UCAS data insights

Posted: 20 Nov 2018 - 16:15
Student cycle
UCAS holds the most up-to-date data for applications to higher education in the UK.

We release statistics and responses for UCAS Undergraduate applications at key points and deadlines, covering patterns and trends across the year.

Free data and analysis is available on ucas.com, and deeper analysis and data can be purchased from UCAS Media.

2018 UCAS Undergraduate cycle

A level results day seems a long time ago now, but it’s not quite the end of the cycle here at UCAS. At this late stage in 2018, we can start to understand applicant behaviours – our latest data comes at 28 days after A level results day. Full 2018 end of cycle data will become available in December.

/files/headline-stats">Headline stats

Headline stats

The rise in direct to Clearing applicants has continued in 2018. As of day 28, the sector has seen a decrease in main scheme Clearing acceptances of 1%, and an increase in direct to Clearing of 6%

UK vs. international

Based on day 28 data, there is an upward trend compared to the 2017 cycle, for both EU and non-EU applicants.

  • Placed applicants from the UK are down -3% from 2017 (438,980 vs. 426,730).
  • Placed applicants from the EU (not including the UK) are up 2% from 2017 (29,850 vs. 30,350).
  • Placed applicants from outside the EU are up 4% from 2017 (36,850 vs. 38,330).

Looking forwards to 2019 

The first of the UCAS deadlines (15 October) has now passed. The 15 October is the deadline for applications for most medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine/science courses, and for all courses at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

Statistics published by UCAS today show that 65,870 people have applied for these courses, up 7% compared to 61,440 at this point last year.

A record 45,650 people from the UK have applied, up 9% from the 41,970 at this stage in the 2018 admissions cycle. There has been growth in applicants from across most of the UK, with English applicants rising by 9% to 41,210, applicants from Northern Ireland up 4% to 950, and applicants living in Wales increasing 5% to 1,510. The number of applicants from Scotland remains broadly unchanged, with just ten fewer this year.

Interest in October deadline courses from outside the European Union has increased by 6% to 13,610, while demand from EU applicants is consistent with last year (6,610).
The number of applicants for medicine courses has reached a five year high of 22,340, potentially in response to further additional places for medicine at English universities. 17,470 of those applicants are from the UK (a 12% increase on the 2018 cycle), with 15,140 from England (up 12%), which coincides with an increase in announced places available. Medicine applicants from Northern Ireland are up 10%, Scottish applicants are up 5%, and Welsh applicants have risen by 14%.

/files/applicants-courses">Applicants for courses

Applicants for courses

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