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Planned maintenance: 15 – 17 December

Due to planned maintenance, the services below will be unavailable from 20:00 on Friday 15 December until 23:59 (UK time) on Sunday 17 December:

  • UCAS Undergraduate Apply and Track
  • UCAS Conservatoires Apply and Track
  • UCAS Teacher Training Apply, Track, and the search tool
  • UCAS Postgraduate Apply
During this time, you won’t be able to work on your application, sign in to Track, or use the UCAS Teacher Training search tool.

How to get a UCAS Undergraduate reference

How you get a reference for your application depends on if you’re applying individually, or through a school, college, or a centre registered with UCAS.
Relevant to
How to request a reference
Here's how to get a reference for your UCAS Undergraduate application.
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Signed video on requesting a reference
Here's how to get a reference for your application.
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How to choose a referee

If possible, they should be someone who knows you academically and can talk about your work ethic, interaction with other students and your suitability for higher education or a future career.
  • In a current or recent school or college, ask your tutor, teacher, principal or head teacher.
  • If you left education years ago, ask an employer, volunteering supervisor or trainer.
  • Don’t ask family, friends, partners or ex-partners though – if you do your application may be cancelled.

How the reference should be written

If your referee needs guidance on how to write you a reference, send them this link for in-depth advice.

Here’s an overview for you, so that you’ll know what to discuss with them.  

  • It must be a full reference, written by your referee online in the reference section of your application, in English (or Welsh if you’re applying for courses in Wales).
  • It might include your career goals and work experience – so talk these through with them first – as well as how well you’ve done in specific modules or course components.
  • If your referee is one of your teachers, they can add your predicted grades for any pending qualifications you’re studying now.
  • With your permission, it could include circumstances that have/could affect your academic work, such as a personal problem, illness or any individual needs you have.