UCAS explained

We know applying to university can be daunting, so we’ve made this guide to help you through the application process and answer any questions you might have.

Applying through UCAS

All applicants to UCL’s full-time undergraduate programmes must apply through UCAS. It is not possible to make a direct application.

The following dates are for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying from:

  • September 2023: Opening date for the receipt of applications for September 2024 entry
  • 16 October 2023: Last date for receipt of applications to Medicine (A100)
  • 31 January 2024: Last date for receipt of applications to guarantee full and equal consideration
  • 16 May 2024: Last date for decisions on applications submitted by 31 January 2024
  • 30 June 2024: Last date for receipt of UCAS Late and Extra applications to programmes that are still open. Any applications received after this are held by UCAS and are not forwarded to institutions.

Meeting your application deadline

All applications submitted by 6pm (UK time) on 31 January 2024 are given equal consideration.

For Medicine, you must apply by 6pm (UK time) on 16 October 2023 to be considered.

Applying through a school or college registered with UCAS

This route is most commonly used by applicants in the UK who are currently at school or college.

Once you have registered with UCAS and have access to your Track/Hub account, you can add your ‘buzzword’ when you start your application to link yourself to your school or centre. Your teacher or adviser will provide you with this ‘buzzword’ if applicable.

Visit the UCAS website to learn how to link your application to you school or college.

If your school or centre is unable to provide you with a ‘buzzword’, you will need to apply as an independent applicant.

Once you’ve linked your application to your school or centre, your teacher will add their reference and any predicted grades. They will also check over your application and help you along the way.

When the time comes, they will send your application to UCAS on your behalf. 

It is important to make sure your teacher or advisor has enough time to complete their reference and checks before the application deadline. If they do not submit your application by the relevant deadline, UCAS will consider it to be late and there is no guarantee we will be able to consider it.

See the UCAS website for information on how to complete your application.

Some applicants who have recently completed their qualifications may be able to apply through their former school or college. Please contact them for further details.

Independent applicants in the UK and overseas

This route is most commonly used by international applicants and UK applicants who are returning to education.

Applicants who are unable to apply through their school or college using a ‘buzzword’ apply online independently. The application process is the same.

Please see the UCAS website for information on how to complete your application.

You are responsible for paying the correct application fee, for providing details of an academic referee and for submitting the completed application online to UCAS. This includes listing all your achieved and pending qualifications, and completing a personal statement.

Information about who can be your referee and providing their contact details, listing your qualifications and writing your personal statement can be found on this page.

If you are an international applicant, please also see our guide for international applicants which has information about entry requirements, help and support.

Mature students

The application process for mature students is the same as for all others, through UCAS.

Find more information on the UCAS undergraduate webpage.


UCAS Late and Extra applications

It will not be possible to submit a UCAS application for some programmes after the January UCAS equal consideration deadline.

You can search for programmes that are accepting Late and Extra applications at UCAS.

Please note we cannot guarantee the consideration of any application received after the January UCAS deadline. 

As it can take some time to consider applications received before the deadline, it may not be possible to confirm which programmes have vacancies immediately after the deadline has passed.

Please note it is not possible to apply for Medicine after 16 October 2023. 

Completing your application

Here you can find important information about completing your UCAS application to UCL.


Before making an application to UCL through UCAS, make sure you meet our general entry requirements.

You also need to check you meet the specific requirements of the programme you want to study, as detailed in our prospectus. 

You will need to show us how you meet our entry requirements with your current or achieved qualifications. You must enter all your qualifications from secondary education onwards – whether you have the result (including any that were ungraded) or if you’re still awaiting exams and results.

Please include as much detail as possible and make sure any results are given in the standard format awarded by the relevant examination board.

Please visit the UCAS website for information on how to complete your application.

English language

If you have taken a TOEFL or IELTS English Language proficiency test, we recommend including the registration number in your UCAS application.  

Please note, you do not need to provide this evidence as part of your UCAS application. This will not affect the assessment of your application. If required, and you receive an offer, it will be conditional on providing evidence of your English Language proficiency at the appropriate level.

Access UCL Scheme

As part of our commitment to increasing participation from underrepresented groups, applicants may be eligible for a contextual offer as part of the Access UCL scheme.

Access UCL is our contextual offer scheme for applicants from groups that are underrepresented at UCL. 

You do not need to apply for the Access UCL Scheme. We will automatically assess your eligibility when we receive your UCAS application. If successful, eligible applicants will receive a contextual offer that is lower than the standard requirements for the programme they have applied for.


A resit is a second or subsequent attempt to improve a qualification outcome, for which you already hold an award. 

Examples of resits:

  • A Level taken in year 12 and again in year 13,
  • APs (Advanced Placements) taken multiple times in the final three years of high school.

Resits are considered for a majority of our programmes. Programmes that do not consider resits will outline this on their department webpages. Where resits have been attempted more than once, this may put you at a disadvantage.

If you are taking any resits, you must declare these in your UCAS application. Your referee should provide a predicted grade. You must also declare your previously achieved grade.

Personal statement

The personal statement is an important part our assessment of your application. It's your chance to tell us why you want to study a particular programme and highlight any skills and experiences that demonstrate your passion for the subject.

You are only able to submit one personal statement, which will be sent to all five of your UCAS choices. Information about writing your personal statement can be found on the UCAS website.

We consider the personal statement we receive from UCAS to be final and complete. We cannot consider any revisions or corrections once your personal statement has been submitted to UCAS.

UCL does not typically consider additional personal statements. If we require one, we will contact you.


UCAS applications to UCL must include an academic reference. We are unable to consider work or other non-academic references. Applications that do not include an academic reference may be disadvantaged.

Your referee must send their reference from an academic or institutional email address in the format name @ school.org (or similar). We do not accept references sent from personal addresses such as Gmail, Outlook, 163.com, etc. References sent from a personal email address will cause a delay in us processing your application.

It is not possible to submit an additional reference. We will consider your application based on the reference provided in your UCAS application.

Information about references for UCAS undergraduate applications can be found on the UCAS website.

Mitigating circumstances

Your referee should briefly mention any mitigating circumstances in their reference. We do not have a mitigating circumstances form. 

We advise you speak with your school or exam centre regarding any mitigating circumstances, so that Exam Boards can apply any special consideration.

We do not make changes to programme entry requirements in response to mitigating circumstances. 

Make sure your application is complete

We consider the information in your application to be complete and accurate when it is submitted to UCAS. This includes your personal statement, academic reference, qualifications and achieved or predicted grades.

To ensure fairness, all the information we need to complete our assessment is given in your UCAS application.

Advice for schools, parents and guardians

We recommend schools, parents and guardians read our guide for counsellors and teachers to assist applicants with their UCAS application.

Advice about the AS, A Level and GCSE curriculum reforms can be found on the Entry Requirements page.

We understand the process of applying to universities can also be an anxious time for parents and guardians. We have created a guide to help you support applicants to UCL.

Further information