UCAS Extra

Becky Kleanthous & Ben Maples  · Apr 13th 2023

UCAS Extra is a service for students who have applied to universities via UCAS and have either not received any offers, or who have declined offers that they have received.


UCAS Extra is an opportunity to add another course to your application and usually takes part during February and July. Here is what you need to know about UCAS Extra. Despite its name, UCAS Extra is not about getting extra UCAS points, so you won't be able to ask "How to get extra UCAS points", this is specifically about the system itself.

What you need to know about UCAS Extra 2023

What is UCAS Extra?

UCAS Extra is a ‘bonus round’ for students to apply to another university course if they haven’t had an offer from their original five choices. Extra is different to the clearing process, as it happens sooner (before results day) and is more closely targeted towards a particular course.

Any student can use UCAS Extra if they’ve made all five UCAS choices without receiving an offer.

In this guide, we answer all your questions, including UCAS Extra - what is it? How does UCAS Extra work? Which universities do UCAS Extra? What UCAS Extra courses might be available? How to get extra UCAS points? What to expect when applying through UCAS Extra? All this, and more…

Who can apply for UCAS Extra?

Any student can use UCAS Extra if they’ve made all five UCAS choices without receiving an offer or if they have declined all offers. Applying for UCAS Extra places is, therefore, a second shot at the application process.

How does UCAS Extra work?

If you’ve heard back from all courses but none have been able to offer you a place, you can start narrowing down options again to make one further choice. You can search unis and you can search subjects here to get an idea of what subjects are out there before going through the UCAS course search Extra section. Perhaps you’ll stick with the same subject you chose for your original applications, or perhaps you’ll use the UCAS Extra course application as an opportunity to try a new angle.

There’s no way to change your UCAS Extra personal statement from your original application.

If you receive an offer from your Extra choice, you can either make a firm acceptance or decline the offer. There are no insurance places when you go through UCAS Extra. If you decline the place, you can use UCAS Extra again to apply for another course. If they don’t offer you a place, you can choose another UCAS Extra course and apply again.

Everything you need to know about UCAS extra 2023

How to apply through UCAS Extra

Start with your UCAS Extra login, which involves going through UCAS Hub. After checking with the UCAS Extra search tool that a course has vacancies, you can apply. When you go into UCAS Hub Extra, you’ll see the ‘Add an Extra choice’ option on the screen. UCAS also recommends speaking directly with the university first to be sure they will consider your Extra application.

If you receive an offer through UCAS Extra, remember to reply before the deadline. Your place will be automatically declined if not!

Is there a fee for UCAS Extra?

No. Your original UCAS application fee includes the UCAS Extra service, so there is nothing more to pay.

How many choices: UCAS Extra?

You can only make one choice at a time, so it’s essential to research and ensure you’ve chosen your favourite course first. If you don’t receive an offer from this course, if you decline it, or if they don’t make an offer within 21 days, you’ll be able to make a new choice.

You can change your UCAS Extra choice at any time.

Bear in mind that adding a new choice invalidates the previous choice: the 21-day period for adding a new course is merely an option for you, and not a deadline for the course provider. They can respond to your application at any point up until midnight on 12 July, so you’ll need to consider whether you change your choice.

What are the different types of offers I can get?

You will receive two types of offers from universities. A conditional offer and an unconditional offer.

Conditional offers and unconditional offers vary. A conditional offer is the most common offer you will receive from a university and is contingent on you meeting the university's entry requirements. Unconditional offers are rarer and essentially grant you a place regardless of your exam results. These are typically offered to students with high predicted grades or those with an academic scholarship.

How to change UCAS Extra choice

You can change your UCAS Extra choice any time, provided 21 days have passed since your last Extra choice was submitted. Log in to UCAS Hub to change your application and use the ‘Add an Extra choice’ option. Remember that this replaces your existing Extra application: you can only have one at a time.

UCAS extra 2023

When does UCAS Extra open?

UCAS Extra opens on 25th February, but you won’t necessarily start selecting courses in UCAS Extra straight away, as you must first have dealt with your five existing choices.

When does UCAS Extra close?

UCAS Extra closes on 4th July. If you haven’t secured a university place by the time of the UCAS Extra deadline, you can move into the clearing process. Learn how clearing works right here. Whether through UCAS Extra, clearing, or adjustment, UCAS wants to help everyone find a spot on the right degree programme, so persevere with it! It’ll pay off in the end.

How successful is UCAS Extra?

If you reflect on your original application and try to get to the bottom of what went wrong, you can give yourself a stronger chance in the next round. Basing your UCAS Extra choices around this reflection means you should pitch yourself to better-suited universities and courses. Perhaps you were overly ambitious in terms of the grades expected for admission, or you applied for courses in which you can’t demonstrate the required passion or experience. Did your personal statement let you down? Whatever the issue, you can use UCAS Extra to correct this and pick your perfect course.

What unis are in UCAS Extra?

Any university with spaces on a course can make them available through UCAS Extra. Because application rates vary year-on-year, the universities using Extra will differ every academic year. The most oversubscribed universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge (which have around seven applicants for every space) are least likely to have spaces and, therefore, least likely to use Extra. However, it’s always worth checking! Subjects trend and wane in popularity, so there may be spots on a certain course, even if you’re not expecting it. Search for UCAS Extra universities through UCAS Hub.

University UCAS extra

What courses are usually available in UCAS Extra?

Courses available on UCAS Extra differ yearly, and availability changes rapidly. Don’t rest on your laurels just because you see plenty of French or Physics places today; many of them could be snapped up by the end of the week.

Courses available on UCAS Extra differ yearly, and availability changes rapidly.

One thing is for sure, though, and that’s that you won’t see any medicine courses or dentistry courses in UCAS Extra. If you were hoping to make a medicine UCAS Extra application, read the section below on UCAS Extra medicine to see what you can do instead. (It’s possible to apply to UCAS Extra nursing courses, however.)

How to change your personal statement on UCAS Extra?

There’s no way to change your UCAS Extra personal statement from your original application. However, if you feel that your current personal statement will negatively affect your UCAS Extra choice (because it needs improving or relates to a different subject), contact the university directly to send them your new personal statement so that they may consider it in your application. Include your UCAS number and a cover note to explain why you are sending the personal statement.

If you receive an offer from your Extra choice, you can either make a firm acceptance or decline the offer.

For advice on writing a great personal statement, head over to our personal statement examples and tips area.

Can I use UCAS Extra for my medical application?

Students applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science have four choices, not the usual five choices. Because of this, they cannot use the UCAS Extra service. Instead, if these students have no offers, they should search for courses; then call the university they’re interested in to see if they will be considered; and finally, contact UCAS on 0371 468 0468 to make the application.

Uni UCAS extra

How to get extra UCAS points?

Your UCAS application can be strengthened in several ways, including doing work experience, reading widely, and boosting your UCAS points. But how do you get extra UCAS points? There are several ways to get extra UCAS points, including taking extra qualifications, pursuing sports, music awards, clubs and achievements. Find out how to improve your UCAS application here, and hopefully, you won’t need to use the UCAS Extra service at all!

What happens after I have completed UCAS Hub?

Now, you wait for your offer. Once an offer from the university or college, you will need to accept it. Once you have accepted your offer, you won't be able to apply for any more universities.

If you reject your offer, or don't receive a decision within 21 days, you can add another choice. Not all silences should be taken as rejection, however. Some universities take longer than others to respond, so you may want to wait around or speak to them at some point to ascertain what they will do next, as universities have until the 12th of July to respond to make their respective decisions.

For those who don't get the offer they want through UCAS Extra, there is always clearing, which can provide you with new choices.

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