Applying to university can be a complicated system for those new to it, so we will do our best to break down the steps to make things easier to understand, so you know what to do and when!
The key details
The most important parts of a university application are all done through UCAS, who manage everything from making an application to submitting it and then choosing firm and insurance university choices. It's a simple system to use, and your son or daughter's school or college will have dedicated time to show them how to use it, and will often have internal deadlines to ensure nothing is missed, so don't worry too much about checking up on dates and so on.
The main things to be done outside of UCAS will be:
- Deciding on which course your child wants to do
- Deciding on which university/universities your child would like to study at - this will be helped massively by visiting campuses on open days
- Writing a personal statement
- Sorting out Student Finance if you are taking out a loan to pay for fees
- Deciding on whether your child will live at home or commute, or move away to live in halls
- Then, all that's left to do is impart your wisdom for your child to learn all about being an adult!
Here's an overview of what the application cycle looks like in an average year. For more specific dates, take a look at our full timeline.
|Mid-September||UCAS opens for the following year's applications - students choose up to five universities|
|October||Most schools and colleges advise students to have completed their applications by autumn half-term|
|1 October||Deadline for CUKAS applications (Birmingham Conservatoire students)|
|26 January||Deadline for all UCAS application forms|
|January||Visit days and interviews|
|Late February to early July||UCAS Extra opens|
|31 March||Deadline for Universities to respond to applicants|
|April||Replies due back from applicants with decisions on which offers are to be accepted (one firm and one insurance choice)|
|April||If Birmingham City University is your firm choice, you can apply for acccommodation|
|May to June||Exam time!|
|Mid-June||Birmingham City University Open Day|
|July/August||Non A-Level exam results released|
|August||A-Level results released|
|Mid-August||Clearing Open Day|