The UCAS End of Cycle Report 2018 is the first national overview of demand for, and acceptances to, undergraduate UK higher education (HE) for the 2018 admissions cycle.

The End of Cycle Report provides independent in-depth analysis and insight about who’s applying and getting in to HE, changing patterns of recruitment, and the impacts of qualification, market reforms, and widening participation and access activities, drawing on UCAS’ many years of expertise in this area. With the current political, social and economic backdrop, and an increasingly competitive higher education market, understanding admissions patterns has rarely been more important.

As in previous years, UCAS is publishing the End of Cycle Report in several chapters, throughout November, December and January. 

The report is accompanied by the release of around 300 data sets (end of cycle data resources), which are free to access and reuse. These data sets comprise cross tabulations of key characteristics of applicants, their applications and outcomes, as well as the data behind all charts in the reports.

The first release, comprised of three chapters, covers a summary of applicants and acceptances, offer-making, and unconditional offer-making, to 18 year olds from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The second release was a summary of applicant characteristics. The third release covers patterns by geography, and qualifications. The fourth release covers patterns of unconditional offer-making by providers and patterns of equality in England.


Table of contents

Section Summary of contents Data resources
Summary of applicants and acceptances (2.2 MB) A headline analysis of patterns of entry to UK undergraduate courses. Summary of applicants and acceptances data (7.28 KB)
Offer-making (871.96 KB) An analysis of offer-making by age, domicile, country, predicted grades, and tariff group. Offer-making data (12.41 KB)
Unconditional offer-making (3.73 MB) An analysis of unconditonal offer-making to 18 year olds from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Unconditional offer-making data (18.06 KB)
Patterns by applicant characteristics (997.04 KB) An analysis of applicant characteristics including POLAR4, SIMD and gender. Patterns by applicant characteristics data (31.66 KB)
Patterns by geography (1.01 MB)

An analysis of applicants and acceptances by geography.

Patterns by geography data (119.87 KB)
Qualifications (1.28 MB)

An analysis of applicants and acceptances by qualifications held.  

Qualifications data (11.02 KB)
Patterns of unconditional offer-making by providers (1.46 MB) An analysis of unconditional offer-making to 18 year olds from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, by providers.  Unconditional offer-making by providers' data (6.18 KB)
Patterns of equality in England (691.41 KB) An analysis of applicant characteristics including MEM, FSM, and ethnic group. Patterns of equality data (15.24 KB)

A sentence in section 4.1 of chapter 1 was updated on 2 April 2019 to clarify the proportion of nursing applicants placed by the end of the cycle, onto courses other than nursing.

Several statistics in chapters 3 (Unconditional offer-making) and 7 (Patterns of unconditional offer-making), plus the supporting data resources, were updated on 12 February 2019, to more accurately reflect the number of conditional unconditional offers made by providers in the South East region. Section 4.2 and Figure 7 in Chapter 7 have been updated to reflect that 57.5% of offers with an unconditional component made by providers in the South East to 18 year olds from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales were conditional unconditional (made unconditional if chosen as a firm choice). All other changes to statistics are minor and do not materially affect trends reported.  

Supporting CSV files for figures 4, 6 and 8 within the data resources for the unconditional offers chapter were updated on 18 January 2019, to ensure applicants who chose to defer their application are reported accurately. This affects around 1% of applications between 2013 and 2017. The 2018 cycle data is not affected, and there are no changes to the figures or findings in the main report.

Updates to chapters 3 and 6 were published on 28 May 2019. The original analysis used both self-declared and verified qualifications. This update uses just verified qualifications, which will be consistent with our reporting of qualifications for UK domiciled 18 year olds in the future. Figure 3, and the supporting text on page nine in chapter six, was updated to show that applicants in 2018 with A level points equivalent to DDD had an acceptance rate of over 80 per cent for the second year since 2013. The previous version stated that 2018 was the first time since 2013. Updates were made to three other statistics in the supporting text on page nine, which do not materially affect the analysis. A small update was made to figure 8 in chapter three, which marginally affects the figure and supporting data resources.


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