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UCAS deadlines

Precise UCAS dates can change annually and can be found on their website here

15 October

This is typically the deadline for early applicants (Oxbridge, Medical, Vet med and Dentistry). As such you will appreciate why the bulk of our preparation needs to be done in Year 12 with our early start in September. Please note that any application can be an early application and we encourage students to complete their UCAS form as soon as they are able so that it is ‘out of the way’. Please note that this is a final date and does not allow anytime for staff to complete the paperwork necessary for the students UCAS form to be submitted. Please refer to our internal deadlines for our preferred submission date. 

15 January

This is the date for all other courses although we encourage all students to have submitted their application by the end of November at the latest.  Please also note that this is a final date and does not allow anytime for staff to complete the paperwork necessary for the students UCAS form to be submitted. Please refer to our internal deadlines for our preferred submission date. 

Music colleges have their own application system. It is important to check with the Music Department and with the colleges themselves for their deadlines and requirements. The UCAS Conservatoires system administers applications to the music conservatoires - check their deadlines online. 

Art colleges use their own system as well, although some use UCAS. They tend to have their own deadlines. They also require very different types of Personal Statement and reference which our Guidance team and art department will advise you on.  Preparation for these applications takes a lot of time and work especially in preparation of portfolios.

Our internal deadlines

Our internal deadlines enable us to complete our part of the application which always involves a substantial reference and checking the application before it is sent to UCAS. Some of the deadlines also depend on the university or course.

We advise all our applicants to complete their application as early as possible.

Please note: whilst we will check the applications and give advice, the sixth form is not responsible for the final details, clarity or style of the personal statement or the details of the courses to which the student is making an application. The application is the student’s own work and the checking thereof is the responsibility of the student.

Some students decide to apply to University after they have received their results and take a gap year, what we call Post Qualification Applications (PQA). As part of our ongoing commitment to support these students we now have a dedicated member of the Guidance team who is able to meet, advise and assist these students make their application after having left the sixth form. We will also supply a reference for them updated from their time at the sixth form. Please note that although we are able to associate these students' applications with the sixth form we are not able to provide specific teaching, support for additional entrance tests or examinations. 

Year 12 and Year 13 internal deadlines for UCAS

  • 20 May - students are given their UCAS buzzword and time is allocated for them to activate their accounts

  • 22 May - Personal information should be entered into UCAS 

  • 5 June - Exam qualifications should be entered into UCAS

  • 22 June - First draft of the personal statement is to be entered into Unifrog in order for Tutors to begin reference writing

  • 30 September (or earlier) -  Final draft of personal statement and completion of form to be sent to UCAS/the school for early applicants

  • 23 November (or earlier) - Final draft of personal statement and completion of form to be sent to UCAS/the school for early applicants

Whilst it is possible under exceptional circumstances to apply in early January, before the 15 January UCAS deadline, this does not give us as much time to assist as we would like and we advise against this. A later application like this may put the student at a disadvantage in applying for some courses as universities will have already made a lot of offers by this point and may reflect poorly on the student.

By the end of the summer term in Year 12 you will have completed a first draft of your personal statement and discussed this with your tutor and the guidance team so that they can begin your reference over the summer. Your subject teachers will have written references for you. You will have registered with UCAS and have started to prepare your application form. Through discussions with the Guidance team and your tutor you will have a short list of universities to put on your UCAS form and you will spend time in the summer visiting these universities to make your final selection. This will also be dependent on the grades you achieve in the summer exams and your UCAS predicted grades

During the summer term you will have started your subject specific enrichment to prepare for any entrance tests and interview practice. Whilst the summer holidays are certainly time to relax you may also focus on any last minute competencies or evidence you have identified as being necessary for your application. You may need to register and prepare for an aptitude/entrance test such as the LNAT or UCAT. Other aptitude tests/entrance tests will be taken in November.

Universities will make their offers in their own time schedule. Many will start offering straight away and some applicants will have all their responses within 6 weeks of submitting the form. Others may wait until interim points in October, November and January to consider the ‘gathered field’ at that time. Decisions vary between both courses and Universities. All try to give their offers before the end of March  but even this is not always possible.

Our guidance programme

We start your guidance journey as soon as you arrive at the sixth form to maximise what you can do. You will start by considering opportunities in Cambridge to help with your choices and application. You will move on to work on the core competencies that both employers and universities are looking for and how you can incorporate these to strengthen your application. Some of you may have started on this in your senior school and we ensure that previous experiences are brought into your current application where applicable. Working closely with the Guidance team, your tutor and using the online platform Unifrog we will help you identify competitive routes in higher education whilst reflecting on the attributes you will need for these applications. Individual study, tutor time and off timetable workshops allow you to personalise this journey whilst during on the expertise of our sixth form staff and information from peers considering similar routes.

These are our current events. There is a range of additional subject and university talks but this is the core. All students are encouraged to attend our Y10/11 Inspire and Guide speaker programme when the talk is applicable.

Year 12 guidance programme:

Month Assemblies Tutor time Off timetable and evening events
September Why consider studying abroad  

Introductory session: Your guidance journey, Cambridge is our campus, using resources at your fingertips effectively. 


Overseas university fair (US and Canada). Open to students, parents and local schools.


What are the competencies universities and employers are looking for? What is a mooc, should you consider one and how could it help applications?


Using clubs and societies to build up competencies and transferable skills

Using Unifrog. Searching by A levels, searching by subject and using the

 ‘know how’, ‘competencies’ and ‘activities tools’.


November   Working on the resilience and time management competencies. What is the STAR technique and where to use it.

Overseas University Fair (Australia and New Zealand). Open to students, parents and Cambridge Schools


Overseas University Fair (Europe). Open to students, parents and Cambridge Schools


January UCAS timelines

Unravelling the UCAS timeline 

What are degree apprenticeships?


Work experience, CV writing and cover letters. What's important and sharing resources



Working on the Innovation and creative learning competency 

How do I choose a university and what's important to me? 


Thinking about Oxbridge. Lunch time event.
March What is a personal statement? Preparing for the Guidance Fair

Guidance Fair-

  • Degree and higher apprenticeships
  • Studying in Scotland

  • Study skills and the transitioning to University life

  • Considering degrees that have gap years/ work abroad etc

  • Student finance

  • The ‘student journey’

  • How to get the most out of UCAS fairs

  • Personal conversations with visiting universities

  • Personal conversations with academics and career professionals

  • Supporting the transition to university

  • Questions and answers on the application process


What is a reference and how can you help your tutor? 


Making the most of university open days



Personal statement writing workshop (half day) 


What could I do on a gap year and how does a PQA work?

May How to fill in you UCAS form  

Filling in your UCAS form extended assistance

Alumni event. Tea, questions and answers.


Using the Unifrog competencies for CV and personal statement writing.


Personal statements. One to one discussions with tutors.

Oxbridge Applications (post exams) Lunchtime seminar
July   What does success mean to me?  


Year 13 guidance programme

Month Activity
  • Submitting applications (September for Early applicants, October, November and December for Standard applicants

  • Interview practice with external and internal specialists

  • Extension and aptitude test preparation 

  • Overseas applications

  • Personal statement reading 

  • Reference reading with tutors and the Guidance team

  • Selecting Firm and Insurance offers

  • Portfolio preparations

  • Assistance on results day

  • Post Qualification applications

Our Guidance and Careers fair

In March of the last two years we have launched an annual Guidance and Careers fair with great success. With around 40 contributors from Universities, the business sector, global and international companies, charities and alumni our hall is bursting with information. The day begins with a  series of university talks on topics such as study skills, finance, accommodation to navigating freshers week and more. The range of universities includes both Russell and non-Russell group universities and specialist colleges. Having previously researched the attending organisations during tutor time students are then free to network with their prepared questions. This includes information both on the university, the courses and possible career avenues with certain degrees. Students find this an excellent chance to practice their developing networking skills and potentially research work experience as well.