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Applying for courses

Are you ready to apply? We can help with finding out how and when to apply, as well as giving you tips to make your application stand out from the crowd.

Find out about the different processes and how and where to apply for the courses you're interested in.

College applications

Each college has its own dates for applications. You'll apply through each individual college.

You need to check with the colleges you're applying to and find out what their process is. 

5 important things to find out 

  1. How do you apply - is it an online form?
  2. Will you need to attend an interview or provide a portfolio? 
  3. Can you apply for more than one course and is there a limit to how many courses you can apply for?
  4. When are the closing dates?
  5. What happens once you've submitted your application - when can you expect to find out if you've been offered a place? 

Some colleges offer support for people as they're completing their application forms. If that's something that would help you, ask the college if they offer it.

When to apply 

Colleges usually have options for starting in August and September. 

Contact the colleges to find out the deadline for the course you’re interested in. Be prepared that some college courses work on a first come, first served basis. So if you’re keen, you need to get your application in fast before a course fills up.

Some colleges also run short-term, evening and part-time courses. These start at various points throughout the year. Some also offer courses starting from January, so make sure you know what's available.

University applications

For university courses, you'll apply through UCAS. UCAS have a helpful step-by-step guide on what to do. 

Deadlines for UCAS Undergraduate applications 

Dates will vary between courses and course providers, so make sure you check the UCAS website for updates.

Tracking your application

​​​​​​​Once you’ve sent in your application, you can see how it’s progressing through the UCAS Track system. This lets you see whether universities have offered you a place, and what kind of offer they’ve made.

Applying to medicine, dentistry or law

When applying to study medicine, dentistry or law, application deadlines are earlier than all other undergraduate courses. Some of these courses you may need to sit additional tests for before you can apply.

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

If you're applying to study medicine or dentistry, you need to complete the UCAT before you put in your UCAS form. The test helps universities decide between applicants to the programme. Register at UCAT.

The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT)

If you're applying to Law, you might need to sit the LNAT - the National Admissions Test for Law. It helps universities decide if you have the right skills to study law. You need to sit this test within the same UCAS year that you apply to university and the deadline is normally around the same time as the UCAS deadline. Find out if you'll need to take it and register at LNAT.

Applying to conservatoires

To apply to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, or one of the other UK conservatoires, you need to go through UCAS Conservatoires

Deadlines vary depending on what course you’re applying for, so make sure you check the UCAS website to find out the deadlines

You’ll also need to know about auditions and interviews. Visit the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland website for details.

5 things you need to check on your application form

You want to make the best impression you can through your college or uni application. So before you hit submit, check these 5 things. 

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Your personal statement

Find out what careers adviser Vikki Gemmell's top 5 tips are to make your personal statement stand out. 

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Spelling and grammar

Get someone else to read your application and look for errors.

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Your referee

Speak to the person writing your reference. Make sure they know if there’s anything in particular you want to be mentioned.

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Your details

Make sure everything you’ve entered is correct, from your exam results to your address.

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Course choices

If it’s a UCAS application, check that each of your course codes is correct. If you’re applying to college, make sure you’ve selected the correct courses.