When applying to university, a large part of the process is making sure you’re aware of all of the necessary deadlines. One of the most crucial ones is the final application deadline – January 31st. But what do you do if you miss the UCAS January 31st deadline?

Is my deadline definitely January 31st?

The deadline for most university applications is January 31st 2024. However, for Oxbridge applications or courses in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or science, the application deadline is the 15th of October. Find out more about when UCAS applications close here.

 UCAS deadline
Source: Canva

Can I still apply to university?

You can still make applications after January 31st, however, they will not be guaranteed an equal chance. This means that courses will begin to fill up, so some of the most competitive universities may not be an option for you.

The slots left in courses won’t be around forever, but that doesn’t mean you should rush your application. It still needs to be as thorough and detailed as possible, and you can technically hold out to apply until the 30th of June. This is the deadline for submitting an application for immediate consideration. So whilst you do want to be a little swift, you really don’t need to rush. Personal statements are worth an extra proofread!

 UCAS deadline
Source: Canva

When to apply? 

Straight after the deadline, universities tend not to know what slots they’ve got left. So it is sometimes worth waiting until mid-to-late February. By this point, they will have told UCAS whether or not they have any spaces left and you will have more of an idea of where you can and cannot apply.

Can I apply anywhere?

You can use the UCAS search to find out which courses interest you to start with. This will help you choose a degree. But after that, you will likely need to call up the university and find out whether there are any spaces left on the course before you apply. This will also give you a chance to talk to someone about the course if you need to!

During the call, it may be useful to explain your circumstances and grades and ask if they would be likely to consider you. This way, you don’t end up wasting applications on universities that are unlikely to take you on.

What if I miss the 30th June deadline? 

If you miss the next UCAS deadline, you can still apply to university. However, at this point, your application will be classed and submitted through the Clearing pool of applications. This doesn’t change much, though, as 70,000 students find their university places this way each year.

Or, if you’re just not in the place to apply for university just yet, consider applying next year instead. This will give you an extra year to think about your application, and will also give you the chance to work a little in between. It is also known to help reduce exam stress, as you will not be reaching for specific grades in order to obtain a university place.