The 2025 cycle toolkit

Everything you need to prepare for the 2025 application cycle – all in one place.

To help you support and guide your students, we’ve developed this toolkit to share key information about higher education, apprenticeships, and the UCAS application process.

It contains a wide range of resources, which can be used together or as part of a programme, as well as materials to share with colleagues and parents.

2025 guides


Application fee waiver

UCAS is removing the application fee for students in receipt of free school meals, making it easier for young people experiencing acute financial hardship to access higher education. For those applying for 2025 entry and beyond, teachers and advisers will verify eligible students through the adviser portal, and these students will then no longer be required to pay the fee on completion of their UCAS application. Find out more.


Every student who wants to apply for courses starting in 2025 needs to register and create an account in the UCAS Hub. From here, students can explore all their options and start an application.

Ten reasons why you and your students will love the UCAS Hub
  1. Personalised experiences

  2. Matching personalities to careers

  3. Exploring everything in one place

  4. Opening minds to new possibilities

  5. Learning about different sectors

  6. Diving deeper into different subjects

  7. Location guides by students

  8. Support throughout their journey

  9. Hearing from experts

  10. Highlighting local events

Discover more about the Hub (444.02 KB) and its great tools and careers features, designed around Gatsby Benchmarks and the CDI Framework.


Resources to introduce UCAS

  • Discover your options (14.94 MB) – gives an overview of the opportunities available and highlights future options, including the benefits of higher education.
  • Your UCAS journey (32.9 MB) – for students who have decided they want to apply to higher education. It highlights where to start, key dates, and also gives an overview of the application and tracking process.
  • Applying through UCAS 2025 (31.12 MB) – screenshots for you to copy and paste into your own materials and guides to share the application journey with your students.
  • Hub Lives – videos to share with your students to connect them with industry experts.
  • Student access to entry grades data video – the UCAS Product Team guide you through the new feature for students, launching in May.

Lesson plans

Use our free lesson plans to discover how to explore the Hub in the classroom:

  • Lesson 1: Discovering your skills
  • Lesson 2: Exploring your passions
  • Lesson 3: Thinking about apprenticeships
  • Lesson 4: Weighing up your options
  • Lesson 5: Shining in your application
  • Lesson 6: Getting ready for UCAS Discovery

All lesson plans include:

  • the lesson objective
  • suggested lesson activities and their associated student outcomes
  • guidance and examples to use with the activities
  • a summary of Gatsby Benchmarks and CDI Framework skills the lesson covers

Supporting tools

  • Discovery Days – at UCAS/Discovery students can explore all kinds of possibilities. Talk to subject and admissions experts, discover apprenticeships, get advice on personal statements, applying through UCAS, and more.
  • Virtual open days – we’ve created a centralised listing for upcoming uni virtual open days, and a handy video giving students tips on how to make the most out of them.
  • Unibuddy – a chance for your students to talk to current undergraduates, to find out what studying a particular course or going to university is really like.
  • The Careers Quiz – helping students discover their strengths and the type of jobs they may enjoy.
  • What can I do next? – information about the variety of post-18 options available to your students.
  • Applying for an apprenticeship: What your students need to know – find out how you can support your students to apply for a work-based option.
  • What are two-year degree courses? An introduction to the Government's proposed two-year degree courses, including why your students may want to consider this fast-tracked route.
  • Choosing the right subjects – give your students the tools they need to make informed decisions about which subjects to study at A level or equivalent.

Support for teachers and advisers

If this is your first cycle as a UCAS adviser, we have a number of resources to support you:

  • Learn more about UCAS, and managing your students’ applications, with free short training courses on our professional development platform.
  • shows the timeline of activity for the cycle ahead and links to relevant information and advice.
  • Join our monthly Adviser Live webinars to to hear directly from UCAS teams about the latest news. Ask your questions and stay up-to-date with what you need to know. 
  • Our Expert Voices sessions give you the chance to hear from colleagues from across the education sector about a range of topics.
  • All webinars are available on demand in case you miss them or want to share with colleagues.

Information for parents

We know parents look to you for information on the UCAS process. That’s why we’ve developed resources for you to share with them:

  • Parent, guardian and carer guide 2024 (4.59 MB) – everything they need to guide and support a young person with their higher education choices. The 2025 guide is coming soon!
  • Parent and guardian guide to apprenticeships – practical tips for supporting someone who might be thinking about an apprenticeship.
  • UCAS parents' evening presentation (28.44 MB) – a presentation you can give to parents at open days or parents' evenings. It illustrates the benefits of higher education, outlines the application process, and advises parents on what they can do to support their child.