Study in UK - Admission Cycle
Updated on Oct 23, 2018 - 11:18 a.m. IST by Shraya Singh #United Kingdom
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Study in UK - The UK has been known to attract over thousands of international students each year and comes in second place after the USA when it comes to higher education. The major reason why so many students want to study in UK is primarily the commendable quality of education available at some of the world’s best universities. UK is also home to four of the top ten universities across the globe, according to the QS world university ranking. These universities include global names like Cambridge, Oxford, and Imperial College London, amongst others. A major factor which makes the UK one of the top countries for candidates who want to study abroad is probably the abundance of excellent scholarship and fellowship opportunities for students. Another highlight of pursuing higher education at UK universities is that many postgraduate programs at the masters level are of a one-year duration rather than the traditional two-year programs in other countries. 


For candidates planning to study in UK, the first step would be to begin researching and analyzing various universities and prospective programs to apply for. The subsequent stage in this process would be to understand and gain knowledge about the admission cycle for various universities in the UK, including elements like class commencement dates, application opening dates, the different intakes and the right time to start scouting for prospective universities. In this article, we’ve listed various details regarding the UK admission cycle for candidates who want to study in UK. 


An integral element of consideration before heading to the UK is to fully understand and know the UK admission cycle. Not only does this help international students in the preparation of substantial funds but it also ensures that prospective students remain updated regarding the admission process. It is also encouraged for applicants to keep in touch with the university representatives after the submission of their application in order to ensure smooth functioning of the admission process thereafter. 

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UK Admission Cycle: Application start date

For a majority of the undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the top universities in the UK, applications for admission are open in the months of September and October in the year prior to the year of course commencement i.e. for the September/October intake in 2019, applications are generally open in September 2018. For highly competitive programs, this date tends to be earlier to accommodate time for the admissions committee to evaluate the large number of applications which they receive annually.


UK Admission Cycle: Application closing date

The application closing date may differ for undergraduate and postgraduate applications depending on the prospective university and program of study. The date may range from October to anywhere in January and some universities also accept applications in two phases with the admission decision for early applications being released as early as January. For highly competitive programs, it would be best to submit the application as early as possible in order to improve chances of admission as well as prospects of obtaining a suitable scholarship.


For all undergraduate programs, there is usually a single application submission date regardless of the domain of study. The application deadlines for many specialized masters programs also extend to January or February and vary from program to program. If the requisite number of places are not filled then applications sent after the deadline are also considered. 


UK Admission Cycle 2019: Timeline for fall intake

July 2018 - August 2018

Candidates should research university options and select 6-12 universities which they wish to apply to for study in UK. 

August 2018 - September 2018

Candidates must register and take the required standardized tests. This includes both academic proficiency and English language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE etc. 

September 2018

Candidates should spend time working on their statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, resume and other supporting documentation for their college application along with test scores from the requisite standardized tests. 

September 2018 - October 2018

Most university applications open up in the months of September and October. Candidates should begin the application process as soon as possible in order to ensure completion before the deadline as the application process tends to be a long process for study in UK.

October 2018 - January 2019

Depending upon the university and program of application, the application deadline generally varies. Many universities accept applications in two phases, with the latter phase in January. For candidates applying to competitive programs or seeking scholarships for their study in UK, its best to submit an early application.

Jan 2019 - Feb 2019

Candidates generally receive admission offers by this time of the year. Admission decisions may sometimes be delayed to March depending upon the number of applicants for a specific program for study in UK.

April 2019

By April, candidates should have confirmed their admission and enrolled in the prospective university of study in UK. Following this, candidates must provide proof of financing and apply for a student loan prior to visa application.

May 2019 - June 2019

Although the visa processing time for a student visa for study in UK is not extensive, it is best for candidates to apply for a visa well before the expected departure date in order to prevent any last-minute discrepancies which may arise due to a delayed visa.

September 2019

Candidates must prepare for departure with all the necessary documentation and initial funding for their study in UK. 

September 2019 - October 2019

Most programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level at universities in the UK commence in the months of September and October. 


UK Admission Cycle: Course commencement date

The academic session for most universities in the UK starts in either September or October. Although universities in UK also offer other intakes, the fall intake is of prime importance to applicants and is also more popular than others. Sometimes, it is the only intake offered by the top universities in the UK. September or fall intake is preferred by a  majority of international students as it provides them an ample amount of time to apply for a visa and manage funds before course commencement. It is best to start with the admission procedure a year earlier. For example, if the candidate’s session starts in September 2019, then the candidate should begin preparing his or her application in September 2018. It is also advised to take the standardized tests prior to this as the scores are generally valid for a duration of two to five years and therefore it is best to get the pressure of an impending exam out of the way. Additionally, in case the candidate is unable to obtain the desired score, he or she may have time to retake the test prior to application. 


UK Admission Cycle: Application deadlines for UG programs

The application deadline for various undergraduate programs at the top universities in the UK are given below for the fall 2019 intake. Many of these universities accept applications up to June 2019 but full consideration is granted to the candidates only till the prescribed deadline which is generally in mid-January. The application deadlines for postgraduate applications are more relaxed and vary from program to program. 


UG application deadlines for the top universities


QS World Rank 2019

UG Application Deadline

University of Oxford


15 October, 2018

University of Cambridge


15 October, 2018 (for clinical programs)

15 January, 2019 (for full consideration for all other courses)

Imperial College London


15 October, 2018

University College London


15 October, 2018 (for medicine programs)

15 January, 2019 (for full consideration for other programs)

London School of Economics


15 January, 2019

King’s College London


1 March, 2019 (for ‘health & society programs)

31 March, 2019 (for full consideration for all other programs)

University of Edinburgh


15 October, 2019 (for medicine programs)

15 January, 2019 (for all other programs, UK and EU applicants)

30 June, 2019 (for international applicants)

The University of Manchester


15 October, 2019 (for medicine programs)

15 January, 2019 (for full consideration for all other programs)

University of Bristol


31 July, 2019

The University of Warwick


Summer, 2019

  UK Admission Cycle: Visa application

One of the most crucial aspects of the overall admission procedure is visa application, which is incidentally also the last step for candidates prior to course commencement. Upon receiving an offer of admission from the prospective university of study in UK, and enrolling to the desired program, candidates must take the necessary steps to obtain a student visa for the UK. Candidates require a Tier 4 student visa in order to study in the UK. In order to apply for a student visa, the candidate must receive a confirmation of acceptance for studies or a CAS, following which the candidate must provide evidence of substantial funds to support his or her stay in the UK. 

The processing time for a Tier 4 visa is approximately 6 weeks. Candidates are open to apply for the visa no more than 90 days prior to the course commencement date. Before visa application, candidates should also ensure that their passport is valid for at least 14 months following the prospective date of arrival in the UK.


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Questions related to United Kingdom

Showing 3 out of 3 Questions

is it hard to get into top universities with marks around 80s in ug and will I be eligilble for scholarships?

Masira 16th Dec, 2019

The cutoffs of the top universities will be an important consideration when you think about admissions. Scoring 80's will help you get around 80% and it seems like a good score and will be able to help you get into good university. However, it purely depends on what is the cutoff of a particular university. The same goes for the scholarships. There are universities that will be providing scholarships bases on merits and you can check on the site of the college before applying to see what are their scholarship providing criteria. If you have a particular university or college in mind go through their official website to find relevant information that will help you make better decisions.

Hope this helps.

What university would be best to do psychology in United Kingdom and also with scholarship and would accept 6 months fees

Vishwaksen Gouda Student Expert 5th Oct, 2019

Hello Varun Marwah,

Here are the best universities to study the psychology where your study related to your practical work

Here it is

1. University of Oxford. of St Andrews.

3. University of Bath.

4.University of Cambridge.

5.UniversityCollege London.


7.u niversity of York.

all. The best


Is it easy to get permanent residence in UK or we should return back after completion of study post work visa.....

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019
Dear Vinay, obtaining a permanent residency in UK is quite a lengthy process usually. Now UK has extended the stay for Indian Students post their studies by 2 years. Which means, even if you complete your studies, you can extend your stay by 2 more years.  It depends on the route you are applying through. The following visas require this time to apply for Indefinite leave to remain:

Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen: 2 years

Lawful stay on any basis which is a long stay: 10 years

Unlawful stay: 14 years

Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permit: 5 years

Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts: 5 years

Ancestry: 5 years

If you manage to get a good paid job you can get permanent residency under work permit within 5 years.
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