The UCAS deadline for on time applications is always January 15 every year. Whatever day of the week it falls on, this is the deadline. If you are applying to medical school, dentistry, veterinary medicine or to Oxford or Cambridge, your deadline is October 15. Again, whatever day of the week that happens to be, that is the deadline. In this cycle, October 15 is a Wednesday and January 15 is a Thursday.
Visit the UCAS website for more details:
My advice is to complete the process as early as you possibly can. If you’ve not decided where to go or what to apply for – start making some decisions. Go and visit some universities, research some programmes you are interested in and begin to take responsibility.
So why do it early?
Firstly let’s dispel some urban myths…
1. There is no advantage to getting your application in early in terms of whether or not you are offered a place. As long as you meet the Jan 15 (or Oct 15) deadline, your application is on time and will be considered equally with all the rest. So take your time to get it right.
2. If I’m not applying to Oxbridge I should wait until after October 15 before I apply because otherwise the other universities will think I’m applying to Oxford or Cambridge and therefore will reject me. Believe me. They won’t.
So why bother getting the application in early?
The main reason is TIME. You are buying yourself precious time by getting this thing done soon. This term (between now and Christmas) is usually the busiest and most tiring of your sixth form career. There is pressure of coursework, harder A2 material, AS re-sits to revise for, field trips, practical work (if you take practical based subjects), entrance tests, interviews, and that is just the academic stuff. You also have to do your university application. So it pays to do it early and get it out of the way.
Not only that, but also, although applications are dealt with equally if received before the deadlines, you can get an interview or even an offer before Christmas if you apply early enough. That is a very satisfying position to be in when others around you have yet to even complete their applications.
Experience tells me that the longer students spend on their personal statement, the less progress they make. Personal statements are things of diminishing returns. The longer you spend the less effectively you improve it! Your personal statement is crucial. In fact it is arguably the most important 4000 characters you will ever write, but it is easy to get bogged down in the process and pour over it for weeks on end without really making too much difference. When it’s finished, send it and move on to the next thing.
In my experience, students with university applications unsent in December and even January invariably make bad applications. They appear rushed (despite being several months in the preparation) and read as if little thought has gone into them. So, if you are applying to university this year, act now. Make some decisions, do some planning and some research and get your application done. You will thank yourself for it later this year.
Good luck with your university application!