UK Universities and Boarding Schools Deadlines 2024

Applying to a UK university or boarding school in 2024? Application deadlines are crucial as entry into most UK universities and boarding schools is highly competitive. Here’s a list of all the important deadlines you should be mindful of.

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UK University Admission Deadlines

All UK university applications go through UCAS, an organisation that handles university applications. All students, UKEU and international students alike, will apply to their UK university of choice via UCAS. 

Here are the key dates for courses starting in 2024:

  • 31 January 2024 – Applications for most courses to be received by UCAS.
  • 28 February 2024 – Extra opens.
  • 16 May 2024 – university/college decisions due on applications submitted by 31 January 2024.
  • 30 June 2024 – all applications received after this date will enter into Clearing.
  • 4 July 2024 – last date to apply in Extra for 2024 entry.
  • 5 July 2024 – Clearing opens.
  • 17 July 2024 – university/college decisions due on applications submitted by 30 June 2024.
  • 6 August 2024 – SQA results day 2024.
  • 15 August 2024 – A-level results day 2024.
  • 25 September 2024 – final application deadline for 2024 entry.
  • 21 October 2024 – deadline for Clearing choices to be added.
UK Universities and Boarding Schools Deadlines 2024

UK Boarding School Admission Deadlines

Depending on the school of choice and the year of admission, parents are highly encouraged to apply 1-2 years in advance. For exact dates and deadlines for specific schools, please contact us by clicking the button below!

JanuarySpring Semester Begins (Second/Lent Semester)
AprilSummer Semester Begins (Third/Easter Semester)
16 MayGCSE Exams Begin
25 AugustGCSE Results Day
Late August - Early SeptemberBoarding School Application Deadlines - Most Schools
SeptemberSixth Form Application Deadlines
SeptemberAutumn Semester Begins (First/Michaelmas Semester)

UK University Entry Requirements

UK universities accept a wide range of qualifications. As a result, it may be confusing at first when you’re trying to determine which entry requirements are relevant to your qualifications. Additionally, each university is able to set its own entry requirements for courses so entry requirements may vary greatly.

Those applying with A Levels will notice that many universities will have both a grade requirement (ie. BBB) and a UCAS Tariff point requirement (80 points). These are in fact similar – the UCAS Tariff points are calculated based on your grades. Higher grades will give you more points. For A Levels, an A* is 56 points while a B is 40 points. You can calculate your UCAS Tariff points here.

As long as you reach the minimum points with your three highest-scoring subjects, you are eligible to apply for the course you desire. Some courses may stipulate a minimum grade requirement that you will have to meet even if you have exceeded the UCAS Tariff point requirement. In cases where you’re unsure about your eligibility, it’s best to contact the university directly to ask about their requirements.

UK universities accept a number of international qualifications. Those applying for entry into UK universities with other qualifications such as the Gaokao, IB, Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education and so on may calculate their points using the UCAS Tariff point calculator.

What many may not realise about entry requirements for UK universities is that entry requirements do not only vary between universities, requirements also vary greatly within a university from course to course. However, there are some requirements that are still universal for entry into most UK undergraduate courses:

  • At least two A Levels subjects (for some courses, 3 subjects are required)
  • English Language Test requirement (ie. IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland for Scottish Universities)
  • Health checks (for selected courses)
  • Entrance interview
  • UCAS Personal statement

These requirements would be the same for all international students who are from countries where English is not the first language. Students from some countries may be exempt from taking the English language proficiency test.

UK Boarding School Entry Requirements

Most UK boarding schools will require candidates to take entrance examinations, which is often set by the school. These are designed to test the candidate’s proficiency in a few areas, which usually includes English, Mathematics, and general reasoning. UK boarding schools generally have a few intake years, the most common being Years 7, 9, and Sixth Form. Parents are highly encouraged to make applications two years in advance of the starting date as most UK boarding schools will have a lengthy waiting list.

Here are some things your child may be expected to do for entrance into UK boarding schools:

  • Entrance examinations (UKiset, CEE, and/or school entrance exams)
  • Entrance interview
  • Reference from school
  • Past results

UK IELTS Requirements

The International English Language Testing System, more commonly known as IELTS, is an English proficiency test that is widely accepted around the world. Future undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the UK will have to take IELTS or an equivalent SELT exam such as TOEFL.

Our Complete Guide to IELTS will explain everything you need to know about the exam, including exam formats, sample answers and tips.

UK Boarding School Examinations

Almost all UK boarding schools will require entrance exams for children aged 11 and up. Our Guide to UK Boarding School Entrance Exams covers some common entrance exams that your child may have to take.


UKiset stands for the UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test. This is a computerised test that is designed for international students (outside of the UK & EU) aged 9-18 years-old applying to enrol at a UK independent school. UKiset is used as part of the admissions process for a number of schools to identify a student’s English proficiency and academic aptitude. Depending on the school, your child may also have to take the school’s entry papers after sitting for UKiset. We go into more detail about the UKiset in our article here.

UKiset can only be taken in certified test centres. Britannia StudyLink Malaysia is an official UKiset certified test centre. We are based in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Make an appointment with us today – our services are free!

ISEB Common Entrance Exams (CEE)

Most boarding schools will require applicants to take an entrance test, usually a test set by the school or the UKiset. The Common Entrance test is rarely used for international students and it is mostly designed for students who are already attending a UK prep school preparing to move up to a senior school. In this case, they would probably be taking the CEE 13+.

The Common Entrance exam is required for entry by some independent boarding schools. In the event that your child has to take the CEE, there are two Common Entrance exams by ISEB: one for children aged 11+ and one for children aged 13+. The syllabus for the exam is devised by the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB). ISEB papers are available for a number of subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Geography, Mandarin Chinese, and so on. ISEB is used as a pre-test for a number of schools including Harrow, Eton, and Westminster.

School-Specific Entrance Exams

UK boarding schools are highly popular, which also means that it can be highly competitive to get into one of the top schools as an overseas applicant. Many popular boarding schools have their own exams while some will use the Common Entrance Exam. These exams are mainly used to gauge a candidate’s academic potential.

Regardless of the test administered, most overseas applicants will have to sit for an English and Maths test, along with other subjects which vary from school to school. Students in Year 12 will probably be asked to take all of the A Level or IB subjects that they plan to take.

Frequently Asked Questions

The UCAS deadline is 15 October for Medical, Dentistry, and Vet courses and Oxbridge in the year before admission. All other courses have a deadline of 26 January.

Most boarding schools have application deadlines in late August to early September. You will have to apply up to one to two years in advance of the year of admission.

Get Free UK University and Boarding School Application Assistance

If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!

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