What is Ucas Extra?

Student applying for Extra

Ucas Extra gives you an 'extra' chance to gain a place at university.

If you used all five of your choices on your original application and you’re not holding an offer, or if you've just changed your mind about the courses or unis you originally applied for, Extra is for you!

How do I know if I'm eligible for Ucas Extra?

You'll be eligible for Extra if:

  • You've used all five of your choices but hold no offers
  • You've changed your mind about your choices, and have declined any offers you received. 

If you didn't use all five of your choices when you first sent off your application, you don't have to go through Extra. Just add another choice in Track before 30 June and make sure you don't accept or decline any offers before you do so. 

When can I apply through Extra?

The Extra process runs from 25 February to 5 July in 2020, so you've got plenty of time to get involved. If you don't have any offers after 5 July, you can go through Clearing  check out all our helpful content on Clearing 2020 here.

Student on phone

How many choices can I make?

You can only make one choice at a time. If you don't get an offer, or if you don't want to take up that offer, you can apply to a further choice as long as you do so by 5 July.

You can make multiple choices before the deadline, but you can only choose one at a time and once you've declined an offer, you can't retrieve it. Once you add a choice, this can't be changed until 21 days has passed.

After 21 days, Track will show an 'Add Extra Choice' button. Bear in mind that this won't add another choice; it will replace your current one if you're still awaiting a reply, so don't use it unless you'd like to cancel your previous application through Extra. 

Remember, if you apply through Extra, you will only have a firm choice and no insurance. So make sure you're certain that any choice you make is achievable, as you won't have an automatic back-up if you miss the grades.

young woman on laptop

How to apply through UCAS Extra

Now you're a bit more clued up on what Extra entails, here's how to apply:

  1. Find a course you want to apply for. Use the Ucas search tool to see which courses have places available in Extra, then contact the uni or college directly to check they'll consider you and ask any questions you have. Always ask to speak to the admissions tutor for that subject; if for any reason they're unavailable, ask for their direct email address. Don't just apply and hope for the best!

  2. Once you've spoken to your uni of choice and have confirmation, apply for your new course. Add your details in Track, and make sure you send your new personal statement to the uni or college if you're completely changing course.

  3. Wait for the uni or college to consider your application. After 21 days, you can choose to continue waiting for a decision or replace your choice with another through Extra.

If you receive an offer...
Reply to it through Track. If you accept the offer, it's yours, subject to meeting any conditions.

If you don't receive an offer or if you change your mind...
Begin the process again and look for something different.

Remember, not all courses will come up in Extra – medicine and dentistry are good examples of those that never do. It's also worth noting that what is on offer will change daily. Don't assume you can apply in a few days' time and that the course will still be open.

If you're not quite sure whether to keep your current offers or decline them for something through Extra, you can always just browse the vacancies first. However, always double check with the uni that the vacancies are still available. 

UCAS application

Do universities reduce the entry requirements for applicants through Extra?

Nope. As an Extra applicant, you will be expected to be able to offer grades and qualifications that match the standard entry requirements. If you're in doubt about whether you do, double check with your uni of choice when you contact them.

Do I have to apply to the same course?

Not at all! If you've done a complete 180 and changed your mind about what you'd like to study, you can apply to a completely different course.

Although most people usually make minor adjustments to their subject choice, like changing from a joint to single honours, you are free to apply for a completely different subject than your previous choice. Just remember not to make any rash decisions, and to do some research if you're completely changing direction. 

It's also worth keeping in mind that universities will be able to see your original uni and course choices, as well as your original personal statement submitted with your Ucas application. If you're making a significant change to your course choice, your personal statement will now seem irrelevant, so it's a good idea to write a new personal statement covering why you want to do this new course, and anything you've done to show why this is the right choice for you.

You can also include details of your results from January exams if you did any, or any additional work experience you might have done more recently. You will need to send your new statement directly to the university you're applying to, as you cannot change your old statement on Ucas. Make sure you contact the uni  by phone or by email  before sending this new personal statement. Check that they will consider it, and ask them how and where they'd like you to send it.

A uni that rejected me is in Extra. Can I apply again?

Don't waste your time chasing a uni that previously rejected you. They've already seen your application once and chances are not much has changed.

If they have places in Extra it's because they are still looking for applicants that meet their normal entry requirements, which are likely to be more than just grades.

student on laptop in library

Things to think about

If you previously received no offers

Have a think about why this might have been. You might want to contact the unis and see if they have any feedback for you. Did you aim too high? Are you sure the subject was right for you? Can you do any extra work experience? Have another look at your personal statement. If you think it could have let you down, check whether the new uni you're applying to will take an updated version.

If you've changed your mind

Think about what caused you to change courses. Is this new course or university more fitting for you? Have you done enough research into them?

When it's gone, it's gone

If you decline any offers to go through Extra, you won't be able to get them back, even if you don't get an offer from your Extra choice. So make sure you're 100% before declining anything.

Some people prefer to defer their application and apply again through Ucas the year after. This way, you know your grades and therefore have a more realistic idea of which universities to apply to, plus a clearer idea of which subject to apply for.

Not happy with the offers you have?

Declining offers in the hope of getting something better through Extra is a risky strategy and can backfire. 

If you do surprisingly well in your exams and want to level up, you can always go through Adjustment. This doesn't carry any risk to the offers you already have  but there are also no guarantees that you'll be able to get a place at your preferred university.

Good luck!

Do you have any experience of going through Extra? Any tips to share? Get involved in the conversation.

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