Applying to University – UK & Overseas

Applying to University

Most* applications to study undergraduate courses at universities in the UK are made via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). You will need to register on UCAS Apply and fill in your application online. Most universities in the UK accept applications from students with a range of qualifications; A-level, BTEC and our University Foundation Programme.

UCAS Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply?
UCAS Apply opens in the summer (usually in June) and you can start your application as soon as it opens. UCAS applications can be submitted from September in your final academic year of study. Most applications should be completed by 15th January; after this date, universities do not guarantee to look at your application. At Bosworth College we encourage students to apply early as many top universities start to make offers as soon as they receive applications.

If you are applying to Oxford, Cambridge, or to study Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry you would need to complete your application by 15th October. Applications to some courses such as Art Foundation, or for students on the University Foundation Programme, may have a different deadline.

How many universities can I apply to?
You can apply for a maximum of five universities. Usually you would apply to similar courses at five different universities.

If you are applying to study Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry you can only apply to four courses; you can also choose a fifth course in another subject, e.g. Pharmacy, Biochemistry or Biomedical Science.

You can apply to Oxford or Cambridge, not to both.

Do the universities know which other universities I have applied to?
UCAS applications are ‘invisible’; a university does not know which other universities you have applied to.

What is a ‘conditional offer’?
A university may make you an offer based on certain ‘conditions’. They might ask you to achieve certain grades (e.g. AAB) or UCAS Tariff Points. International students will also be asked to prove their level of English, either by having good grades in accredited GCSE examinations or passing an IELTS examination at a certain level.

How do I reply?
Once you have received all of the decisions from your five universities, you will choose one course as your Firm choice and one as your Insurance choice (this will usually have lower conditions than your Firm choice). You will then Decline any other offers.

What happens if I don’t get any offers?
If you do not receive any offers you can use UCAS Extra to add more choices.

How much does it cost?
In the current year, the cost is £12 for one university choice, and £23 for two to five choices.

Can I take a gap year?
You can decide to take a gap year and apply the following year. You will then be able to apply with your final grades rather than predicted grades. This can be a good option if you are undecided about which course to study, or if you want to build up work experience, personal skills or experience to support your future application. For some subjects, especially mathematics-related courses, universities do not recommend that students take a gap year.

Bosworth College has a strong tradition of fully supporting our students who apply to UCAS after they no longer study with us.

*There are some private universities in the UK. Some of these accept applications via UCAS. For others you can apply directly to the university. Also some applications to study Art Foundation or Performing Arts are made directly to the university or college.

Applying to Universities Overseas

An increasing number of our students are applying overseas. This might be to gain experience of studying in another culture, or to take advantage of lower tuition fees or larger scholarships. Over the past few years, Bosworth students have been successful in gaining places in universities all around the world, including;

  • USA
  • Hong Kong
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • EU countries including the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary and Germany

At Bosworth College, we have many years of experience of making overseas applications and can advise and support our students throughout the process. Applying overseas can be very different than to the UK, for example;

  • For applications to the USA, you may need to take one or more SAT or ACT tests, as the majority of universities use these in their decisions about offers and scholarships. You may also have to write an essay or other personal statement specific to each university you apply to.
  • If you apply to Hong Kong, you will need to make a separate online application to each university, and also write a different personal statement to your UK applications.
  • Each overseas university you apply to may set a different deadline for submission, even within the same country. You will therefore need to be very organised and aware of your personal deadlines.
  • If you are applying to study subjects such as Medicine overseas, you need to check whether you will be accredited to practice in the UK (or other country) on completion of your course.
  • We will support you by writing a separate reference for your overseas applications, if needed, as well as producing any extra information about your progress and grades that your universities require. We can help you to organise sending other documentation that may be needed, such as passport or visa information and copies of examination certificates.
  • We will also provide facilities if you need to take part in Skype or telephone interviews.

Each extra application you make takes time and effort, so we would also help you to balance your workload to complete university applications on top of your academic study.