UCAS Application Process
1. Help them look into their university options
Most future students will start their research early, at least a year before they apply. Visiting a UCAS event with them is a good starting point, as it will give your son or daughter a chance to speak with staff and students from different universities, learn more about the courses on offer and get copies of their prospectuses.
Once they’ve decided which universities they are interested in, they can visit them for an Open Day. This will help your son or daughter speak with students and academic staff in those institutions, find out more about the courses they are interested in and get a feel for each university to see if they would fit in.
2. Completing their application
Once they have found the right university and course, your son or daughter will need to fill in their application. Applications are made between 1st September and 15th January, even though you should encourage them to apply early on. They can apply to a maximum of five universities. To do so, they should first visit UCAS.com and register to use 'Apply', UCAS's online application system. The fee for applying through UCAS is £24.00 for multiple choices, or £18.00 if they’ve got their heart set on just one uni.
As part of their application, they will have to provide a reference and submit a personal statement – this is a reflective piece of writing about themselves, which they may not have been asked to do many times before. Nevertheless, a positive approach and planning ahead can really make their application stand out. And there are ways in which you could help them.
Tip: If they are interested in applying for part-time study, remind them that they need to apply direct to the university and not through UCAS.
3. Checking application outcomes
University applications are usually considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If their application is successful, your son or daughter will receive one of the following offers:
- Unconditional, which means they definitely have a place on their chosen course.
- Conditional, which means they will be accepted on their chosen course, if they meet the entry requirements.
Depending on the course and the university, they will be invited to either attend an Applicant Day or give an interview. Admissions teams will be in touch with them, with information on what their next steps should be.
4. Applying for student finance
When it comes to spending money, it is important to get things right. Encourage them to do some research on tuition fees, student loans, scholarships and grants before they apply for what they need. Our Money and Advice team is also on hand if they have any questions. In addition to their tuition fees, you could take some time to budget for their living expenses together. Even though every student is different, our handy table of estimate costs will show you how much they can expect to spend each year.
Our short video explains everything you need to know about student finance.
5. Evaluating and accepting their offersAfter receiving all their offers, your son or daughter should decide which ones to accept. To do so, they can log into their personalised account on UCAS Track and select their chosen offers. They will be asked to make a Firm (first) and an Insurance (second) choice and decline any other offers they’ve been made. It is preferable that their Insurance choice has lower entry criteria to ensure they have a place at university, if they do not meet the requirements for their Firm choice. They have until the start of May to decide which Firm and Insurance choices they’ll accept.
6. Sorting their accommodation
Once they've accepted a place with the university of their choice, they will need to think about where to live. Accommodation application deadlines vary across universities so we recommend that they start thinking about where they would like to stay as early as possible.
Our accommodation booking system normally opens early in February. Visit our accommodation site to find out more.
Tip: Leeds Beckett offer holders who apply for University accommodation before 30 June and make us their Firm choice are guaranteed a place in one of our 4,250 plus rooms.
7. UCAS Extra
UCAS Extra runs from 25 February to 30 June and will enable your son or daughter to reapply for a course, if they have used all their five choices and are not holding any university offers.
Not all courses will be available in UCAS Extra as some may already be full. Encourage your son or daughter to contact universities with available courses and check they will consider their application before they apply. This is important, given that they will only be able to apply for one course at a time and they will have to either accept it or decline it – UCAS Extra does not offer Insurance choices. If they are offered a place on a course they want and accept it, they will be committed to that course and will not be able to apply for more courses through Extra.
Tip: If Extra is available to your son or daughter, it'll show up as a button on their UCAS Track account.
8. Results Day and Clearing
Results will be released on Thursday 13 August 2020. If your son or daughter do not get the grades they were hoping for, it’s important to remind them that it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t get the university place they wanted. Many universities, including Leeds Beckett, will look at the possibility of reviewing requirements for students who have only just missed out – this process is known as Clearing and matches students with available university places.
Encourage them to look online at UCAS Track on A level results day to find out if their place has been confirmed. If they don’t get their Firm or Insurance choice, then they can go into Clearing.
Check out our Clearing pages for more details.Tip: If their results are better than expected, they may be able to apply for a different course through Adjustment.
9. Time to leave for Uni
Finally, the time has come for your son or daughter to leave home for the first time, meet new people and take on the challenge of a degree. They may feel excited and anxious at the same time, so, before they get here, we will send them their online welcome information and accommodation details to help them prepare for life on campus.
Our video below will help you and them get a feel for what moving into accommodation and settling into university life is really like. Watch some of our new students arrive at our residential halls, meet their new roommates for the first time and get to know each other at a specially arranged Welcome Party.