All the information you need to reply to UCAS offers

Have you received offers from universities through UCAS?  – congratulations! You will need to reply to them within UCAS. This page will help with you with everything you need to know to reply to your UCAS offers.


The overall process of replying to UCAS offers

Once you have received an offer or offers; you will need to respond formally on the UCAS system. This will confirm your place with the universities or colleges. The reason behind the process of replying to UCAS offers in this way is to create a sort of contract between you and the university. By accepting, you commit to attending the specified course so long as you achieve the required grades. This page will guide you through UCAS acceptances, rejections, and a couple of other UCAS scenarios you may encounter.



Replying to UCAS offers: The first step

Firstly, it’s important to know that you can only accept or reject offers once you have received a response from all of the courses you applied to. This could mean that  you wait to reply to UCAS offers until months after you had your first response. If you can’t see an option in ‘track to respond‘ this is because not all of your courses have accepted or rejected you yet. Once you have received a response (UCAS offer or UCAS rejection) from each University, you may respond to the offers you have received. After this, UCAS will confirm this response. IMPORTANT: Throughly check through all the material given to you from the university to ensure that you don’t need to take any further steps after accepting.



Accepting and rejecting UCAS offers: Conditional and Unconditional Offers from UCAS

When replying to UCAS offers your main concern is most likely, of course, how to accept and reject courses. There is a different system depending on whether you are responding to conditional or unconditional offers. We’ll discuss conditional offers first, and then explain unconditional.



Conditional UCAS Offers

If you receive multiple offers; you can select one firm choice and one insurance choice. Your firm choice should be the university you want to attend if you receive the required grades. Your insurance choice is essentially a back up; the place you commit to attending if you don’t attend your firm choice.


If you don’t achieve the grades required for your firm choice; then you have committed to attending the insurance course. It is important that you don’t choose an insurance place that you don’t actually wish to attend. You aren’t actually obliged to make an insurance choice when replying to UCAS offers; but this can increase your chances of having a secure place. Depending on your circumstance you should weigh up the proc and cons of selecting an insurance choice. When you accept an offer, all your other offers must be rejected (except your insurance). This is all part of the same process within UCAS.


Unconditional UCAS Offers

If you receive and accept an unconditional UCAS offer; you have committed to attending that course. If an unconditional offer is your firm choice, you will not have the option to select an insurance choice. You may choose an unconditional offer as your insurance choice; but only if the offer does not specify it must be your firm choice. Accepting an unconditional offer as your firm choice only may be a ‘condition’ of your unconditional offer.


Strengthening your University application

We offer a whole host of information and tuition services that will help you to do everything you can to optimise your University application. From our Oxbridge and Medicine tuition programmes to our blog. One way to increase your appeal for competitive applications is through work experience, check out our guide how to get GP work experience; which is very helpful for hopeful medicine applicants.


Deadlines and mistakes

The thought of missing the deadline for replying to your UCAS offers is pretty scary! Make sure you pay attention to your UCAS deadline – this is displayed in the ‘Track’ section. Don’t depend on friends to have the same deadline as you, because the time that you receive your UCAS offers determines your deadline.

As a general rule; if your final decision is before the end of March – your deadline for replying to UCAS offers will generally be in early May. Check your deadline in ‘Track‘ if you’re unsure.

Finally –

If you make a mistake, don’t panic! You have 14 days to rectify it by calling UCAS and providing your personal ID. If you want to learn more about your chances of offers, why not try out the UCAS official offers calculator?

Triple your Chances of a Successful University Application!

If you’re looking to increase your chances of getting that dream offer, enrol on one of our subject specific Oxbridge and Medicine entry programmes. You’ll get individual tuition that will help you with every step of the application process, access to our best-selling study materials, and significantly increased chances of success. We coach you for all interview scenarios, prepare you for competitive admissions testing and offer personal statement support, essay marking and more. Last year our students were three times more likely to get a place to study medicine or at Oxbridge.


If you’re a parent or want to ask your parents to gather more information for you about this. We offer a free consultation service for parents during which we will talk through practical ways to help increase your chances of success and how to handle the competitive admissions process.


More About this Topic

Check out the UniAdmissions Oxbridge and Medicine blog for more expert advice. The UniAdmissions blog contains informative posts written by our expert Oxbridge and Medicine tutors. On the blog, you’ll find information about applying to university, optimising your university application, and all of the steps required during your application and admissions journey. You’ll also find useful tips and more information about the ins and outs of different courses, how to succeed at interview and more subject specific support. If you want to take individual consultancy for your application, our team of experts will be available to support you with tuition programmes, courses, books, past papers and more.