Grapevine - Bede

Weekly news and information - WC 26th January 2015

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What to do if you have missed the Ucas deadline

Uh oh. The application deadline date has come and gone and, for whatever reason, you’ve not got your university application in. Is that it for another year? Not necessarily. Here are your options.

Of course, it’s best to sort out your Ucas application before any deadlines loom - but then you probably knew that. If you do miss the starting gun, however, there are ways of getting back into the running at a later stage.

The Ucas ‘deadline’ is actually several separate dates between October and March, which need to be tackled separately - we've covered these later on.

To help you get your application finished off, we've also got advice for you on perfecting your personal statement and comparing courses.

Missing the all-important 15 January deadline

This is the cut-off date for most degree courses. Between then and the end of June, although your Ucas form will be forwarded to the unis you have chosen, admissions tutors are not obliged to consider you. Whether they do depends on how many candidates are ahead of you in the queue, or have already been given places.

Check with universities directly to see if they accept late applications for the course you want to study.

Ucas Extra and Clearing

Your next options are Extra or Clearing, both separate parts of the Ucas application cycle...

Extra: Ucas Extra runs from 25 February to 2 July for applicants who must have made five initial choices, but either have been unsuccessful in all cases or have declined any offers they received.

Clearing: the Clearing cycle kicks in from July, finishing in September. This is the time when any empty places are up for grabs.

  • For Scottish unis, peak time is early August when Higher results are published.
  • In the rest of the UK, it maxes out a couple of weeks later when A-level results are issued and thousands of spaces are freed up by applicants not making the grade, or turning down insurance offers in favour of their first choices.

Generally it operates on a first come, first served basis, but most unis still want the best applicants and won’t compromise on grade requirements. You are not alone, though – see our article on where to go for help with Clearing for help with finding instant and expert assistance.

For Extra or Clearing, you may increase your options by considering joint or combined degrees covering two or more subjects.

If you decide to go for Clearing and you aren’t already in the Ucas system, don’t wait until it’s at its height to opt in. There’ll be an inevitable delay while you write and submit an application when people already in the system can sneak in and snap up places before you are even on board.


By Gill Sharp (Careers Adviser) - 14 January 2015

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Burns Night

January 25th marks the annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns. Find out about his life and poetry.

The Story of Robert Burns
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