If your child has decided university is the right path for them, here’s what they’ll need to know about making a UCAS application.

Register in the UCAS Hub

First, they’ll need to register in the UCAS Hub – it only takes about five minutes to enter their basic details and set up security information.

If your child is applying through a school, they’ll be given a ‘buzzword’ so their application can be linked to their school.

Go to the UCAS Hub

Application sections

Your child can fill in their application at any time, saving their progress as they go. They can go back and edit it until they’re happy it’s complete. They'll need to fill in these sections:

  • Personal details – this will already contain the information they gave when registering, and there will be more questions about student support and where they live. (From 2025 details of where they live will be in a new section – see below.)  
  • Contact and residency details – address, email, telephone number, postal address, and if they want someone else to be able to act on their behalf.
  • Where you live – they'll be asked where they've lived for the last three years and for what purpose, as unis need to know if they're living there temporarily or permanently. (From 2025 entry.)
  • Nationality details – their birthplace and nationality.
  • Supporting information – these questions ask if they’ve lived or worked – or have parents from – the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
  • English language skills – if English is not their first language, they can give details of IELTS or TOEFL English proficiency tests. (This is not passed on to their choices.)
  • Finance and funding – how they will fund their studies.
  • Diversity and inclusion (UK applicants only) – equality monitoring information. Providers only see this information after a place is secured or at the end of the application cycle – so it doesn’t influence any decision-making.
  • More about you – gives the opportunity to highlight their individual circumstances in the application. Universities and colleges can make more informed decisions about an applicant’s circumstances and ensure supportive measures are in place for them.
  • Education – details and dates of all schools they’ve attended since the age of 11, exam results, and exams still to be taken.
  • Employment – basic details of any full or part-time paid employment. They can talk more about this in their personal statement.
  • Extra activities (UK applicants only) – if they’ve participated in an activity to prepare them for higher education, they can give details of it here.
  • Personal statement – their opportunity to tell the university or college about their ambitions, skills and experience, and why they want to study a particular course or subject. Read our advice on helping your child write a great personal statement.

Finally, there’s a section for the reference, which is added by their referee – usually their teacher, but this can also be an employer or trainer for students applying independently.

The 2024 application fee is £27.50 for up to five choices.  

The 2025 application fee will be £28.50 for up to five choices.  

Free school meals application fee waiver: For the 2025 cycle, if your child has been in receipt of free school meals at some point during the last six years (during their secondary education) up until the end of their final year, they will be eligible to have their application fee waived. Find out more.

Key dates and application deadlines


Nominated access
Your child can add your name for ‘nominated access’ in the ‘Contact and residency details’ section. You can then contact UCAS – or their unis – on their behalf to discuss their application.

What does a school do?

  • If your child is applying through a school, pressing ‘Send’ on their application sends it to their school, not directly to UCAS.
  • Once they’ve completed their application, there’s still a lot for their school to do. Most schools will set an internal deadline, earlier than the UCAS application deadline – to give them time to check students’ applications, support those struggling with their application, and write and add references. 
  • Once all this is completed, the school pay for and send their students’ applications. They often arrange payment beforehand, so they can do it all in one go.
  • Encourage your child to speak to their teacher to check internal application and payment deadlines.

UCAS Conservatoires applications

If your child is thinking of a career in music, dance, or drama, they can choose between applying through the UCAS Undergraduate or UCAS Conservatoires application schemes. Both universities and conservatoires offer undergraduate degrees. 

If your child isn’t sure which type of course will suit them best, they can apply through both application schemes. If they
get a place in both, they’ll need to decide which to take up.

What does conservatoire study involve?

  • A conservatoire is a course provider that specialises in performance-based courses, but also includes academic study.
  • All courses at conservatoires have a strong vocational, performance-based focus, and course structures are reflective of the industry.
  • If your child’s interests are in a practical discipline, such as vocal performance or dance, they may favour a conservatoire.
  • All teaching staff at conservatoires are working professionals. There is a strong emphasis on one-to-one tuition, alongside group work and performances.

UCAS Conservatoires 2024 deadlines

2 October 2023 (18:00 UK time)
For applications to music courses
31 January 2024 (18:00 UK time)
For applications to most dance, drama, and musical theatre courses

UCAS Conservatoires 2025 deadlines

2 October 2024 (18:00 UK time)
For applications to music courses
29 January 2025 (18:00 UK time)
For applications to most dance, drama, and musical theatre courses
There are some exceptions, so check course details on conservatoires’ websites and in the UCAS search tool.

Teaching applications

If your child is considering a career as a teacher, they need Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET), based at a university, school, or college in the UK.

How to apply for teaching

  • If your child is an undergraduate, or a graduate looking for a training programme in Scotland or Wales, they will need to apply through the UCAS Undergraduate route.
  • If they already have an undergraduate degree and are based in England, they will need to make their application through the Department for Education’s Apply for teacher training service

There are several different ways of becoming a teacher, and it’s important students do their research to find the route that suits them best. Each involves:

  • a minimum of 24 weeks in at least two schools, to give practical classroom experience
  • academic study to provide the knowledge and understanding to teach successfully
  • tutoring in classroom management
  • mentoring from experienced professionals
  • an assessment of their teaching skills through observed classes