This article provides a brief outline of the Apply process with tips for making the application as easy as possible.

This extract is taken from How to Complete Your UCAS Application 2020 Entry by Ray Le Tarouilly and UCAS.

Getting started

Each year, all schools, colleges and careers centres registered with UCAS set up a unique password or ‘buzzword’, made up of at least six letters and numerals, which will be used by you and all other UCAS applicants at your centre so that your application can be identified with that centre.


When you log in, you will be taken to the main Apply screen. Apply is divided into the following sections:

  • Personal details: basic facts such as name, address and date of birth.
  • Additional information (for UK applicants only): mostly data for equal opportunities monitoring.
  • Choices: your selection of universities, colleges and subjects.
  • Education: your school or college details and exams, past and future.
  • Employment: any jobs you have held.
  • Personal statement: this is your chance to impress and convince admissions tutors to offer you a place. Personal statements have a maximum length of 4,000 characters (47 lines).
  • Reference: the good news is that you are not allowed to write your own reference, so there is relatively little for you to do here. Your referee (usually a teacher, if you are applying via a school or college) will write it and then attach it to your application.
  • View all details: to review your application.
  • Pay/send: application to higher education via UCAS costs £25 (or £20 if you apply to only one course).


You are free to move between sections as you like, leaving them partially completed (‘In progress’) and returning to them later if necessary. Remember to save all your changes! You will not be able to submit your application until every section of Apply is complete.


Before you start your application, here are some tips and reminders:

  • Make sure you have done all your research thoroughly and you are happy with your choices.
  • Collect together:

– your personal details

– all school or college attendance dates

– exam results slips and entry forms

– any employment details

– details of the higher education courses you are applying for, including institution and course codes (you can find these on the search tool on the UCAS website).

  • Carefully read through the guidance available on the Apply home page.
  • Be honest and truthful – you must be able to back up all your statements.
  • Do not try to make more than one application in the same year.
  • Remember that once your application reaches UCAS, you cannot amend it or add anything to it. Therefore, get someone such as a tutor to check your personal statement, preferably someone who is well informed about higher education.


You should now be ready to start your application – good luck!