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Apply through UCAS Progress

Find out how and when to apply for post-16 courses using UCAS Progress, and what happens after you've made your application.
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When to apply

Applications can be submitted from 3 October in UCAS Progress.

  • However, you can start your applications by doing your research and completing your profile at any time.
  • Before applying, you might want to attend an open day at your chosen provider.
  • Although there's no specific deadline in UCAS Progress, some colleges, training providers, and schools might have a deadline that means you'll need to apply early – check the provider pages on UCAS Progress search.

Eight steps to applying

Before you can apply for courses through UCAS Progress you’ll need to register. Your school or college will do this for you, so ask them for your username and temporary password. If you aren't at school or college, you can self-register yourself.

You can also watch our videos on how to search for courses and make you application.

  • Step 1 – searching for courses and providers

    You can use UCAS Progress to look for opportunities in your area. There are lots of courses that you can look through, find out more details and which providers they are delivered at. It is a good idea to think about and research the courses you might enjoy and what type of provider you would like to go to e.g. a college or work-based learning provider etc. You will also be able to find out how far you will need to travel to get there.

  • Step 2 – saving courses to your favourites page

    While you are searching you can save courses that you like the look of on your unique favourites’ page. This means that when you sign back in they will be saved there and you don’t have to search around the site for them again. You can favourite as many courses as you would like to at any time. You have also got the ability to save providers so if you like the look of a place you can save it without saving any courses.

  • Step 3 – completing your profile

    You can start completing your profile at any time and it is a good idea to do this as soon as you can so you are ready to start making applications. There are five sections that you need to fill out which are:

    1. Personal information (e.g. school details, support needs etc)
    2. Qualifications (ability to add any subjects that you are working towards or have completed already)
    3. Work history (if you have any work experience or currently have a part time job you can add it here)
    4. Personal statement (gives you a chance to tell the provider that you are applying to a bit about yourself)
    5. Contact details (allows you to add your contact details e.g. mobile number and email and keep them up-to-date throughout the application process).

    You can save these sections at any stage and when you have finished can mark as complete. All five sections need to be completed before you can start an application.

  • Step 4 – making an application

    Before you can make an application you need to have saved the courses that you would like to apply for and completed all of the sections of your profile. When you are ready click the applications tab on your toolbar and select ‘start a new application’. You will then be able to select the provider you want to apply to and the courses you want to study from the list that you saved as favourites.

    This will then put your application into the ‘Not sent’ category. You can then click the blue ‘view’ button and check over your application before you send it. When you are happy you can click ‘submit your application’. If you have not completed all of your profile you will then see a message saying ‘awaiting profile completion’ and you will need to go back and complete all of the sections of your profile before you can send your application. You can send applications to as many providers as you feel is right for you.

  • Step 5 – course preferencing

    This must be completed before your application can be submitted. When you have saved the course you would like to apply for, and have completed your profile, select the ‘applications’ tab and click ‘Start a new application’. After choosing the provider you would like to apply to, you are asked to ‘Change the order of your chosen courses’.

    You have the ability to move the courses up and down so you can show which is your first choice, second choice etc. Click the blue button ‘Confirm course preference order’ when you have finished. 

  • Step 6 – application in progress

    As your application progresses you will be able to see what is happening at every stage by signing back in to UCAS Progress and selecting the ‘Applications Tab’.

    When you have sent your application it will move from the ‘Not sent’ column to the second stage ‘In Progress’ and your application will be marked as ‘Submitted’.

    When the provider receives your application they will acknowledge this and send you a message saying they have received it which will be marked as ‘Acknowledged’.

    You will then see any offers that you receive on this page as well. If you change your mind about your application at any time through the process you can send a message to the provider and either change the courses you are applying for or details on your form.

  • Step 7 – offer preferencing

    Provider preferencing enables you to put your applications in the order in which you would like to go to them e.g. first choice, second choice etc. When you start making applications, the first application automatically becomes your first choice provider. When you make any more applications you then have the ability to change your preference. You can do this by going to your applications and then clicking the blue button ‘Change the order of your choices’, or using the ‘Change’ link against the provider.

  • Step 8 – receiving offers and making choices

    If a provider makes you an offer you will see this on your applications page. You can receive conditional and unconditional offers through the system and if there are any conditions these will be visible. You have then got the option to accept or decline the offer. You can accept as many offers as you would like to. When you have accepted an offer that application will move into the last column and be marked as ‘accepted’.

    If they don’t want to make you an offer, they will mark your application as unsuccessful. Alternatively, they may return your application for you to make changes, or to add alternative courses, before they decide to make you an offer.

What happens next?

After you've submitted your application, the school, college, or training provider will start to process it.

  • They might respond to you through UCAS Progress, so check your application dashboard regularly.
  • They might invite you to an interview, taster day, or meeting.
  • Make sure you keep your email address up-to-date so you can get updates and messages about your application.

Top tips

  1. Do your research!
  2. Check the entry requirements of the courses you're applying for.
  3. Check the courses you are applying for fit with your career or job aspirations.
  4. Check your spelling and grammar on your application.
  5. Check you've put the correct contact information on your application.
  6. When writing your personal statement, think about what you want to say about yourself and what the college, sixth form, or training provider needs to know about you.
  7. Once you've completed your application, get someone to check it for you before you submit it.