Frequently asked questions about UCAS applications and university

20 December, 2021

Here you will find the answers to the questions we get asked most frequently about UCAS applications and university.

What does UCAS stand for?

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. UCAS is an organisation in the UK whose main role is to run the application process for British universities and colleges such as Activate Learning. It does this by providing online application portals, several search tools, and free information and advice.

How do I research universities?

UCAS is a great place to start doing your research and for checking entry requirements via their course search. You can also use university league tables and Open Days to help you make your decision. Learn more about researching universities.

Does it matter which order my choices go in?

It does not matter which order you add your choices in your UCAS application. You do not have to have the five maximum choices either!

How do I complete my UCAS application?

Learn more about completing your UCAS application.

Where do I start with my personal statement?

Learn more about completing your personal statement. 

What are UCAS tariff points and how do I work mine out?

Learn more about UCAS tariff points for your qualification.

When is the deadline for UCAS applications?

For most undergraduate courses, the deadline is the 26 January 2022.

For Oxbridge, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine or veterinary science applications, the deadline was 15 October 2021. This deadline has already passed.

What is the difference between a conditional and unconditional offer?

  • Conditional – a conditional offer means you need to meet the university’s entry requirements for the course – usually this is getting certain grades.
  • Unconditional – an unconditional offer means that you have already satisfied the University’s eligibility requirements for the course you’ve applied for.

Can I apply to both Oxford and Cambridge universities?

Unfortunately, you can only apply to either Oxford or Cambridge for your undergraduate degree so consider this before applying by 15 October.

Will universities know where else I have applied to?

Other universities cannot initially see where you have applied to so you can make your university choices in UCAS without worry! Universities find out later on once you have accepted your offers or have no live choices available.

What happens when I submit my UCAS application?

After you submit your application it will be processed by UCAS and sent out to your chosen universities. You should receive a welcome letter from UCAS within 14 days of submitting your application.

What if I don’t want to go to university?

If you do not want to go to university, there are plenty of other options! Learn more about your options instead of university.

If you have a question that has not been answered here, please speak to your tutor or contact Activate Careers.