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Important deadlines for students entering university in 2021

Amy O'Neill

Get out your calendars, because there are some crucial dates coming up for undergraduates next month...

The undergraduate application process can be stressful and overwhelming for many candidates, so we're helping you get a head-start on your academic year by collecting all of the key dates and deadlines for undergraduates in 2021/22. Our list takes you through the remaining steps of the 2021 application process, as well as covering the first half of the 2022 entry - so that you're completely prepared for what's to come as you move into further or higher education. 


  • 2021 Entry

20 May 2021: University and college decisions for 2021 entry are due for all applications that were submitted by 29 January 2021

If you've submitted your university or college application by 29 January 2021, you'll start receiving your offers from the universities/colleges you selected in your application in May 2021. The majority of these decisions should make their way back to you by 20 May, and you'll have some time to think about which uni or college you'd like to attend. If you've changed your mind about your course or university, then you'll still have the option to browse through UCAS Clearing - which opens in June. 


10 June 2021: Respond to all university/college decisions by 10 June 2021

If you've received all of your university/college decisions back by 20 May 2021, and you're ready to accept one of your offers, then you need to reply to your chosen university or college as well as all the others you applied to by this date. Otherwise, they’ll be automatically declined.


30 June 2021: 2021 entry applications submitted to UCAS after this date will be entered into "Clearing"

In the UK, many universities and colleges use "Clearing" to fill any remaining places on their courses after the initially undergraduate uptake. If you didn't apply by the first undergraduate deadline at the start of the year (29 January 2021) but have now decided that you'd like to attend university or college this year, then you can use Clearing to find a place in time for 2021 entry.

Any applications submitted after 30 June 2021 will be automatically entered into Clearing, and will be available to view and track after UCAS' Clearing period officially opens in early July. 


5 July 2021: 2021 UCAS clearing opens + International Baccalaureate results are published

Clearing officially opens on 5 July 2021. As mentioned above, anyone who applies to university or college via UCAS after 30 June 2021 will be automatically entered into the clearing process and you'll have to complete your application using the remaining university/college places available. However, you can also enter clearing if you:

  1. You're not currently holding an offer from one of the five universities on your first application (either because you did not receive any offers, or none that you wanted to accept)
  2. You failed to meet the conditions of your accepted offer
  3. You've changed your mind and declined your "firm place" offer 


13 July 2021: University and college decisions for 2021 entry are due for all applications that were submitted by 30 June 2021

If you've submitted your UCAS application between 29 January and 30 June 2021, then you'll receive the decisions of your chosen universities/colleges and any offers by 13 July 2021. If you applied to UCAS after 30 June 2021, then you can receive your decisions and offers from the date you submitted your application right up until 20 October 2021. 


14 July 2021:  If you've received all your uni/college decisions by 13 July, you need to reply by 14 July 2021

Because your application was submitted after the first 2021 entry deadline in January, you won't have as long to think over your choices. If you receive your offers by 13 July 2021, then you need to make your decision and respond to your chosen university or college by 14 July 2021.


10 August 2021: SQA and GCE results day

Both SQA and GCE results are published on 10 August 2021, which could impact any conditional offers that you're currently holding from your chosen university or college. If you're holding a conditional offer which is based on these results, then you have to let your university know about your final grades as soon as possible - if you fail to meet your conditional requirements, you'll have the option to enter Clearing and find another place until 19 October 2021.


31 August 2021: Any conditional offers for your university or college entry must be met by this date

If you're holding a conditional offer, then you have to submit proof that you've meet the required grade(s) by 31 August 2021. If you do not submit your grades to your university or college by this date, then your place will be automatically declined. 


21 September 2021: Final day for 2021 entry UCAS applications to be submitted

21 September 2021 is the very last day that you can submit an application for 2021 entry. If you fail to submit your application by this day, then you'll still be able to apply for the 2022 academic year (see below for 2022 application opening dates). 


19 October 2021: Final day to add any 2021 Clearing choices

This is the last day that you're able to add any Clearing choices to your 2021 application. If you fail to submit your Clearing choices by this day, then you'll still be able to apply for the 2022 academic year - which will give you a broader choice of universities and courses to choose from. 


20 October 2021: Final day for universities and colleges to make decisions 

20 October 2021 is the final day that universities and college can make decisions and send out offers. If you do not receive any firm decisions or offers by this date, then your 2021 application will be automatically declined, and you'll have to re-apply for the next undergraduate uptake. 


  • 2022 Entry

18 May 2021: UCAS applications open for 2022 entry

UCAS applications for the 2022 academic year open on 18 May 2021. You should apply at this stage if you want the best shot of securing your top university or college choices. 


7 September 2021: Applicants can officially submit their 2022 applications to UCAS

Those who have completed their application between 18 May and 6 September 2021 can submit their applications to UCAS, and universities/colleges can begin making decisions for the 2022 entry process. If you haven't completed your application yet, you'll be able to submit it from this date until 30 June 2022. After 30 June, your application will be automatically submitted into 2022 Clearing.  


15 October 2021: Application deadline for Oxford, Cambridge and most Medicine, Veterinary Medicine/Science, and Dentistry courses

Applications for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the majority of undergraduate courses in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine/Science, and Dentistry should by submitted to UCAS by 6pm (UK) on 15 October 2021. Your application will have to be completed in full, including your personal statement and reference, before being sent to UCAS. 


15 January 2022: Application deadline for the majority of undergraduate courses, except those already submitted by 15 October 2021

Applications for all other undergraduate courses should by submitted to UCAS by 6pm (UK) on 15 January 2022 for equal consideration. Like the earlier October applications, you'll need a fully-complete application which details all of your university/college choices, your personal statement, and your academic reference before it can be accepted as a submission. 


For more undergraduate advice, and to keep up to date on all of our graduate opportunities, sign up to Gradtouch here