In this policy you will find information about cookies, what they are, and why we use them, including how to delete them.

Updated 21 July 2016

If you would like to read how we may process your personal data using this website, this can be found in our privacy policy.

If we make any changes to this policy, we will revise the updated date, place a banner on the homepage of this website. Click on the sections you're interested in below to view the details. 

  • All about cookies

    Cookies are text files or pixel tags which are placed on your computing device (this can mean your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer  – or any devices that are capable of connecting to the internet), when you visit a website. There are two main types of cookie – session and  persistent – and both are used on our website. 

    The cookies we use do not access your computer to obtain your personal information, other than the data you may choose to share, and they do not collect information that can identify you. Please read the cookie descriptions below to find out more.

    • Session cookies are temporarily stored in a computer's memory during a user's browsing session and automatically deleted when the browser is closed. They do not collect any information from your device and are typically used to allow the functionality of a website.
    • Persistent (also known as permanent) cookies are stored on a user's computing device and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are typically used by websites to anonymously analyse users' surfing behaviour within the website. These cookies can also be used to provide information about numbers of visitors, pages visited, the average time spent on each page, and generally the performance of the website. Please see the list of cookies for more information.
    • First and third party cookies: first party cookies are set by UCAS. Third party cookies relate to cookies set on our website by other organisations on our behalf. These services provide us with anonymous information such as tracking the use of pages and services, testing, and controlling the time, number and location where advertisements may appear. Others used include on to keep a user's browsing session open on our server. Some third party cookies are also set by services that may appear on our pages but are not under our control. Examples of this include Twitter and Facebook and by setting those cookies, this allows you to 'tweet' and 'like' using social media buttons. Please visit their individual privacy policies listed below in the list of cookies for more information, including details of how to opt out.
  • Why we use cookies on this website

    We use cookies on this website to:

    • provide the website functionality, for example creating a list of courses you have searched for, remembering your activity when you are signed in or saving the information you have input
    • allow the text to be spoken by your computing device if you are unable to read it
    • enable users to search and select a language in which the website will display
    • analyse website traffic, usage, trends and behaviour, so that we can monitor and improve the visitor experience
    • manage adverts to control the time, location where ads appear, and track the number of ads including our adverts on other websites or social media
    • enable us to use search tools, such as searching for learning courses
    • control the amount, time and page location where advertising may appear
    • enable the use of social media functionality, such as sending a 'tweet' on Twitter or clicking a Facebook 'like' 
  • How to control or delete cookies

    Should you wish to control or delete cookies, you can do this through your browser settings. Please be aware that controlling or deleting cookies may impact the functionality of this website. The 'Help' function within your browser should tell you how.

    Alternatively, you can visit which contains comprehensive information on how to control or delete cookies on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies. For information on how to do this on the browser of your portable device, such as a mobile telephone, iPad, smartphone, tablet, you will need to refer to your handset manual.

  • Checking you are happy to accept cookies

    The law tells us we can store cookies on your computer if they are essential to the operation of this website but for all others, we need to take steps to confirm with you we can use them. To do this, we display a cookie banner when you visit our website which explains why we use cookies and asks for your consent by clicking 'OK'. Should you choose to move to another page without clicking 'OK', we will also consider this as your consent for the setting of cookies on your device.

  • The list of cookies

     Below is a list of the cookies set on the UCAS website by type, lifespan, who set it, and its purpose. Please use the scroll bar under the table to view the full contents of the final column.  

    Name of cookie (and its privacy notice if third party) Type of cookie If persistent, lifespan of the cookie UCAS (first party) or third party, and who set it Purpose of the cookie

    Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)

    _vis_opt_exp_EXPERIMENT_ID_goal_GOAL_ID (generated when a goal is made)

    _vis_opt_test_cookie (generated to detect if the cookies are enabled or not on the browser of the user)

    _vis_opt_exp_EXPERIMENT_ID_combi (generated when users reach a particular combination. This makes sure that users see the same variation that they saw earlier when they visited the page)

    _vis_opt_exp_EXPERIMENT_ID_exclude (generated when a user has been excluded from a campaign)

    _vis_opt_exp_EXPERIMENT_ID_split (generated during a Split URL test)

    _vis_opt_s (detects if the user is new or returning to a particular campaign)

    _vis_opt_out (indicates that the visitor is not part of the campaign)

    _vwo_uuid (makes sure that a visitor is always served the same version on every visit to a campaign page and to send segmentation data (for reports segmentation). Allows you to track visits and conversions accurately. If you have the campaign running on multiple domains, you will notice campaign specific UUID values)

    Visual Website Optimizer privacy policy



















    100 days




    100 days


    100 days


    100 days

    100 days


    10 years


    100 days



    All third party set VWO

    VWO uses cookies to run campaigns and track user information. The cookies keep track of the variation a user has viewed and helps to serve the same variation to the user consistently, track goals completed by a user, and determine whether a user if part of a campaign.

    Google Analytics

    Google Analytics privacy policy

    Persistent and session Up to two years

    Third party

    Set by Google

    Track the usage of pages and services.


    Twitter privacy policy

    Session n/a

    Third party

    Set by Twitter

    Used for the 'tweet' button.


    Facebook privacy policy

    Session n/a

    Third party

    Set by Facebook

    Used for the Facebook 'like' button.

    Cookie name is set by study created in Userzoom so will vary depending on study

    Userzoom privacy policy

    Persistent Length of user study, up to 20 days

    Third party

    Set by Userzoom

    This is the software we use to run remote user testing.

    Session n/a

    Third party

    Set by AdTech

    Controls the time and locations where ads appear, tracks the number of ads on our website and enables those ads to work on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.


    Session n/a

    Third party

    Set by Buto TV

    Used to track the user's progress through our site, provided by Buto TV.
    CSPSESSIONID-SP-443-UP- Session n/a

    Third party

    Set by Eventsforce

    Used on to keep a user's browsing session open on our server.


    Please note: You will not be able to use Apply and Track if you disable this cookie.

    Session n/a First party Used by UCAS Apply and Track services to keep a user's browsing session open on our server. Once the user signs out, or the session times out, the information in the cookie is no longer used.


    Please note: You will not be able to use Track if you disable this cookie.

    Session n/a First party Used by Track for user authentication.


    Session n/a First party Used by Track to view the desktop version on a mobile device.


    Session n/a First party Used by Track to store the session ID.


    Session n/a First party Used by Track to prevent Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.


    Session n/a First party Used by the Provider section of the website to keep a user's browser session open on our server. Once the user signs out, or the session times out, the information in the cookie is no longer used.


    Session n/a First party Used by the site to remember that users have agreed to use our site along with its associated cookies.


    Session n/a First party Placed by our website management software to remember whether your browser has JavaScript enabled.
    rwebooks-x Persistent 20 days First party The user's last used x position of the toolbar.
    rwebooks-y Persistent 20 days First party The user's last used y position of the toolbar.
    __ba_cookies_enabled Persistent 60 days First party  
    __ba_user Persistent 60 days First party A BrowseAloud specific user identity (encrypted).
    __ba_settings Persistent 60 days First party An encrypted set of user preferences to be applied when BrowseAloud is active.

    __ba_pdf /


    Persistent 60 days First party Denotes if the user wishes to use BrowseAloud for viewing PDF documents.
    __ba_simp_setting Session n/a First party Controls some internal toolbar logic.
    UcasSessionId Session n/a First party Used by our website to store the session ID.
    _baga Persistent n/a Third party / Google BrowseAloud specific Google Analytics cookie.
    UcasIdentity Session n/a First party Stores the user's identity on behalf of UCAS' single sign-on system.

    Lotame – Lotame privacy policy


    Persistent Nine months Third party set by Lotame.

    Used to ensure that you receive relevant content and advertising.

    You can edit the information in the anonymous profile that Lotame associates with the device that you use to access digital content by going to their website.



  • Who we are and how to contact us

    UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and our registered office is Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Glos. GL52 3LZ.

    Whilst we won't be able to provide you with any technical advice in relation to your personal devices, you can contact us in any of the following ways.  Please note your call may be recorded for training and quality purposes.

    By phone From the UK Overseas
    UCAS Progress 0371 468 2568 +44 371 468 2568
    UCAS Undergraduate 0371 468 0 468 +44 330 3330 230
    UCAS Conservatoires 0371 468 0 470 +44 330 3330 232
    UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) 0371 334 4 447 +44 330 3330 235
    UCAS Teacher Training 0371 468 0 469 +44 330 3330 231

    By social media (please read our Social media etiquette guidance)