UCAS offer responses explained

15 May 2019 | University Advice | Guest Author

If you’re planning on going to university next year and have received offers, you must respond before the deadline. This is a bit confusing as the deadline will vary depending on when you received your offers. That's why we've collected all the relevant information and explained what you need to do, and when.


If you received your final decision on or before 2nd May 2019 you must reply by 6th June 2019.

If you received your final decision after the 2nd May but on or before 6th June 2019 you have until 20th June 2019 to respond.

Finally, if you received your final decision after 6th June and on or before 11th July 2019, you have until 18th July 2019 to respond.


Last decision received on or before

Deadline to respond

Thursday 2nd May 2019

Thursday 6th June 2019

Thursday 6th June 2019

Thursday 20th June 2019

Thursday 11th July 2019

Thursday 18th July 2019


You can find out your own application deadline by logging into your UCAS account. If you don’t respond to your offers by the deadline, you will be ‘declined by default’ and the university may offer your place to someone else.

So what can you respond?

You will need to select a ‘Firm acceptance’ and an ‘Insurance acceptance’. This means that, assuming you meet your required grades, you will be going to your firm (or first) choice uni.

The insurance, or second choice, university will normally have lower entry grades, so if you just miss out you still have a place at university without having to go through clearing.

You will then have to decline any other offers you received.

If you didn’t receive any offers, or only received offers you don’t want, you can decline them all and then reapply for universities through clearing when it opens on Friday 5th July 2019.

Terminology and offer types

Once you’ve confirmed you may have:

Unconditional firm (UF) – this means you’ve accepted the offer and have an unconditional offer so you have a secure place at that university.

Conditional firm (CF) – this means you’ve accepted the offer and will have a place on the course as long as you meet the conditions of the offer.

If you don’t have an unconditional firm offer your insurance choice will be either:

Conditional Insurance (CI) – If you don’t meet the offer conditions of your first choice you will have a place at this university assuming you meet its offer conditions. This is why you should accept an insurance offer with lower entry grades than your firm choice.

Unconditional Insurance (UI) – If you do not make the conditions of your firm choice you are guaranteed a place at your UI uni. If you have any unconditional offers but you don’t want them to be your firm choice, it’s a good idea to make them your insurance choice to avoid any possibility of having to go through clearing.

How can you prepare

If you already know which offers you want to accept you can go ahead and do it now, as long as you’re sure there’s no reason to delay.

However, if you are still considering your options make sure you make a note of the relevant deadline and don’t take too long to reply.

Make sure your contact details on UCAS are up to date so they can contact you with updates on the conditions of your offers and any relevant updates.

What if you change your mind?

If you change your mind within the first 14 days of accepting the offer you can contact a UCAS advisor who should be able to help you make changes to your replies.

Once more than 14 days has passed the process becomes a little more complicated. This is because after two weeks you are in a contract with your chosen universities and so you will probably need to contact them directly about changing your choices.

No further changes are allowed through UCAS after Tuesday 23rd July 2019.


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