Applying to university without UCAS

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UCAS – the Universities and College Admissions Service, provides application services for all higher education courses in the UK. They are responsible for applications for nearly 2.5 million students annually for over 350 university and college places.

If you’re going to apply for a full time undergraduate course then you’re going to have to go through UCAS, even if you apply to the university directly. In fact, most universities won’t even allow you to apply directly for their courses.

However, there are some universities that will allow you to apply directly. You may also be able to apply for part time courses directly, although it’s best to check with your university.

Here’s more about applying to university without UCAS:

How do I apply without UCAS?

If you have your grades then it may be possible to shortcut through UCAS and apply to a university through Clearing. This process is known as the “record of prior acceptance” route and if you are accepted then your university will notify UCAS that they’ve given you a place.

However, UCAS discourages doing this and not many universities will allow you to apply for their courses without UCAS.

Some universities will accept direct applications during Clearing. You can only do this if you’re applying to a single university and no others, which obviously limits your choices dramatically.

How do I get accepted?

You’ll need to contact the university you want to apply to and discuss their direct application process. Phoning their Admissions Office is probably the best place to start.

You’ll still need to tell them your grades (achieved or predicted), a few things about yourself, and you may still be required to send them a personal statement.

Phone the university as early as possible and have all of the information that you’ll need in front of you.

Are there alternatives?

Obviously the alternative is to apply through UCAS like everyone else. If you’re worried that your grades or other circumstances will affect your application phone the universities you want to apply to and they’ll be able to offer you advice.