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Ucas deadline countdown 2021: things to remember

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend waiting until 29 January, the day of the Ucas deadline, to submit your university application – but if things are down to the wire, here's how to ensure you're fully prepared...

Perhaps it took you a bit longer to decide on your five university course choices? Or you were waiting on a Ucas reference from a very busy tutor?

Whatever the reason, make sure you're fully prepared for the big deadline as you won't have time to resolve any mistakes or errors that pop up. Below are some pointers for those nail-biting final days and weeks to ensure you're fully prepared come January.

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Know the 2021 Ucas deadlines

The general deadline for Ucas applications is 6pm, 29 January. This is the case for the majority of courses. The Ucas application deadline is usually 15 January, but this year Ucas extended it by two weeks to 29 January 2021 because of the school closures caused by the latest lockdown. You can read more about the deadline extension on our sister site The Student Room here

The exceptions to this deadline are:


Beware common Ucas deadline delays

Stumbles and hiccups occur… It’s a fact of life. These could be caused by an ill-timed broadband glitch at home, a missing reference or someone forgetting to hit submit when they were supposed to. 

If an issue with your application does occur, don't panic. There could be a way to resolve it.


Don't let your personal statement slow you down

You've been staring at your personal statement for weeks and months, removing chunks, swapping bits around, replacing a word here and there... You’re probably sick of the sight of it by now!

Nevertheless, it's a crucial part of your overall Ucas application and might clinch you a spot on a course if an admissions tutor is stuck deciding between you and someone else. At this stage, it's probably not about a full re-write, but some subtle tweaks and getting others to proof-read can make all the difference.


And if you DO miss the Ucas deadline…

It's far from ideal, but all is not lost.

Firstly, if you miss the deadline, you can still submit your application. Applications submitted after 29 January will be accepted but just won't be guaranteed equal consideration by universities.

So while that means you'll probably lose out on a place on a really competitive course which receives more applications than places available, other courses may still consider you in the mix.

The Ucas Extra and Ucas Clearing systems are also available for applicants who haven't, for whatever reason, secured a place. Many students get into uni via one of these alternative routes.

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