Changing your mind about your firm or insurance choice

If you're considering changing your firm or insurance choices we have some good news for you. Despite what you might have heard it is usually possible. But, depending on where you are in the university application cycle there may be different routes you need to take to make this happen. 



"I chose my firm & insurance within the last week. Can I change it?"

Yes. If you accepted your offers in the last 14 days you can change your firm and insurance choice. To do this you will need to contact UCAS directly and speak to one of their advisers. They'll be able to make the changes to your replies for you.

"I chose my firm and insurance over two weeks ago. Can I change it?"

If you're outside the fourteen days then the process is different depending on what Track says.

If it is over the 14 day period the best thing to do is initially let UCAS know you're considering changing your firm and insurance choices. Then you'll need to contact the universities you declined and let them know you're now seriously reconsidering their offers and ask them if they will be willing to reinstate your offer. 

Remember that when you confirm your firm and insurance choice on Track you have agreed a contract with the universities. It is not guaranteed that they will release you, however, it is unlikely they will reject your request. 

Once you have it confirmed in writing that your current university choice(s) are willing to release you and that your new university choice is happy to reinstate their offer you will need to share this information with UCAS. One of their advisers can then make the changes on Track for you. 

"I want to do a different course, but at the same university"

Whether this is within the 14 day period or beyond, the best thing to do is contact the university and ask them to consider you for the new course. Explain your reasons, and offer to write a new personal statement if you feel this is appropriate and this is something they want.

Whatever your reason for changing your mind, you will need to explain your reasons to your university in a way that is genuine and convincing - so get your thoughts straight before you do anything.

Minor changes are usually easiest (courses within the same faculty), but it is often impossible to change to something completely different (swapping history for medicine).

Don't wait until you get there, the earlier you try to change things the more options you have. If you do decide to wait, do not think that being a current student will guarantee you a swap. Unfortunately, it won't.

If the university agrees to make the course change you will need to get this in writing and inform UCAS. A UCAS adviser can then make the course change in Track.

If the university is not willing or able to make you a new offer on the the course you prefer you can request to change your firm and insurance confirmations. Again, this may not be straightforward so it's best to seek advice from the university you are now interested in and speak to a UCAS adviser about your options. 

I've changed my mind completely about the university and course, what can I do?

If you change your mind about your firm and insurance choices and don't want to accept any of your other offers that you may have previously rejected you may want to consider using Extra. This must be before the 30th June UCAS Extra deadline.

Before you can use Extra you will need to inform UCAS and your firm and insurance choices that you now want to be released and apply to a different university/ course. 

Now you have declined all offers you should be free to add in an additional choice on Track. Again, it makes sense to contact the new university to ensure they have places still available at this stage. 

I’ve just finished me exams and I've changed my mind, how I swap my university choices?

If you’ve had a change of heart following your exams or after your gap year, this is what you need to do.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that the final deadline for confirming a swap is 19th July. This means that all the universities who have agreed to meet your request must have notified UCAS before this point and UCAS must have actioned the swap. Once this has passed you will have to wait until A-level results day.

Secondly, you’ll need to inform UCAS of your intention and speak to both your current university choice and the university you’d like to now attend (one of your original five choices who gave you an offer).

If you are seriously considering swapping, you should start the process at least a week in advance.

1. What should I do first?

Contact UCAS and let them know what you would like to do. They can advise you and make a note of it on their system. This means that they will be able to support the swap you’re requesting if things are moving too slowly.

2. Contact the university you’d now like to make your firm (or insurance)

You won’t be able to swap unless they are willing to accept you.

  • Contact the admissions team.
  • Find out if there are still places on the course you rejected.
  • Explain your situation including why you have changed your mind.
  • If it is less than a week until the deadline, make sure you phone and follow up with an email confirming you’d like to make the change.
  • If they are willing to make you another offer, ask them to confirm it in writing to you and send this to UCAS as proof.
  • If there are no places, sit tight until Clearing on A-level results day and if places (appear in Clearing), contact them immediately.
  • If they are not willing to offer you a place at this stage, wait it out until results day and if there are (still) no places, look to re-apply next year.

Get ready for A-level results day

3. Contact your current university choice and explain

You need to let your firm choice know your intentions and that you’d like to either decline their offer completely or make them your insurance.

  • Contact the admissions team.
  • Explain that you have changed your mind and explain what you would like to do next.
  • Let them know you have contacted UCAS and made them aware of your intention.
  • Follow up in writing and ask they confirm in writing they have read your request and followed up with UCAS. 

4. UCAS swap your decisions on Track for you

UCAS will make the swap for you once the universities have emailed their agreement. 

If you have received agreement from the universities involved and Track hasn't updated in a couple of days or by 26th July, make sure you contact UCAS.

Don't leave it until the 19th July to chase up, this will be too late. 

What happens if I miss the 19th July swap deadline?

If you miss the deadline and still want to change come results day you’ll need to request to be released from your firm and go into Clearing. 

If you would like to now attend your insurance choice you can let them know that you have requested to be placed in to Clearing. If they have places on the course, you will be eligible to apply once you have your Clearing number on track and the university has offered you a place. 

Once you have confirmation of a place by the university, you can then enter this as a Clearing choice at 3pm on A-level results day. 

"It's a week before results day. Can I change my firm and insurance?"

No. You'll have to wait until results day as Track is frozen during this period of time for universities to confirm whether students have a place based on their exam results,

If you are convinced that your insurance choice is right for you talk to the university beforehand and check that they'd be happy to take you as firm choice if you meet the offer. If they're happy and have confirmed they will speak to your firm and explain the situation. 

Ensure that your firm and insurance choices speak to each other ahead of results day to ensure this happens. 

"Can I change my firm and insurance choices on results day?"

If your offer has been confirmed on Track on results day to show that you have an unconditional firm offer then your only option is to be requested to be "released" straight into Clearing. If you want to go to your insurance then you'll need to ask them if they will admit you through Clearing once you've been released. Make sure you check with your insurance first thing on results day. 

Make sure that you make it clear what you want to happen: "I want to go to my insurance instead", "I'd rather study this course at your university" or "I want to find a place through Clearing". Avoid using the words "released" or "rejected" as these have very specific meanings to UCAS and unis.

Remember, do not phone UCAS and ask to withdraw as this will take you out of UCAS altogether for this year and force you to take a gap year.

You'll need a good reason as to why you don't want to attend your firm or insurance choice, so think carefully. Why have you changed your mind?

  • Do you want to stay closer to home, or if you applied to a local uni perhaps you want to move away now
  • Financial reasons are always a good one to mention, but make sure you've researched as otherwise the uni may come back to you and say "ah, but we have this really great bursary scheme..."
  • If you want to change subject this can be enough on its own, but as explained before you can sometimes change subject and keep the same uni
  • Don't just make something up because it sounds good. Try to tell the truth.

Contacting the university directly

The best way is to phone them, as emails can sometimes wait a while before getting a response.
Whenever you phone either universities or UCAS ask for and write down:

  • the name of the person you're speaking to
  • their job title
  • what you asked
  • what they said would happen next
  • the phone number, time and date you called

If you do phone and they tell you to email then ask for a specific person to address it to and then once you've sent it phone back to check that it has got through.

Make sure you know your UCAS number, or if you have been given any other candidate numbers etc by the uni know those too. You need to make this easy for them.

How long does it take?

If you ask for changes before results, then it shouldn't take that long. Even if it does you've got plenty of time so things can get sorted.

If you've waited until result day then it can take a while. Universities will have other more important things to do, so may leave you til last. It can take a few weeks, which is a long time in Clearing.