If you are considering studying for an undergraduate degree in the UK, you may be well-placed if you know enough about the UCAS application process for international students. UCAS, which stands for Universities and Colleges Admission Services, serves as the primary interface between students and the colleges and universities in the UK that offer courses in their chosen fields.
UCAS is a central hub that handles all the UCAS application processes for international students seeking to study at UK-based higher educational institutions.
While UCAS is better known for its undergraduate application portal, a few postgraduate courses are also available on UCAS, such as Teacher Training – for postgraduate teacher training schemes to qualify as a primary or secondary school teacher in England. If you are in the UK, you can attend an open day or attend virtually if you are overseas.
What is the UCAS application process for international students?
You must fill out the application form on their website to be considered for a college or university based in the UK as part of the UCAS application process for international students. You can register on the UCAS website for free. In addition, you will need to complete an application form detailing your preferred course of study (you can select up to five courses) and related fields once you have registered.
What should I expect before making an application to UCAS?
Choice of university and course
There is a limit of five courses one can select in the UCAS application, meaning that you can select five courses from one university or five from five universities. This is the same when completing the UCAS application process for international students.
In other words, you should thoroughly research the courses you want to choose and the institutions offering those courses. These options can be explored on the UCAS website, which comes installed with inbuilt filters such as the subject, university, location of the university, and country of location, to help streamline your course and university search.
A strong personal statement is required in the USA application process for international students
A personal statement (find free samples of UCAS personal statement here) summarises your potential for succeeding in the course and university you choose based on your strengths, skills, and current qualifications. This will help the assessors in UK universities determine whether you are suitable for the course you have selected.
Spend some time writing one. Only one personal statement can be submitted in your application, so ensure it is suitable for the course(s) you have chosen because it is a crucial UCAS application process for international students.
Your skills and accomplishments should be demonstrated honestly. Don’t exceed the word limit, and make sure the information is relevant to your study. If you find this task difficult and need clarity, you can ask for help on our forums. However, ensure you write the personal statement on your own. It is important to revise your personal statement until it best reflects your abilities and skills.
English language requirement
The UCAS application process for international students requires English language qualifications, such as IELTS or the equivalent to be submitted in the application. Each university lists the required IELTS scores. If you are an international student from Africa, e.g. Nigeria or Ghana, the WAEC West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE), English, Grade C or above, and in some cases, NECO qualification, can be accepted in place of IELTS. You can contact the university in the UK you are applying to for more information.
You may be able to provide an official letter from your college or secondary school in Nigeria confirming that English is the only language you were taught. It is also possible, in rare cases, to prove your English proficiency if you have recently worked in a role that involves regular communication in English for at least 12 months.
If so, a letter from your current/most recent employer should accompany your application, confirming your English language proficiency, the dates of your employment, and how you use English in your role.
A reference is a letter highlighting your strengths and credibility written by your former teacher or employer is required as part of the UCAS application process for international students. You are required to attach two references; thus, you must request these from the respective individuals before the deadline. If you want to be safe, it is best to ask multiple people to write you a reference letter so that you have the required number of references for your application.
When is the UCAS application deadline?
Each course and level of study has its own UCAS application deadline, usually January/February, if you intend to gain admission later in September. There is an earlier deadline for Oxford University and Cambridge University, and most universities offer these courses in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
The following details must be provided promptly: personal information, course choices, a personal statement, references, and a UCAS fee payment to apply. The application fee is £22. Ensure your application is on time by planning one year.
What happens next after submitting my UCAS application?
The colleges and universities you have selected will review your application and decide whether they will make you a conditional or unconditional offer, depending on your qualifications. After deciding on the course you’re interested in, you need to respond to the offers within a specific timeframe.
Track you UCAS application
You can track the status and progress of your application on the platform. You can check whether or not your seat for the course has been confirmed. Additionally, you can change your contact information and course information, add more choices, or cancel your application. The platform provides plenty of advice throughout to make your experience with this service as smooth as possible.
What if I do not get a place to study after applying to UCAS?
If that’s the case, all hope is not lost since UCAS Clearing allows you to get into a UK-based institution. Applicants who don’t get the grades they need, haven’t been offered a place of study or haven’t applied yet can take advantage of the Clearing service. In addition, if you apply after June, your application will usually go into clearing automatically. Clearing takes place from July until the middle of September. It is difficult to get into a prestigious institution through Clearing.
In any case, it is a straightforward UCAS application process for international students. Once your admission process is complete and you have been accepted into the course and university of your choice, it’s time to relax. Studying in the UK offers many benefits to international students: not only can you take advantage of one of the best curricula in the world, but also get to experience a new culture full of opportunities.
You can take advantage of many courses and programmes and get the most out of student life in the UK. Besides, gaining admission into a UK course is one of the first steps to securing a UK student visa, albeit through a transparent UCAS application process for international students.