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Don't miss the UCAS deadline

Week 18

8 January 2024

The UCAS deadline is 31 January at 6pm (UK time). This week's guide will take you through the steps of getting your application ready for submission (if you haven't already done it) and what happens if you miss the deadline.

We’ve put together a checklist with all of the essentials for applying, from start to finish. If you’ve finished your application, be sure to still read the checklist to be certain you’ve covered all bases. If you’re at the early stages, have a read to point you in the right direction.


Choose an area of interest

You might already know from a young age exactly what career you want. But, you might be the opposite of that and still unsure which career is for you. Take this into consideration and look back at our article on choosing a career

Research courses

Once you know what sort of area you want to study, look into the courses available. There are so many similar courses, so it’s really important you research them and choose the course that inspires or interests you the most - you’ll be studying this for three years! If you haven’t already, look at our top tips on picking a course

Select up to five universities

From there, you should look at your options. Different universities have different offerings - some focus on academic aspects, while others focus on employability. Normally, we’d suggest getting yourself to an open day, but seeing as time is of the essence, you could have a look at virtual tours of the facilities - here's a list of virtual tours from unis across the UK

Write your personal statement

Here’s a checklist within a checklist including the essentials of your personal statement:

  • Is it aesthetically pleasing? You want to make it easy to read and well-structured.
  • Were you accurate and honest about yourself? It’s not worth adding in the odd white lie as it’s bound to be brought up at some point, which could be awkward.
  • On the other hand, are you selling yourself enough? Be proud of your achievements and make sure you include them.
  • Have you included extra-curricular activities? These can help to show the university that you’re a well-rounded person who could adapt to uni life.
  • Do you sound passionate about your area of study? Admission tutors will look to see that you’ve got a genuine interest in the subject, so make that clear in your application.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Proofread it yourself, get a teacher/tutor/friend to proofread it, and then proofread your application again yourself! Typos make it look like you’re lazy and you don’t really care. They're easily avoidable so spend some time on this. Grammarly is a useful online tool for checking work, although be aware that it isn't always correct.

Have a read of our guide to writing your personal statement and personal statements: advice, resources, motivation articles for further guidance.

Send off your application!

Once you’ve completed all of the above, you should be good to go. Now, double check your details on UCAS and when you’re happy, send it off!

Think you might miss the deadline?

Missing the deadline definitely doesn’t mean you have to wait until the following year to start uni. What it does mean is that your application isn’t guaranteed equal consideration. Therefore, by the time your application is received, the course you’re applying for could have already filled up or closed.

It’s advised that you send in your application as soon as possible, but ensure you’re happy with the quality before sending it - don't rush it! It could also be worth contacting the university's admissions team to make sure the course you're applying to isn't already full, as this would be a waste of a choice. If you're applying to Solent, you can contact our team by emailing

If you do miss the deadline, there are many other options. You can find out more in our 52 Things article.

Tasks for this week

  • Do everything you can to get your application in on time.
  • Look back at the previous weeks to make sure your application is ready.