How to apply for an undergraduate course

We accept applications for full-time undergraduate degree courses through UCAS. From July-September, when Clearing is open, you can apply directly to us.

If you're interested in studying part-time, you can usually apply directly to us. You'll find application links on course pages. Search undergraduate courses.

If you're an international student, please visit our international admissions page for information on how to apply.

Completing your university application

When you're applying to university, there are a few important things to do and dates to remember. Here's our quick guide.

You may also find our timeline and at-a-glance UCAS checklist helpful.

With over 37,000 courses to choose from, at around 395 universities and colleges, you might be wondering where to start. You’ve got a big decision to make and with so many options it’s a good idea to pin down exactly what you want from your university experience.

Here are our recommendations.

  • Talk to a careers/guidance adviser.
  • Visit to get more information and compare the courses and universities that interest you. When you apply, you can select up to five choices.
  • Do a keyword search on UCAS – if there’s a specific course title or course combination you want to do, type it directly into the UCAS course finder engine.
  • Do your research carefully – check out university websites, as well as UCAS, so you get a real feel for the place.
  • Consider the course content and not just its title – English at one university is not the same as English at another university.
  • Check if there are options to boost your employability, through placements, live industry projects, or general careers support
  • Check the entry requirements – will you need specific subjects (including GCSEs) or work experience? Are you on track to achieve the grades you need?
  • Attend university open days – see our handy checklist for suggestions on things you could ask about. If you're considering ARU, we'd love to see you at one of our undergraduate Open Days.
  • Get advice from friends, family and school staff – but don't forget the ultimate choice is yours.
  • Try to get to a UCAS Fair where you can pick up prospectuses from lots of different universities and speak with their representatives.
  • Have you chosen courses with a range of entry requirements? Try to maximise your chances by making your ‘Insurance’ option a course with lower grade requirements than your ‘Firm’ choice.
  • Think about a range of universities with different entry requirements.
  • Above all you should be comfortable with your choices: it's all about finding the 'best fit' for you.
Read more about read more about choosing a university.

Before you start, choose a professional-looking email address and dig out your exam certificates for details of grades and exam boards. Then go to UCAS Apply and fill out the application form, where you will be able to select up to five courses.

UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and their website is your portal to the world of higher education.

Using UCAS Apply is really simple. The main sections are:

Once you've filled out all the details, simply submit your application and UCAS will pass it on to the universities you're interested in.

Transferring to ARU

If you're interested in transferring to ARU, you can also apply through UCAS. Just let us know which year you're applying for (for example, Year 2). We'll consider applications for advanced entry to most of our courses, though there are a few exceptions: see our transfer page for details.

Read more about read more about starting your ucas application.

A personal statement helps to support your university application. It's a great way to tell your chosen university a bit more about you, and what you want to achieve through your studies.

It’s really important to take time to think about, plan and write the best possible statement. Our guide to writing your personal statement can help you there.

Personal statements are a maximum of 4,000 characters (about one side of typed A4) when applying through UCAS. If you apply through ARU online, the maximum word count is 2,000 words.

Read more about read more about writing your personal statement.

You can apply through UCAS at any time, though many school and college students apply by the initial deadline. This is usually in January (the exact date varies every year. Check our UCAS timeline for details.

Applying by January means that you're ready to apply for student loans in February, when applications open, and should receive offers from universities by mid-May. It gives you a few months to prepare.

However, you can still apply after January. UCAS remains open and universities continue to make offers. There's still plenty of time to arrange financial support and get ready for university.

From July-September, when Clearing is open, you can apply directly to us. Clearing might suit you if:

  • you've changed your plans, and have decided to start university this year
  • you've changed your mind about where you want to study
  • you've received your A-level results and want to find the best opportunity for you
  • you're returning to education.
Read more about read more about submitting a university application.

Once you’ve hit submit and UCAS has acknowledged receipt of your application, you’ll have access to UCAS Hub.

UCAS Hub lets you keep track of your applications and amend some personal details (for example, if you move house or change email address).

Offers can be accepted or declined through UCAS Hub, so don't forget to log in regularly and check the status of your applications.

You can also use UCAS Hub to apply through UCAS Extra. This is a way of making a further choice after you've applied, if you don’t quite find the right course or university at first. You may also apply for a university place through Clearing using UCAS Hub, if you are still to receive any offers when Clearing opens.

Once you've applied for a course at ARU, we'll also send you an email inviting you to access our applicant portal. As a student, you can continue to use the portal for useful information such as course timetables.

Read more about read more about tracking your application.

In common with other universities, there are three possible decisions we'll make about your application.

1. Conditional offer

You're offered a place if you meet certain conditions, which are usually based on your exams. If you're accepting a conditional offer, you’ll need to meet all the conditions before you start the course. Make sure you understand the requirements.

You may be asked to achieve specific UCAS tariff points (such as 260 points from two A levels), or grades in named subjects (for example, B in chemistry, C in physics). You might need to get specific grades in the individual units that make up these subjects.

2. Unconditional offer

You've already met all the academic requirements; your university may contact you for proof of your qualifications.

We may make an unconditional offer to applicants who have not yet completed their qualifications. These are called contextual offers and you'll find more details on our After you apply page. 

3. Unsuccessful

You've not been offered a place on your chose course. You may be eligible for UCAS Extra if your initial applications are unsuccessful, or you can consider applying through Clearing.

Read more about read more about university offers.

Once you’ve got all your offers you’ll have to reply to each one on UCAS Hub. Even if you've received five offers, you're only allowed to keep two. There are three ways that you can respond.

1. Firm acceptance

Your preferred choice. If you're accepting an unconditional offer this’ll be the only place you accept and will be where you’ll study. If you're accepting a conditional offer, this will be your first choice if you meet the conditions.

2. Insurance acceptance

Your back-up choice. This is where you’ll study if you don’t meet the conditions of your conditional firm acceptance but do meet the conditions of your insurance choice. We recommend accepting an insurance choice that's a grade or two below your firm choice. If you don't achieve your predicted grades you'll still have a university place waiting for you.

3. Decline

You can decline offers that you've decided aren't right for you.

If you decline your offers or have not yet received any, you can apply for another university course using UCAS Extra.

Read more about read more about accepting or declining offers.

If you've applied to ARU and have any questions about your application or your course, we're here to help.

Contact our Admissions Customer Service Team:

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, and Friday 9am-4.30pm.