Understanding the application process

Student sat typing at a computer

If the student you support is going to be applying to study at university for the first time, it’s likely that they will be applying via UCAS.

UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, and is used by students to apply to their chosen universities for consideration for studying a particular subject. UCAS also provide more details about the opportunities for post-16 education and training on the UCAS website.

The below steps outline the key activities during the UCAS applicant cycle.

1. Choose a university and a course

March - September

The student should visit UCAS fairs, talk to teachers, careers advisers, friends and yourself to help them make a informed decision about the universities they want to apply to, and the course they want to study.

2. Attend university Open Days

May - November

Most universities will hold Open Days across this period. Open Days are a great way for your the student to get a feel of the university, talk to university staff and students, and explore other options such as accommodation.

3. UCAS application deadline

31 January

This is the deadline that guarantees that your student’s UCAS application will be considered by the institutions they have applied to. Many courses will accept late applications after this date, providing they have not met their quota of offers for the year.

4. Begin to receive offers

November - May

Your student may begin to receive offers from the universities to which they have applied to within a matter of weeks. Do not be alarmed if offers take longer - each institution will have different admissions processes.

5. Offer Holder Days

February - May

If your student has been made an offer from Salford, you will be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day to learn more about the course they have applied for. Offer Holder Days differ to Open Days in that they are tailored to each applicant, to allow prospective students to experience a taster of what life will be like studying at our University. The day may include subject-specific taster sessions, campus tours and the chance to visit our accommodation, as well as ask any questions you may have.

6. Apply for finance

March onwards

Begin the Student Finance application sooner rather than later, to ensure your student receives the correct amount of money to support their studies in time for the start of the academic year. 

7. Book student accommodation

Spring onwards

If your student has received and accepted an offer from the University of Salford, we start taking applications for accommodation in the spring. If you attend an Open Day or Offer Holder Day, there will be an opportunity to take a look around the accommodation we have to offer. We'll email all applicants when our student accommodation opens for bookings.

8. Deadline for Student Finance applications

End of May

We would encourage you to apply for your student finance as soon as possible to ensure your finances are in place for the new academic year.

9. Deadline for accepting a place on a course

6 June

By mid May, your student should have received their offers. If they applied by the January deadline, they must make their firm and insurance choices by 6 June, otherwise UCAS will reject all offers by default.


10. Results Day


Your student will receive their results in mid-August (students on some courses may get them before this date). If they have achieved the required grades, we’ll automatically send confirmation of their place at Salford to UCAS. If not, there may still be a chance that we’ll accept them through Clearing. Find out more about this process on the UCAS website.

11. Get ready

August - September

Once your student’s place has been confirmed, we’ll start to send communications detailing everything they’ll need to know and do before joining us. It’s now time for them to start their exciting new life as a university student!