Behind the scenes: how your uni application is processed
After all that time spent researching courses and redrafting your personal statement, you've sent your application off - and it's all gone very quiet. Should you be worried?
How your uni application is processedThe journey your application makes once it’s received by an institution varies slightly depending on both the uni and the course, but typically it'll be seen by more than one pair of eyes – often by both general admissions staff and academic tutors.
Decision time: what tutors are looking forFirst up, tutors will check that you meet their entry criteria:
They’re looking for evidence that you’re really enthusiastic about the course:
They've also got to weigh up your application against the competition:
When you can expect to hear back
It depends on the university or department's approach. Here's what a few different unis told us:
- University of Leicester: 'Our aim is to process undergraduate applications within 20 days.'
- Anglia Ruskin University: 'Within five days for non-interview courses.'
- University of East Anglia (UEA): 'If we have a course that has a very specific number of spaces, we look at all the applications (as a 'gathered field') before determining with the admissions director who receives an offer.'
However, all the universities we spoke to said that there are certain times in the year when they may take longer to respond due to the volume of applications.
Applications for certain courses take longer than othersFor competitive courses like medicine and dentistry, or those requiring an interview or audition, it's likely it'll take universities longer to respond.
You could receive an offer for a different course
We consider that making a change-of-course offer is better for the applicant than simply not accepting them at all, as at least it gives them another option - possibly even something they might not have thought about before.
Waiting for offers: tips from tutors
A few final words from universities...
- 'October to January is the peak application processing period for most admissions teams, so try not to panic if you're waiting for more than four weeks.'
- 'Make sure you let universities know if you change your email address, phone number or move.'
- 'Respond to requests for additional information immediately.'