Applying to University: All You Need to Know



Whether you are thinking of applying to Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge), a Russell Group University or a specialist University, we have the low-down on all you need to know about applying to a UK University.

Oxford-Inspire-Education-Bradfield-Summer-SchoolTo begin with, over 430,000 international students study in the UK every year, so you are not alone in applying!

  • Research: As an international student, it is important that you firstly research what you want to study and where you want to study. Visiting Open Days, looking at websites and programmes, speaking to students who are already at those universities, are just some of the ways that can help you make a decision. Follow this helpful anagram to help you shortlist universities:

C- Course

L- Location

A- Accommodation

S- Sporting Facilities

S- Social Activities

  • Apply: When you have found a course that suits you, you will need to apply through the UCAS website:

The way that UK higher education works means there are different rules for UK, EU and international students. Checking out UCAS’s guide to UK higher education terms for more information.

Make sure you focus on the course that you are applying for in your Personal Statement, demonstrating that you are committed to that course. Moreover, get someone who really knows you well to write your Letter of Reference and can vouch for your achievements. In addition, if you are applying for a vocational course, it helps if you have relevant work experience.

  • Deadlines: Make sure you submit your application before 15 January (18:00 UK time) if possible, (or 15 October 18:00 UK time the year before for Oxford, Cambridge or most medicine, veterinary and dentistry courses).
  • Finance and support: find out whether you’ll need to arrange a visa, pay for your course fees or living expenses while in the UK.
  • Results: you will receive offers of acceptance or rejection throughout the year from the universities you applied to. Once you have your offers, you can decide which is your First Choice and which is your Second Choice. If you are waiting on exam results, these offers will be Conditional. If you have your exam results, these offers will be Unconditional.

It will probably seem like an overwhelming process to embark on. However, once you take the first step, there will be support and guidance every step of the way, helping you to make the best decision for you. If you have any questions take a look at, which outlines the stages in further detail.

Good luck!



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