(Original post by Expression)
Unconditional is simply one that has, as the name suggests, no conditions remaining to fill.
Hense an "Unconditional offer" during the application process, means that there aren't any conditions that you will need to meet - eg someone predicted AAAa applying to the University of Derby where people with grades EEEu can get in would probably be given an unconditional offer, since they are quite obviously good enough.
At this time of year, in this context, unconditional means there are no further conditions to meet, ie that you have already met them, this is why Conditional Offers, turn into Unconditional once your results are out.
With reference to the wording, I would expect "Accepted" is used in a "near miss" situation, where you were accepted on the basis that although you didn't quite make the conditions, they accepted you anyway.
Unconditional probably used in the cases where the original conditions of the offer have been met.
No, I got 'Accepted' on my firm offer and I'd met the conditions fully, no near miss.
My take on it would be that 'Accepted' was when you'd met the offer but had not yet sent back the slip to confirm your acceptance, whereas 'Unconditional' means that you've sent the slip back to confirm acceptance, and thus it is now not conditional on anything. However this doesn't explain people getting 'Unconditional' yesterday before they could possibly have sent the slip off to confirm acceptance...
My reason for thinking that 'Unconditional' is the final stage is that HSBC requires an unconditional offer before they will convert your bank account to a student one.
UCAS needs a key here I think...