For the majority of full-time undergraduate courses, students need to apply through the UCAS website. They can choose up to five courses at five universities and apply for more than one course at a university. They also don't need to make all five choices at the same time.
Students do not add choices in order of preference, and universities don't see where else they have applied until after they have made decisions on their offers.
For some courses, students will be shortlisted and have to succeed at interview before being made an offer. For other courses, offers will be made on the basis of the information provided in the UCAS application only.
Conditional and unconditional offers
Each university will respond to applications via the UCAS website. If your son or daughter has not yet left school and the university wants to make them an offer, it will be labelled ‘conditional’. This means that they will get a place if they achieve the grades required in the offer made by their chosen university.
Conditional offers are generally made to applicants who still have to sit exams or have yet to hear about all their results. Unconditional offers are made to applicants who have already completed their exams.
You can refer to our application timeline for critical dates at every stage of the new student’s journey, from when to apply for funding through to the first week of term and beyond.
The main UCAS deadline is in mid-January, but students can apply for courses that still have places until July. If a student has used all five choices on UCAS and is not holding any offers, he or she can add more choices through UCAS Extra from February to June.
The dates by which students have to make decisions on their offers are determined by when they applied and also by the date by which they hear from all their universities.
School and university dates
UK schools and colleges submit applications on behalf of their students, so they will have their own deadlines. These will usually be in November or December so that teachers have enough time to write academic references relevant to the final application.
At Brighton we hold interviews and make offers from the autumn term onwards. If your son or daughter has applied before mid-January deadline and not received an acknowledgement from us by the end of February, they should contact us.
As well as pre-application open days, we run smaller subject-based events for applicants. They offer students and their parents a chance to view teaching facilities and meet staff and students on their chosen courses. Attending these events can help in making final decisions about which offers to accept.
Extra and Clearing
UCAS Extra runs between each year between February and June. If a student has applied through UCAS but is not holding any offers or is not happy with the offers they have received, they can apply for another course through Extra.
If a student is eligible for Extra, UCAS will contact them directly and the Extra button will be displayed in Track. Students can only apply for one Extra vacancy at a time.
Every year thousands of students who do not achieve their predicted grades find alternative courses through the UCAS Clearing process. Students can apply through Clearing from 1 July onwards. The majority of students use Clearing from August after A level results are published, but they don't need to wait until then if they already know all their results.