Oxbridge UCAS Checklist

For Oxbridge applicants, it's key to understand the UCAS application cycle and to have everything ticked off for the 15th of October. Use our UCAS timeline to see where you are at.

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Whether you’re reading this with one week to go or one month left, it’s important that you understand what makes up a UCAS application and you have everything ticked off.

When applying to university, there’s a fair few steps that you will need to go through. Some quick points to mention are:

  1. You can only register once each application cycle.
  2. If you want to reapply, you’ll need to submit a new application.
  3. You cannot apply to both Cambridge and Oxford in the same cycle, you must choose one.

In this article, we will cover the UCAS application process for Oxbridge and Medicine students. It’s important to remember that there are a few differences for those applying to non-Oxbridge such as a different UCAS deadline. We’ll start by looking at the benefits of applying early.

Should I apply earlier and will it improve my chances?

UCAS Apply opens at the beginning of September and the Oxbridge and Medicine UCAS deadline is the 15th of October. All applications that are received before the 15th of October are given equal consideration to those sent on the day, but applying early could benefit your application because it saves you the last-minute push to get it done and you can make any changes early before it is too late. It also frees up some valuable time to focus on your studies.

Let’s go through the timeline of the application process leading up to the 15th of October. Use it as a checklist to tick off what you have completed.

UCAS Timeline

Summer Holidays

Over the summer, you will have decided on your university choices and degree choices and written your Personal Statement. We suggest you work on your Personal Statement early on to make any edits and changes before the deadline hits.

7th September UCAS Applications Can Start To Be Submitted

Register and set up your login details and confirm which year you are planning to start your studies. This part is fairly quick to complete.

Complete Your Details

Answer all the mandatory questions and ensure your email is the one you currently use. You’ll then be asked about personal circumstances and how you plan to fund your studies.

Provide Your Education History

In this section, you will enter all qualifications from secondary education onwards. Make sure you have your GCSE/BTEC/NVQ certificates to hand as you will need to know the dates and exam boards. For those applying internationally, qualifications are listed by name and country, and if yours isn’t there, you can just add it into the ‘other’ box.

Add Employment History

If you have worked before you apply (paid work), you can add your employment history. You will be asked about the company names, addresses, job descriptions and start/finish dates. As mentioned above, it is paid work only and not unpaid or voluntary work. You should include that in your Personal Statement. If you have not worked, just leave it empty.

Add Your Degree Choices

At this stage, we expect you to know where you would like to apply. You will have gone to some open days, you’ll know what you are passionate about and probably have a rough idea of your future career choices. If you’re currently making your decisions, read through our guides on choosing the right university and choosing the right degree. If you are applying for deferred entry, make sure the university accepts deferred entry applications for the course. Students have up to five choices to make and for Oxbridge and Medicine, there are some rules to follow:

For students applying for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Science, you can choose a maximum of four courses in any of these subjects. This leaves students with a 5th choice to make. You may hear that other students leave this option blank but we do not recommend this at all. 

Using Medicine as an example, you can choose a degree that is related to Medicine that will be useful if you decide to go through graduate entry, e.g. BioMedical Science or Pharmacology. Also, the 5th choice usually has a lower grade requirement so it can be helpful as a backup option. You can of course take a gap year if you would rather continue pursuing the subject.

For students applying to Oxford and Cambridge, you can only apply to one course and choose one of the universities, not both. We also recommend not applying to the same college as someone else in your school year as your chances of both gaining an offer is low. 

Sort Your UCAS Reference

References are mandatory for your application and as your teachers will likely need to write many references each year, it is a good idea to ask your teachers early. Read through our guide here on references and letters of recommendation.

Submit Your Application

Review your application and make any final changes that may be needed. Also, read and accept the declaration and then pay for the application fee which is £22 for a single choice or £26.50 to apply for more than one choice. If you have any concerns with paying for the application fee, UCAS provides guidance here.

If the course you are applying to requires an Admissions Test, this is not sorted through UCAS, you will need to register separately.

15th October UCAS Deadline

The next stage is to prepare for your Admissions Tests and Interviews. When breaking up an application, Oxbridge tends to weigh the Admissions Tests as 30% and the same goes for Interviews and Academic Performance (school grades). The Personal Statement and other aspects of your application (references, UCAS application, EPQs) make up 10% so this shows how important it is to do well on your Admissions Tests and Interviews to receive your university offers.

Is your UCAS application ready? It’s time to focus on your Admissions Tests and Interviews to secure your dream university offer. 

The surefire way to receive your dream university offer is to score highly on the Admissions Test and perform well in the Interviews. We help you achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxford or Cambridge application, from History to Medicine.

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