Today, UCAS publishes an analysis of all full-time UCAS Undergraduate applications made by 30 June 2018 – the final deadline for applying to up to five universities or colleges simultaneously.
Posted Thu 12 July 2018 - 00:01

These are available as a series of reports, and are published within ten working days of the application deadline.

The key findings are:

  • In England, a record 38.1 per cent of the 18 year old population have applied. This is a 0.2 percentage point increase on the application rate on this time in 2017. The increase in the application rate comes alongside a 2.3 per cent fall in the total number of 18 year olds in England.
  • In Northern Ireland, 47.6 per cent of 18 year olds have applied (down 0.1 percentage points).
  • In Scotland, the 18 year old application rate is 32.8 per cent (down 0.2 percentage points).
  • In Wales, the application rate is 32.7 per cent (up 0.2 percentage points).

Across all ages, there are now 511,460 UK applicants, a 3 per cent decline on this point in 2017. There are:

  • 421,610 applicants from England (a decrease of 4 per cent)
  • 19,310 applicants from Northern Ireland (down 5 per cent)
  • 48,710 applicants from Scotland (down less than 1 per cent)
  • 21,830 applicants from Wales (down 3 per cent)

The number of EU applicants has risen 2 per cent, to 50,130. There is a record number of students from outside the EU – 75,380 students have applied to study in the UK, an increase of 6 per cent.

Overall, 636,960 people have applied in the current application cycle. This represents a 2 per cent decrease from 2017.

There are now 48,170 applicants to nursing courses (9 per cent fewer than this time last year). Among these, 35,260 applicants are from England, 12 per cent lower than at this point in 2017.

Clare Marchant, UCAS' Chief Executive, said: ‘Today’s numbers confirm the enduring appeal of the full-time degree experience its own right and as a gateway to a fulfilling career. The significant increases in applications from EU and international students demonstrate the continuing popularity of UK higher education.

‘As exam results are released during July and August, students who want to apply with their results can now do so by applying directly to Clearing. This post-qualifications route has become more popular in recent years, particularly with mature students, as highlighted in our recent report.

‘Everything students need to know is on, the official place to find Clearing courses.’


UCAS Press Office contact details


Phone: 01242 545 469

Notes to editors

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is a charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.


In Scotland, there is a substantial section of higher education that is not included in UCAS' figures. This is mostly full-time higher education provided in further education colleges, which represents around one third of young full-time undergraduate study in Scotland – this proportion varies by geography and background within Scotland. Accordingly, figures on applications and application rates in Scotland reflect only those applying for full-time undergraduate study through UCAS.

In the 2015 cycle, there were also changes to the scope of the data recorded in the UCAS scheme for Scotland (including teacher training programmes in Scotland moving from the dedicated UCAS Teacher Training scheme into the UCAS Undergraduate scheme).

Related news