I’ve Missed the UCAS Deadline … Now What?

Missed the UCAS deadline? Don’t panic! Although the main UCAS deadline is the 15th January, there are options. Of course, in an ideal world, your UCAS application would have been in well before the deadline, but don’t worry if it’s been missed for whatever reason, all hope is not lost. 

First of all, check the degree course that is of interest. Does it have a deadline date of the 15th January? Although this is the cut-off date for most degrees, it isn’t always the case and many universities will accept late applications, so check with the universities directly. Who knows… you might get lucky and if you don’t ask, you won’t know!

Remember: Universities may expect to hear a reason for missing the UCAS deadline so if there is a valid reason, explain why.

Get the application ready to submit

Try to stay calm and think clearly, don’t let any efforts so far go to waste. As long as there are still places available for the course and chosen university then universities usually continue to accept late applications. It’s time to be supportive and help to complete the application to the highest standard possible. 

This includes producing a personal statement and gathering the final details to finish off the rest of the application. Make sure to proofread, proofread and proofread again! A good way to help is to have the applicant read it out loud to you. You may be surprised how much this helps to spot grammatical errors or poorly phrased sentences.

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UCAS Extra and UCAS Clearing

UCAS Extra and UCAS Clearing can be used as an option for students who miss the main deadline so don’t despair! 

UCAS Extra runs from the 25th February and the 5th July 2020 for applicants with five initial choices, but:

  • Have been unsuccessful in their offer
  • Applied late
  • Or have declined offers they’ve received

UCAS Clearing is usually for those who don’t receive the grades needed on A Level Results Day, which is Thursday 13th August 2020. However, it’s also a good option for those who missed the January deadline. Clearing places are awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis so make sure you begin these processes as soon as they open to increase your chance of application success!

Consider an alternative option - degree apprenticeship

If your young person is still unsure that university is the right path for them, and that’s why they missed the deadline, they may wish to consider an alternative option such as a degree apprenticeship. Degree apprenticeships open up a range of opportunities and that can lead to a degree without the debt.. They involve on the job training whilst studying at university: mixing paid work, learning skills and working towards a degree qualification. Find out more about degree apprenticeships.

What now?

Supporting young people at this time of year can be stressful for everyone. There are plenty of options, even if they have missed the UCAS deadline, but it’s about finding the route which is right for them. To search university courses and degree apprenticeships, head over to

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