit your application won’t make a difference to your chances. 

This means an application that’s submitted in September 2021 won't be favored over an application that's submitted on 26 January 2022. All applications prior to the January - or October, where applicable - deadline are treated the same. 

Should you miss the January deadline, don’t panic. You can still apply until 30 June, but your application won't receive equal consideration. 

To find out more about the implications of applying after the January deadline, including what equal consideration is, read our guide on applying to university late. 


How long does it take to hear back from universities after you've submitted your application?

If you applied by 26 January, the deadline for universities to make a decision is 19 May 2022. If you apply by 30 June, that deadline is 14 July, 2022.

Once you've applied, it can take universities anywhere between a few days to months to get back to applicants. The length of time usually depends on when you applied, and how your chosen university course makes offers.

It's common for applicants to hear back at different times, so don't worry if your friends hear back before you do. This is completely normal, and not a cause for concern. 


Key dates in the university application timeline

The following dates have been confirmed by UCAS for 2022 entry. Mark these key dates in your calendar to make sure you don't miss a beat on your journey to university. 
  • 26 January 2022 - Applications for most courses to be received by UCAS
  • 25 February 2022 - UCAS Extra opens
  • 19 May 2022 - university decisions due on applications submitted by 26 January 2022
  • 30 June 2022 - all applications received after this date will enter into Clearing
  • 4 July 2022 - last date to apply in Extra for 2022 entry
  • 5 July 2022 - Clearing opens
  • 14 July 2022 - university decisions due on applications submitted by 30 June 2022
  • 9 August 2022 - SQA Results Day
  • 18 August 2022 - A Level Results Day 2022
  • 28 September 2022 - final application deadline for 2022 entry
  • 18 October 2022 - deadline for Clearing choices to be added

We understand that sorting out your university application can be stressful, but remember to reach out to teachers, parents, and friends for support. Also, our Belong blog has plenty of useful guides and resources to help you on your way to becoming a university student. 

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