We’ve made some changes and updated our guidance to help you support your 2021 applicants.

Applications in both the 2020 and 2021 cycles

A university or college can record a Delayed Confirmation decision (DCF) for a 2020 applicant – meaning they can hold an offer open into the 2021 cycle. They may do this to keep applicants as conditional firm while they meet the conditions of their offer – for example, those sitting autumn series exams.

Applicants with a DCF decision, or an unconditional firm place deferred to 2021, can reapply with a 2021 application if they wish.

In early 2021, we’ll contact any applicants with both a live deferred 2020 entry and a 2021 entry application, to ask them to decide which they want to continue with. We’ll then withdraw the application they don’t want.


Entering qualifications in Apply 2021

Students should enter all achieved and pending qualifications in the same way they would have done previously – if a qualification has been certificated, they should include it in their application.

This is the same for all students, and applies to the final grades they were ultimately awarded in summer 2020 – including centre assessed grades (CAGs) or calculated grades in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and overseas (where applicable), and estimations or moderated results in Scotland.

  • AS levels: Students should continue to enter any certificated AS qualifications. This includes the decoupled AS in England, the coupled AS in Wales and Northern Ireland, and AS levels offered by international awarding bodies.
  • Autumn series: Students taking these exams in England should add the qualifications as ‘pending’ if they apply before they have the results – they aren’t considered to be resits. If they received grades in summer 2020 that were certificated, they should also add these.

Writing references

Most 2021 applicants will have experienced some form of disruption to their education. While some of the impact will be felt equally across all students, some may also have been affected to a greater degree due to their circumstances.

To help you explain this to university and college admissions teams, we’ve updated our guidance on writing references. We’ll continue to update and enhance this information, to give you as much support as possible.

How to write a UCAS Undergraduate reference

The information and advice for writing UCAS Conservatoires references has also been updated. For 2021, these references can be completed online, making it easier for you to support students applying to conservatoires.

How to write a UCAS Conservatoires reference


Predicted grades

We understand you’re facing additional challenges when predicting grades for your students’ 2021 applications – our new guidance explains how you can address these. We’ll update and enhance this as necessary, to give you as much support as possible.

Predicted grades guidance


EU students

Ministers from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have now confirmed their tuition fee arrangements for EU students starting courses in the academic year 2021/22.

Applicants from the EU should continue to complete their applications in the same way as previous years – universities and colleges may ask them to provide further information in 2021.

We’ll let you know if this guidance changes.

Finance for international and EU students


UCAS virtual exhibitions

Our exhibitions are being held virtually this year. They focus on students’ interests, offering the perfect opportunity to explore courses and speak to universities and colleges from around the UK.

Students need to register themselves, and they’ll then receive joining instructions by email.

Find virtual exhibitions

What to expect at a virtual exhibition


Online training for advisers

Complete our online training modules for support you with your 2021 applications. They will help refresh your knowledge, or bring you up-to-speed if you’re new to the role of managing UCAS applications.

Online training for advisers