Published: 01 February 2019

Applying to a UK University through UCAS

Choosing which university to go to can be a daunting but exciting time in your life, especially if you’re looking to study in the UK as an international student.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to applying to a UK university:

Students sat on grass laughing

1. Choose your course

Choosing which course you’d like to study can be challenging, especially if you haven’t decided on a particular career yet. It‘s always best to choose a subject you’re interested in and that will continue to motivate you for the duration of your studies.

Remember - many universities accept equivalent international qualifications. Discover more about our courses, including entry requirements and application deadlines.


2. Find a university

Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to study, you can start looking at which universities offer that course and where they are located. You might also want to think about whether you’d like to attend a campus or city university. Students at Surrey enjoy having everything in one place on our friendly and lively campus.


3. Apply

If you apply to a university in the UK, you’ll need to do so through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

Where possible, you should apply for your five choices before Friday 29 January for all courses that start in 2021, except for veterinary medicine and science which had a deadline of 15 October. But don’t worry if you‘re unable to, as many universities will continue to accept applications from international students until later in the year. Discover all our tips and advice on applying for a course at Surrey here.


4. Wait for replies

After you’ve sent your application, you can check how it’s progressing by logging on to UCAS’s online system, Track. Track lets you see when universities make and receive decisions about your application. This is also where you’ll be able to respond to any offers you get. 


5. Make arrangements

Once a university offers you a place, you can then apply for a student visa (if you need one). You can also start thinking about accommodation and whether you want to live on campus for your first year of study. Remember to check for any accommodation application deadlines – they may be earlier than you expect!


Useful information

  • You can apply to UCAS independently or through a local adviser. This can be a member of staff at a school, college, university, advisory service or agency
  • As part of your application, you’ll need to write a personal statement. This is a great opportunity to tell universities why you want to study in the UK and what makes you a great student
  • If English is not your native language, universities may ask you to take an approved English language test. For more information, take a look at our English language requirements.


Find out more about the University of Surrey

Could Surrey be the right university for you? Explore our courses and discover more about life at Surrey.  

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