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Can universities see where else you've applied to – and could this affect your chances?

The answer to this one is no! You can enter a maximum of five choices on your application, but universities won’t be able to see where else you’ve applied to.

The good news is that when an admissions tutor receives your application, your other four choices will be blocked out.

Even if we could find out, it would not impact on your chances of being made an offer. Nathalie Mortimer (Head of UK Student Recruitment, University of Nottingham),

The only occasion an admissions tutor could see anything else is if you’d applied to more than one course at the same university (it might be the same tutor assessing you for both). They wouldn’t be able to see any of your other choices.

Anonymous applications

Universities will only know where else you’ve applied once they’ve made their decision and you’ve decided whether or not to accept them as your firm or insurance choice. But even then it won’t affect things.

We can see where you have applied once you have made your firm, insurance and decline choices, but this doesn’t affect any decisions made at Confirmation (which happens after we get your exam results). Karen Pichlmann | Head Of Admissions - Bournemouth University

What about Oxbridge candidates?

Despite the rule of anonymity, there’s a perception that universities assume that students applying by 15 October are Oxbridge applicants who would make Oxford or Cambridge their first choice if they were successful. So what’s the reality?

It’s probably reasonable to assume that at least a proportion of those applying before 15 October have also included Oxbridge among their application choices but we have no way of knowing this for sure and would not, in any case, take this into account in our own decision-making. Angela Milln | Director Of Admissions - University Of Bristol


And of course, not all candidiates who are applying to Oxford or Cambridge will end up getting a place there.

It is a very dangerous assumption for an admissions tutor to assume that anyone applying before 15 October must be applying to Oxford or Cambridge. Even if they are, 75-80% of those who apply to Oxbridge won’t get an offer, but that doesn’t mean they are poor applicants, it just reflects the very limited number of offers Oxbridge colleges make. Mike Nicholson | Director Of Undergraduate Admissions - University Of Oxford

 

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