UCAS 2020: How to apply, log in, track your application and meet the deadline

Scottish students have just days to send off their UCAS application - here's everything you need to know about the application process.

The UCAS application deadline is approaching (Shutterstock)
The UCAS application deadline is approaching (Shutterstock)

With tens of thousands of prospective students vying for a limited number of university spaces, getting your application squeaky clean has never been more important.

Make the process less stressful by following our simple to understand application guide.

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When is the deadline for undergraduates?

The deadline for the majority of courses starting in 2020 is January 15 at 6pm (GMT).

The deadline to apply for courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and most medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry courses lapsed on October 15.

Many schools have their own deadlines for applications and UCAS recommends following these strictly to ensure that your application is received on time.

To find out which deadline applies to your course, use UCAS' easy-to-use course search tool.

What do I need to do before the deadline?

Before an application is sent off to UCAS, applicants must follow three steps after they have registered for the application process. Once registered students will have their own unique username and password.

First of all prospective students must fill in personal details, a list of qualifications, as well as a list of course and university choices.

Next, applicants are required to write a personal statement demonstrating their suitability to the course. This must be no longer than 500 words.

Finally, students must include a reference and pay their application fee.

The application fee is £20 if you’re applying to just one course, or £25 for multiple courses and for late applications sent after 30 June.

A reference will typically be a tutor, teacher, principal if you're in education or an employer if you are in employment.

How do I track my application?

Once your application has been sent off you will likely be itching to hear from your chosen universities.

Applicants can track the status of their application by signing into UCAS' Track. A personal ID will be sent to would-be students in a welcome email which when paired with their original UCAS password will allow access to the tracking system.

When logged in students can see whether they have been made conditional or unconditional offers from universities, or if they've been rejected outright. Places of study may also invite applicants for an interview.

What if I miss the deadline?

Students who miss the January deadline can still make a late application by June 30, though by this time many courses may be full.

Alternatively, students who either miss the deadline or don't receive any offers from universities can apply via 'clearing' on September 20. This is the process by which universities fill the remaining places on their courses.