UCAS - The Complete Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Whether you’re a prospective student, a parent, or an advisor, this guide is designed to help you navigate the complex and sometimes overwhelming process of UK university applications. Our aim is to demystify the process, providing clear, step-by-step advice to help you understand everything from course selection and application submission to decision timelines and acceptance procedures.

Table of Contents

ucas guide

What Is UCAS?

UCAS, which stands for the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is the central organization responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. It’s a non-profit organization that provides tools and services to help students navigate the process of applying to universities and colleges.

Prospective students submit a single application through the UCAS online system, which is then sent to their chosen institutions. This application includes personal details, academic qualifications, a personal statement, and a reference.

UCAS also provides a wealth of information and resources to help students make informed decisions about their higher education choices, including details about individual courses, institutions, entry requirements, and student life. It’s an invaluable resource for students, parents, and advisors alike.

UCAS Application Process

All students planning to study for an undergraduate degree in the UK must apply through the Official UCAS Website, including home students (generally British and EU students) and international students (non-EU). The UCAS application procedure is as follows:

  1. Register and fill in personal details
  2. Additional information (UK applicants only)
  3. Student finance (UK and EU applicants only)
  4. Course choices – You can choose up to five courses to apply to, in no order of preference.
  5. Full education history
  6. Employment history
  7. Write a personal statement
  8. View all the details
  9. Get a reference, pay your application fees and submit the application

UCAS Fees - How Much Does It Cost To Apply?

The application fee for 2023 entry stands at £27, with a limit of up to six choices per application.

Additionally, there are assessment fees to consider. While most of these are collected by UCAS, there may be instances where you’ll be required to pay the conservatoire directly. Please note that the cost of these assessment fees may fluctuate based on the specific course and conservatoire in question.

UCAS Deadlines

For the latest UCAS deadlines and important dates, refer to our article on UCAS deadlines.

What Is UCAS Clearing?

Universities and colleges use clearings to fill up places they still have on their courses. How it works: You find courses with vacancies that interest you, and contact universities or colleges directly, to see if they will offer you a place. UCAS clearing guidelines can be found on the official UCAS website.

What Is UCAS Track?

You would probably be anxious to know how your application went after you’ve applied for a course. Fret not– You can track your application progress here: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/after-you-apply/tracking-your-ucas-application

What Is UCAS Adjustment?

If on results day things turn out well and you’ve received offers, you still can apply for other courses via the UCAS adjustment service. However, since 2022 entry, UCAS adjustment has been cancelled. Students who wish to change universities at confirmation can use  ‘Decline My Place’ to enter UCAS clearing and, if they use Clearing Plus, they will be signposted to relevant universities with spaces whose entry requirements match the student’s results.

UCAS Universities - Find A Course or University

Using the course finder on the UCAS website, you can find suitable courses or universities to to apply to: https://digital.ucas.com/search

UCAS Universities - Find A Course or University

Some colleges and universities use UCAS points in their entry requirements, so you might need to know how many points your qualifications are worth. Be sure to check the entry requirements of each university you wish to enter.  Note: Not all universities and colleges use the Tariff – many use qualifications and grades instead.

You can use the UCAS Tariff point calculator learn more and find out how many points you have. Check out also our UCAS Tariff points by International Qualifications article for more information.

What Is A UCAS Personal Statement?

The UCAS personal statement is a requirement which supports you application to the universities or colleges. It’s for you to share why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, showcase your skills, experience as well as passion for your chosen field. You can get more tips on writing a personal statement in our UCAS Personal Statement guide here.

UCAS Application For Malaysian Students

Are you a Malaysian or someone living in Malaysia who wishes to apply to UCAS? You can apply by visiting the UCAS website directly. If you’d like more assistance, contact us.


As we reach the conclusion of this guide, we hope it has provided a comprehensive understanding of UCAS. Whether you’re embarking on the exciting journey of selecting courses, universities, preparing your personal statement, or navigating through the various stages of the application process, remember that UCAS is a robust platform designed to streamline your path to higher education in the UK. If you’re a Malaysian student or residing in Malaysia and require further assistance, please feel free to reach out to us. Best of luck on your educational journey, and remember, the road to success is always under construction. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep aiming high!