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Your UK University admissions checklist

Updated: Jun 25, 2022

During our recent admissions talks we noticed the same questions cropping up time and time again. Students who attended these free talks were concerned with the process of applying, the information they should include, and the timings they should follow, in order to maximise their chances of being accepted to the UK’s leading universities.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to compile a UK university admissions checklist to help students ensure that they at least have the most essential details covered when completing their application.

So, without further ado, please read on to find your complete UK university admissions checklist!

UK University admissions checklist: Start early

Advice that we give regularly in our articles is for students to start early with their UK university applications. The process can be quite involved, so in order to get a good start it is vital that you give plenty of time to gather all of the information you need and present it in the most compelling way possible.

Read our article on UK university deadlines for more information.

Undergraduate and postgraduate admissions checklists

Undergraduate university admissions checklist

At present all undergraduate applications in the UK are processed by the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS.) Change is afoot, however, and an increasing number of UK universities are suggesting that they will let international students apply directly to their institutions to help expedite the process.

For a strong UK undergraduate application you will need:



To create a UCAS account to begin your application.

Verify your email address by following the steps in the email from UCAS

A copy of your academic transcript - this must be from secondary school onwards. The more information you can enter here, the better - and if you can’t see your qualification on the drop-down menus, then be sure to enter it into the ‘other’ box.

An IELTS/TOEFL exam result as evidence of your English language ability

A personal statement outlining your motivation

At least one academic reference from a teacher or tutor

Details of your course and university choices

Details of your employment history (if any)

Details of funding and sponsorship options, residential status, any special needs or impairments, and any criminal convictions. If you need clarification of your residential status, visit the UKCISA website for detailed information.

Any details of ‘nominated access’ - for parents, guardians, or academic advisors to act on your behalf. You can do this through the UCAS portal.

Details of whether you have started a previous course at college or university but not completed it.

If you are still studying for a qualification, or awaiting results, then your predicted grades must be included in your academic reference.

Double check all of the information entered in each section before marking it as a complete.

Each stage of this university admissions checklist needs to be completed carefully. Universities will look for accuracy and completeness in the information you provide, as well as discerning whether or not it is compelling in support of your application.

Your personal statement is the area that gives you the most scope to communicate your commitment to your subject, as well as demonstrating your communication skills and exhibiting flair and personality.

When writing your personal statement, it is essential that you focus 80% of your writing on your academic record - including any super-curricular activities that you have completed. The remaining 20% of your application is reserved for extracurricular activities, outside interests, and any other information that you think it is important to include in your application.

Postgraduate university admissions checklist

Unlike undergraduate applications, postgraduate applications are submitted directly to the institution rather than through UCAS.

The following are items you will need to include in your postgraduate application to maximise your chances of success:



Your curriculum vitae - an original copy, signed by you.

Photocopies of your academic transcripts

Statement of purpose - an original copy, signed by you.

Two recommendation letters - Ideally these should be from your College/University Principal, Professors, and Lecturers. It can also be obtained from current or former employers, especially when applying for an MBA.

An IELTS/TOEFL exam result as evidence of your English language ability

Work experience certificates on letter-headed paper - in the case that you are working. This should detail the length of your tenure with the organisation, and the nature of the work completed.

Three recent passport-sized photographs, with your name written on the back

A photocopy of your passport - first two pages and the cover.

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