Inside UCAS

Who we are

We are the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.

Our services date back to 1961. To meet increasing demand, UCCA (Universities Central Council on Admissions) was formed, providing a centralised application service for prospective undergraduates – effectively streamlining the process.

UCCA formally merged with its partner organisations PCAS (Polytechnics Central Admissions System) and SCUE (Standing Conference on University Entrance) in 1993 to create one independent service.

What we do

UCAS stands for the 'Universities and Colleges Admissions Service'.

Our aim is to help students make informed choices that are right for them, guiding them, as well as their parents and advisers, through the entire higher education application process.

Today, UCAS processes over 2.5 million applications every year, for some 650,000 prospective students across the UK and beyond: helping them gain access to more than 340 UK universities and colleges.

We also run several specialist application services – UTT (UCAS Teacher Training), UKPASS (UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service) and CUKAS (Conservatoires UK Admissions Service).

Another important area is carrying out research, consultancy and advisory work for schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies and commercial businesses. Data collation is an important part of our work, allowing us to provide advice, insights and statistics to our partners and stakeholders.

I’ve worked at UCAS for a long time, and, looking back, it’s amazing how it’s changed. I’m so pleased to have been a part of it – and I’m excited to be involved in what’s next."

Caroline Russell, Editorial Manager, 17 years at UCAS

How we are governed

UCAS is managed by the Executive team of Directors at UCAS and its Board of Trustees