The application process

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the system through which you select and apply for almost all full-time undergraduate courses in the UK. This is a brief overview of the stages involved. For more detailed information see our applicants' timeline and how to apply pages.

The early stages

If your child is currently in education, they will make their UCAS application through their school or college. They will write a personal statement to support their application, and a teacher will write a reference for them. If they are not in education they can apply as an individual. For more details, visit UCAS web pages for parents and guardians.

Students can apply for up to five choices through UCAS. This could be a similar course at five universities, five courses at one university, or any mixture in-between. 

The assessment stage

Internal admissions staff at each university will assess whether each applicant is capable of completing a course, based on their achieved and predicted grades, personal statement and academic reference. The process may take a few days, weeks or even longer. When a decision has been made, students will receive the response in UCAS Hub, the online system that allows your child to check the progress of their UCAS application. These responses include:

  • an unconditional offer: their place is guaranteed
  • a conditional offer: their place will depend on obtaining certain grades or a successful interview
  • an unsuccessful decision: they have not been offered a place on the course. If your child receives no offers, they can still apply to university through UCAS Extra. This allows students to search for universities with available places and make one additional choice at a time. It runs from February until early July.

Here to help

Our admissions team is here to help your child at every stage of their application to Oxford Brookes.

Contact us at

Making firm and insurance choices

When your child has had responses from every institution they have applied to, they will have to choose:

  • a firm choice: their preferred course and institution
  • an insurance choice: a back-up course and institution with lower entry requirements, at which they would also be happy.
Two students talking in town centre


Has your child...?

  • researched the universities they’d like to apply to
  • attended open days
  • checked the deadline dates for each of the courses
  • narrowed down their choices to five institutions
  • written a personal statement
  • submitted their form online
  • received their offer via UCAS
  • attended post-application visit days or interviews
  • made a decision on Firm and Insurance choice universities
  • sent a response to UCAS
  • used UCAS Extra, if no suitable offers are received
  • entered Clearing if they haven't got the required grades to get a place on the course.