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This is a general guide to applications in the U.K. intended to be a helpful resource for counselors new to the process, or students who are making applications on their own without assistance from their school. Please add in advice as you see fit or feel free to edit if any part of the guide seems unclear. (Contributed by ABoyd, adapted by KKellawan)


Application Guide - U.K.

All U.K. university applications are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). An application fee of £24.00 is payable for applications for between 2 and 5 universities (5 maximum) and £18.00 if you are applying to one university only. Payment can be made by one of the following methods:

  • (a) Credit/debit card
  • (b) Billing to school (only possible if your school or college is a registered UCAS centre – ask them).

There are a few UK art schools and private UK universities who do not need applications to be made via UCAS, but they are a minority. Always check the university website to be certain.


  • In order to be considered an EU student for your fee status, you need to have lived in the EU with your family for at least 3 years. If you are not sure what status you are visit and contact the university you are applying to for a Fee Status Questionnaire to determine your fee status.
  • You should also consider whether the university qualifications which you might achieve in Britain will be fully recognised when you return to your own country. See more information.
  • If you are an Overseas Student, do consider the financial questions resulting from a decision to apply to British universities. There is much less on offer in terms of scholarship support for a course at a British university as an international student. For International Student Fees, please research International Student Fee/Funding pages of your target universities as different courses charge different fees. You will also need sufficient money for food, accommodation etc.(about another £10,000 pa).
  • BREXIT: Please note that EU students wanting to start studying in the UK in 2018, you will be paying UK home fees and are still eligible for the loans. However, if you are planning to defer your entry or apply for 2019 entry, this is not guaranteed at this stage. For more details for 2018 please see

    If you are planning to study in the United Kingdom and want to attend a publicly funded university or college, your fee status (whether you pay full-cost fees or a subsidised fee rate) will be determined by the UK institution you plan to attend. Before you decide which university or college to attend, you need to be absolutely certain that you can pay the full cost of your tuition fees AND the cost of living.


The tuition fee is set by the university. For UK and EU students this is usually around £9250 per annum and there is a government loan at time of press. This fee might increase both for UK and EU students, so be sure to check. For international students (i.e. not UK or EU, and those who did not lived in the EU for the past 3 years) then the tuition fees will be higher and will depend on the course: Medicine is much more expensive than Maths for example. Check the websites of courses you are interested in to find out individual costs. There are no government loans for tuition fees for international students.


As well as the tuition fee you will need to pay for accommodation, food, transport, books and general living expenses. These can vary quite a bit from one part of the UK to another. Loans for this are available only to UK students. If family income is low bursaries are available for UK students, check out for more information.

Applying in the UK


  • Applications to nearly all universities are made on the same electronic form. Go to
  • You may choose up to five options: these are 5 courses at different or the same universities.
  • When deciding on your choice, check the university/UCAS websites to ensure that you fulfil all course requirements. Remember that these are MINIMUM requirements and if competition is high, actual requirements and offers may be higher than this.
  • Read the online prospectus of each university before completing the application form.
  • Discuss your university choices with your subject teachers and ensure you have checked the requirements for making an application.

Oxford and Cambridge candidates have separate and additional procedures needed for making an application. All candidates must complete an electronic UCAS form and submit it much earlier than other applicants (October 15).

Key points:

  • You can only apply to either Cambridge or Oxford. Research the different colleges within each university to understand how they differ. You can only apply to one course at either university and you should select a college. Please carefully read the respective websites for more information about the colleges and the application process.
  • For Medical /Dental /Veterinary course you can apply to a max of 4 options. Your 5th option can be used for something different or left empty.
  • Most often, there will be interviews as part of the application.
  • There are additional tests required for most of these programmes which need to be
prepared for and taken (see below).

    Some courses and universities require additional tests. These can be very important as they provide a standardised way of judging candidates from different backgrounds. Your scores will matter, so prepare carefully.
If you intend to apply for Medicine/Dentistry/Veterinary, Law or certain Oxford/ Cambridge/ Durham courses please check the universities’ prospectus/websites as to which subjects require these.
  • BMAT (BioMedical Aptitude Test)
    At listed universities you will be required to sit a two-hour written test. This is generally sat in September or October of the year prior to enrollment. Read more at:
  • UKCAT is required by most medical programmes. It is a two-hour test which can be taken on several dates before the UCAS October deadline, at a local Testing Centre. Costs vary according to your region, see details.
  • LNAT is a 2.15 hour test required for studying Law at many UK universities, which can be taken on several dates at local testing centres. Registration opens on August 1st, tests start September 1st. For details on dates and costs see:
  • Oxford and Cambridge external testing is free at the moment and can be taken at any school which is registered as an exam centre.
  • Durham University asks for a separate Mathematics Tests (TMUA). This is a 2-hour multiple choice test that is sat in most schools as long as they are registered to offer other Cambridge and Oxford admissions tests. Read more at



Universities Requiring the Test

Information available from

Medicine (BMAT) November*

Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL,

Royal Veterinary College. Leeds, Brighton & Sussex, University of Leeds, Uni. Lancaster


Register by 1st October. Test takes place at a school or Cambridge Assessment centre.

Students can only take the test once, paper-based test.

Medicine (BMAT) September*

Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL,

Brighton & Sussex, University of Leeds, Uni. Lancaster


Additional test in September with registration open from July to 18th August. You register online.

Students can only take the test once, paper-based test.

Medicine (UKCAT)*

Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Durham, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Hull, Keele, King’s, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queens Belfast, Queen Mary, Sheffield, Southampton, St Andrews, St George’s, Warwick

Registration opens in May

Test date and centre bookable when registering

Registration Deadline falls in mid- September.

Tests to be undertaken by very early October. Online test at specified centre.

Law (LNAT)*

Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, King’s, Nottingham, Oxford, SOAS, UCL

Registration opens 1st August

Testing starts 1st September.

For Oxford register by October, and take tests by October deadline. All other UCAS candidates must take test by 15th January. Online test at specific centre bookable when registering.


Please see the Oxford website for all courses requiring external testing.



Paper based test. Closing date for application Oct 15. Test takes place at Cambridge Assessment approved schools.


Please see the Cambridge Website for all courses requiring pre interview testing. takers/cambridge-pre-interview-assessments/


Paper based test. Registration deadline 1st October. Test takes place at Cambridge Assessment approved schools at end of Oct or early Nov (check annually for dates).

Durham,* Lancaster, Warwick MATHEMATICS

Please see the Universities’ website for Mathematics takers-of-mathematics-for-university-admission


Paper based test. Registration deadline 1st October. Test takes place at Cambridge Assessment approved schools at end of Oct or early Nov (check annually for dates).

  • Registration for these tests will either be done electronically by yourselves OR in the case of the BMAT November, OXFORD. CAMBRIDGE and DURHAM Tests, by an approved centre (contact [4]with your location and course choice to locate a centre near you).