Application overview

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!

application overview primary

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!

Important dates

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
October Deadline for CUKAS applications (Birmingham Conservatoire students)
January Deadline for all UCAS application forms
January Visit days and interviews
Late February to early July UCAS Extra opens
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 accommodation
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
September Freshers' week!
'Parent and student - how to apply

Parent and guardians' guide to university

Download our FREE guide for parents and guardians, packed full of info on when to start thinking about university, how to choose a course and university, and invaluable explanations on student finance, accommodation, and what you can do to help your child make the right choices!