Applying to the U.K. through UCAS

The Universities and colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) is a widely utilized application system for universities in the U.K. It’s much more than an application system. It’s helpful search guide in exploring various colleges. International students can search by course (major) and find additional resources here: UCAS Tips for International Applicants

I believe the UCAS website is incredibly user-friendly and full of information, so I highly encourage you to go directly to the site and start researching/browsing:

They also have an incredibly helpful library of short videos like the one below!

A few things to be mindful of while applying to universities and colleges in the UK.

Colleges in England are structured differently than in the United States. Students will complete their degree in 3 years and throughout the 3 years are very much focused on their course (major). Unlike American universities, students don’t necessarily have the luxury of coming in undecided and spending a year or two exploring before committing to a major. If this doesn’t scare you, keep reading!!

Admission counselors will be looking for much different content on your college essay as compared to American universities as well. The college essay is MUCH more structured towards to the subject your want to study, your experiences in relation to that subject and why. Counselors overwhelmingly said they would like to see anywhere from 75 – 80% of the essay to be written about academics (your subject area and your relative experiences) and 20 – 25% on your personal qualities that show character (leadership, initiative, ability to collaborate with others, soft skills).

Here are a few short questions to help you in beginning to think about applying abroad and narrowing down your search:

  1. What country (or countries) do I want to study in? Download the Guide to International Universities on the RESOURCE and go through each country. 
  2. Do you know what you would major in? Explore majors here with University of Arizona’s degree search A helpful tool to read more about majors based on personality type and interest. Also utilize NAVIANCE! 
  3. What universities do you want to apply to? Utilize UCAS’ search tool to search by course (major) and find correlating universities.
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Begin your research early! Something to keep in mind Applying for a student Visa is not as tough or scary as you might think, there are admission counselors to walk you through the process. Students are often able to work part-time during the semester and full-time over summer which can help offset costs. Happy exploring!




One response to “Applying to the U.K. through UCAS”

  1. collegecounselorrowley Avatar

    Amazing source of information for college outside of the U.S. just in this current blog. Thank you


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