We support international tutors, agents and advisers, on top of processing applications to hundreds of universities and colleges in the UK.
Confused by UCAS terms?
Watch our quick video guide for an explanation of the UCAS terms you'll hear.
Help with writing references
A presentation given by the Head of Undergraduate Recruitment at the University of Sussex on guidance with writing references.
Related videos
All videos

UCAS applications to UK higher education

What is UCAS' role?

We are the official online admissions service for UK universities – we are a non-profit organisation and have registered charity status. We work on behalf of the universities connecting people to higher education.

What we do:

  • Process applications
  • Provide fraud and verification services
  • Provide information, advice and training
  • Conduct education sector engagement

What we don't do:

  • Suggest courses/universities
  • Make decisions/offers
  • Advise on finance/immigration/visas

EU referendum: what it means for your students 

If your students are EU nationals who’ve applied to study in the UK you may be concerned about what the recent referendum results mean for you. There are a few things you can do to find out more information about Brexit:

  • The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK's national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. Read their latest article on the EU referendum.
  • You can also find out what university websites are saying about the referendum. You can find these in our search tool.

Additional statements:

11 October 2016: The Government has announced the student support arrangements for EU students entering higher education in England in 2017. EU students beginning  their studies in 2017 will be eligible for student loan and grants, and will continue to be for the duration of their course. Check the GOV.UK website for further information. 

The Welsh Government has provided an update regarding student support arrangements for EU students entering higher education in Wales in 2017/18. 

17 October 2016: the Scottish Government has confirmed student support arrangements for EU studententering higher education in Scotland in 2017/18. 

26 October 2016: the Northern Irish Government has now confirmed the student support arrangements for EU studententering higher education in Northern Ireland in 2017/18.

Become a UCAS centre

We support international tutors, agents and advisers, on top of processing applications to hundreds of universities and colleges in the UK.

To help you manage your students' applications to UK universities, you can become a UCAS registered centre and use Apply for advisers, which enables you to link students to your centre. It's free to become a centre – stay up-to-date with the latest news with our monthly newsletters. We'll also provide you with online toolkits to help with the application process.

Agents become UCAS centres in a slightly different way

It’s the same registration as becoming a UCAS centre – with the same benefits above – we just ask you to provide a reference from one of our member universities or colleges in the UK.

  • This shows you are committed to helping students apply to study here.
  • Universities and colleges can then easily monitor applications from your agency.

We are keen to work with any agents who work with our member universities and colleges in the UK. If you have any questions about registering as a UCAS centre, email us at schools@ucas.ac.uk.

International events

We also attend many events so you, your students and their parents can ask us about higher education and UCAS applications.

Get resources and advice

To really help your students, you will need to know and advise on the following:

There are many guides and resources available to you, but the International guide for advisers will give you the basic knowledge and understanding of UCAS, and is a great starting point. For further information, please view our  International resources for details.

We also have guides on applying to study an undergraduate qualification in the UK, available in different languages.  

To keep up-to-date with UCAS, sign up for our newsletter

You may also be interested in the benefits of becoming a UCAS registered centre. There are currently over 10,500 registered centres worldwide, including 4,200 schools, education consultancies, and other organisations outside the UK.

Please note: there have been some changes to Home Office approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT). These changes came into effect on 6 April 2015.

Training and resources

We have information for international audiences on our how UK higher education works, choosing courses and applications web pages.

Alternatively, you can access guides and training resources by clicking on the links below.

Outcomes of the International Admissions Review (IAR) consultation 2014

Following a period of analysis, research and engagement with the sector, we issued the IAR consultation in April 2014. It received an excellent response from stakeholders across the education sector, with organisations making considered and detailed responses. The  International Admissions Review – Findings and Recommendations report provides a detailed summary of the responses received and outlines proposals for implementation.

Recommendations were broadly supported, with some key priorities emerging:

  • the capability to upload digital documents
  • a review of current UCAS deadlines
  • improving information and advice for international and EU applicants

The consultation responses also emphasised the need for us to enhance our services to all applicants, not just international applicants.

Thank you to everyone who responded or participated in the review. We welcome your continued engagement to ensure any proposals are successful for everyone concerned, particularly applicants. Please email us at international@ucas.ac.uk if you have any questions or comments on the outcome of the International Admissions Review, or if you have any suggestions to support the implementation of any of the proposed recommendations. 

Was this page helpful?

Yes  No