On 5 May 2016, university and college decisions became due on applications submitted by 15 January. In other words, if you applied by 15 January and you are still waiting, universities and colleges will decide whether they are making an offer by 5 May. Otherwise, those choices are automatically made unsuccessful.
If you receive all your university and college decisions by 5 May, you must reply to any offers by 8 June; otherwise, they will be declined. This includes applicants with a postal address outside the European Union, but not applicants using UCAS Extra to find a place.
If you receive all decisions by 8 June, reply by 23 June. Meaning, if you receive all your university and college decisions by 8 June, you must reply to any offers by 23 June (except if you are using UCAS Extra to find a place), or they will be decline.
To help you, here is a guide on how to reply to offers in UCAS.
Replying to Your Offers
You can only reply when you have received all your decisions. If you have an unconditional offer, you can select it now to confirm your place. If your offers are conditional on exam results or other requirements, you can pick two so you have an extra one as a back-up.
Types of Reply
The types of reply you can make are firm acceptance, insurance acceptance and decline. The firm acceptance is your first choice. Your insurance acceptance is your back-up choice to a conditional firm acceptance. You reply decline to the rest of the offers you get but have not chosen as your firm acceptance and insurance acceptance.
Your firm acceptance is your first choice. If it is an unconditional offer, the place is yours. So that course provider will expect you as their student. Otherwise, if it is conditional, the place is your if you meet the offer conditions. Thus, in case you do not meet them, you can pick a second offer as a backup which is your insurance acceptance.
The insurance acceptance you give to a course makes such your back-up choice to a conditional firm acceptance. If you are choosing an insurance, go for something with lower offer conditions – make sure it is somewhere you would still be happy to go to. Doing so, if your results are lower than expected, you might still meet the conditions at your insurance choice; then you would have your place confirmed there.
Take note that you will only attend your insurance choice course if you do not meet the conditions of your firm choice, but you do meet the conditions of your insurance. You cannot choose between your firm and insurance when you get your results, so make sure you are happy with which is your firm and which is your insurance before you reply.
After you have replied with your firm acceptance and insurance acceptance, you will need to decline any other offers you get. However, if you decide you do not want to accept any of the offers, you can decline them all and add more courses in the UCAS Extra service. Alternatively, you can see what courses still have vacancies later on in the UCAS Clearing service.
Again, remember that you can only accept one firm choice and one insurance choice (if you choose to have one). You must decline all other offers.
Offer and Reply Combinations
- Unconditional firm (UF) — You are in!
- Conditional firm (CF) — You are in if you meet the conditions.
- Conditional firm (CF) and conditional insurance (CI) — You have made a first and second choice — you will be in at the first if you meet the conditions. If not, you might have met the conditions of the second — if so you will be on that course instead.
- Conditional firm (CF) and unconditional insurance (UI) — You have made a first and second choice — if you meet the conditions of the first, you will be on that course. If not, you will definitely be on the second.
How to Make Replies
When your last decision comes in, UCAS will send an email as usual to say there is an update. Otherwise, they will send a letter advising you about replying. Then, you go to UCAS Track to make your replies. You will have a deadline shown in Track to do this by. How much time you have depends on the time of year, varying from one to five weeks.
The reply dates are based on when UCAS gets the last decision in from your universities and colleges. Check Track to see your personal deadline. If the last decision you received was on or before 31 March, it means that your reply date is 4 May if your postal address is in the European Union. For last decisions received on or before 5 May, the reply date is 8 June. Last decision received on or before 8 June, reply date is 23 June. Last decision received on or before 14 July means your reply date is 22 July.
Offers for Courses with Early Start Dates
If you want to accept a place on a course that starts before your reply date, you should contact the university or college concerned to discuss what to do. If they give you an earlier dealine to reply, you should be aware that they may withdraw their offer if you do not accept it before their specified deadline.