For the 2019 cycle, if you're a UCAS registered centre, you’ll get adviser access to our online Apply service – here you can oversee your students’ applications.
To use Apply for advisers, you first need to become a UCAS registered centre.

Then appoint a member of staff to be your ‘Apply coordinator’ – they will be responsible for setting up your staff area in Apply.

  • This includes adding members of the team and allocating appropriate levels of access and permissions.
  • Creating a ‘buzzword’ (like a password) to give to students, to enable them to link their applications to your centre.
  • It is good practice to set up two coordinators who will have access to all areas, just in case one of them is not in the office.
  • Our 'Setting up Apply for advisers' online training module is available to help you get started for 2019 entry – you'll find it under 'Top rated modules'. We recommend you open this module in Internet Explorer. 


You need to register your centre in Apply for advisers each new admissions cycle – we will send you your new username and password to set up. Make sure you leave plenty of time to tell your students what your buzzword is before they start their applications (they will need it when they register in Apply).

  • This initial set up is only required the first time your centre registers to use Apply.
  • From then on, your groups and staff members will be carried forward every cycle – if you select this option when registering your centre each year.

1. Check your centre’s details

Sign in and check your centre’s contact details – they’ll be prefilled from our main database, but you can update them in Apply if you need to.

  • Any changes you make will be added to our main database.
  • This can include your address, email, phone, fax, website, roll count (full and part-time), and your total number of students in post-16 education.
  • For any other changes, e.g. change of UCAS correspondent or change of centre name, please complete our mergers and new names form.

2. Set up groups

 You can set up and name ‘groups’ to help you manage your students. For example, some schools set up groups by teacher name (tutor), or by subjects.

  • This helps staff to manage applications within their ‘group’ – particularly if you have a lot of applicants.
  • Applicants select a relevant group when they register. If they do not know, or do not select a group, they will appear in your ‘default’ group list.
  • You can move applicants to another group:
    • sign in to Apply for advisers
    • click on Setup and then Groups
    • click ‘move applicants to another group’
    • click the tick box next to the name of the applicant(s) you want to move
    • select a group to move applicant to the drop-down box
    • click ‘Go’
  • It might be helpful to set up a group called ‘former students’ for those students who have left but got in contact and requested a reference, or help with their application.

3. Choose a payment method for the application fee  

There are three payment options for the application fee:

  • receive a bill from UCAS – that way your applicants can pay you instead of us
  • allow your applicants to pay us direct by credit or debit card
  • let each of your applicants decide which method suits them best

Applicants can pay us by cheque too, but these need to be made payable to ‘UCAS’ and you should send them to us only as part of an invoice payment – applicants should not send cheques to us direct.

There are advantages and disadvantages for the different options. However, if you set up for the first option to pay the UCAS application fee on behalf of the applicant, UCAS will invoice you directly for all submitted applications. It will then be up to you how you get the money from your students.

4. Select a shortlist of qualifications

Create a shortlist of qualifications taught at your centre (or any other qualifications your applicants are likely to have). 

To create a shortlist:

  1. Sign in to Apply for advisers 
  2. Click on Setup and then Qualifications in the drop-down box.
  3. Select from our full list of qualifications and click add to your shortlist — as shown below.
  4. Download the qualification categories list: this document identifies the category of qualification, and lists all those in that category, to help you set up your qualifications shortlist in Apply for advisers. We’ve highlighted the qualifications which are new for 2019 entry — this list will be updated as and when new ones are added: Apply for advisers 2019 qualifications list (29.73 KB)

  • When completing their applications, students will see this shortlist. This helps reduce errors of students picking the wrong qualifications.
  • If you don’t set this up, applicants will see the full list of thousands of qualifications.

5. Create a buzzword

Once your staff area is set up, you can create your ‘buzzword’. This acts like a password for your centre.

  • It must be between six - 30 alphabetic and/or numeric characters, unique to your centre.
  • Tell your applicants what your buzzword is so they can enter it when they first register for Apply.
  • Once entered, their application will be linked to your centre, and their completed applications can be passed to you for attaching references, approval, and sending to us.
  • You need to update your buzzword each admissions cycle when you receive your UCAS username and password, in May each year.

6. Then set up staff members and manage passwords

  • At the point of set up we will show you a list of all your staff usernames and passwords. Please ensure you save and distribute these securely, as you will not be shown this screen again.    
  • If a staff member or student forgets their password, the coordinator can go to the ‘Security’ page in Apply for advisers and change it for them.

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