The UCAS application period is one of the more stressful, but exciting periods of Year 13. Figuring out what you want to study at uni, where you want to go, getting everything you need together before finally sending it off. It can get stressful, and that’s even before you start hearing back from your choices. But, arguably the most important step in the application process is submitting it before the deadline. So, to answer the question: when do UCAS applications close? This article has got you covered. 

What goes in a UCAS application?

UCAS university applications

After doing your research and deciding what and where to study, it’s time to fill out your UCAS application. There are three key steps to this. First, you need to fill out all your personal details, your relevant qualifications and, of course, your choices. Then, you’ll need to write your personal statement to demonstrate that you’ll be a good student. And finally, you need to include your reference and pay the application fee. We’ve got more great tips on when to start applying to unis, which involve all the steps you need to take.

When do UCAS applications close for most uni courses?

When do UCAS applications close?

So, for almost all courses, UCAS applications close on Wednesday, the 31st of January 2024 at 18:00 UK time. That means you’ve got roughly a month to get everything done. Though, your school may impose earlier deadlines to make sure everyone is ready well in advance of the actual deadline, as mine did. But, if you haven’t gotten started, there’s still time. You should start ASAP, but you’ve got time. This deadline is for almost all courses at almost all universities, with only two exceptions. 


When do UCAS Applications close?
Source: Wikipedia

Oxbridge is the first of the two exceptions. With its unique application process, the deadline for your application is much earlier. It combines the regular UCAS application with subject-specific tests and interviews. All this means that the deadline has to be earlier, in order to be able to fit everything in. Unfortunately, the deadline for this year has already passed (the 16th of October 2023 at 6pm UK time). So, that means if you’d like to go to Oxbridge, you’ll have to wait until next year to apply. 

When do applications close for Medicine, Veterinary, Medicine/Science, Dentistry subjects?

When do UCAS applications close for medicine, dentistry and Veterinary Science?

The other exception to the January 31st deadline is courses to do with medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry. This applies to the majority, but not all courses, so it’s worth checking your specific course to make sure. But, like Oxbridge, the 2024 deadline to apply was the 16th of October, 2023 at 6pm UK time. But, all is not lost. If you’re applying to additional courses that fall outside of this subject area, you still have the regular January deadline. No need to panic. 

What to do if you miss the deadline?

What to do if you miss the UCAS deadline?

So, what if you’ve missed the deadline? Well, don’t panic. If you’ve missed an October deadline, it’s very unlikely that they’d accept a late application. It’s worth contacting the university in case they do, but your most likely option is waiting until next year and reapplying. But, if you end up missing the January deadline for whatever reason, you’re not completely out of luck. If you get in contact with your universities, they may (but not definitely) still accept your application. It depends on individual university policy and their numbers. But, of course, the best thing to do is to submit your application on time and you don’t have to worry at all. 


When do UCAS Applications close?

The other option in this scenario is Clearing. It’s how universities fill any empty spots that they may have on their courses. There are a few different circumstances that allow you to use Clearing:

  • If you’re applying after 30th June
  • If you did not receive any offers (or accept any)
  • If you didn’t meet the conditions of your firm or insurance choice
  • If you’ve paid the multiple choice application fee (£27)
  • If you decline your firm place using the “decline my place” button on your application


So if you’re wondering when do UCAS applications close, the answer is that it depends on what uni and course you’re planning to study. But, for the overwhelming majority of cases, you have a little over a month from now to get your application done. The official deadline is Wednesday the 31st of January at 6pm GMT. So, get going!

The personal statement is an incredibly important part of your UCAS application. If you haven’t started already, check out this article to find out all you need to know about writing a personal statement.