How to apply

The application process can seem daunting at first but there’s plenty of support and advice available.

Open day

The journey to higher education

We have set out the key stages to help guide you.

Year 12

February - June

UCAS exhibitions

We attend UCAS exhibitions across the country, giving young people the first opportunity to meet us face to face.

Choosing a university

There is no right or wrong way to choose a university. But here are some things you can prompt students to research:

  • League tables: These can be used to compare universities. Don’t forget to check the subject rankings. The Times and Guardian league tables are a good place to start.
  • Location: Your child should consider how far they want to be from home. If they decide to move away then it's worth checking out accommodation and the cost of living. Sheffield is an affordable city with great transport links across the country.
  • City vs campus: Some universities are based in a city and some are on a campus with all their facilities close together. The University of Sheffield offers both.
  • Student experience: University is more than just a degree. Your child should research support available and the sports, clubs and societies on offer.
  • Other opportunities: Your child should think about what will add value to their degree. This could be studying abroad or undertaking a placement. At Sheffield the majority of our courses offer both.

June - November

Open days

Open days are the perfect place to meet staff and students, explore the campus and accommodation, and find out what Sheffield is like.

Book your place

Being shown round the University buildings and being able to talk with the student ambassadors was invaluable.

Parent of 2nd year student

Choosing a course

With over 50,000 courses available at UK universities it's important to choose the right one. Here’s how to help your child make an informed decision: 

  • Subject: What subjects are they currently studying and what do they enjoy? Universities will provide information on what their subjects allow them to do beyond the traditional pathways. Its important to look at what is taught on the degree at different universities as they won’t all be the same.
  • Styles of teaching: They should consider what learning style they are most suited to as subjects are taught in different ways. They can look for tutorials, lab time, presentations, group work, independent projects and lectures.
  • Careers: Their career aspirations may determine the degree they will study. Some professions require a degree. They can also research their dream job and speak to staff at school or university.
  • Entry requirements: These will differ from course to course and university to university. Some degrees require certain subjects and some won’t.

Year 13


Time to apply

Once students have decided on subjects and universities, it is time to apply online via the national Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Universities will issue their decisions on applications through the UCAS Track portal.

Apply through UCAS

Application tips

Students will apply for an undergraduate course via UCAS.

Read our undergraduate applying essentials

Their school or college should provide advice and support on the process. They can also refer to UCAS.

A personal statement can help them secure a place. We’ve put together some tips on what this should focus on: 

  • Why do they want to study the subject? Demonstrate their enthusiasm, highlight their career plans and how the degree will help.
  • What makes them a good applicant? Outline their skills and experience and show their potential to stand out.
  • What else do they do? Showcase things that make them interesting. These don’t need to be related to the course and could be sport, social responsibilities or special achievements.

Access Sheffield

If students meet one or more of our Access Sheffield criteria we may give their application additional consideration and make them a contextual offer lower than our standard entry requirements. Further support is also available for eligible Access+ students. You can find out what support students could be eligible for on our Access Sheffield policies (Contextual admissions) page


UCAS application deadline for Medicine and Dentistry courses


UCAS application deadline for the majority of courses

Over the next few months, universities make their decisions about whom to offer places to. Sometimes this decision may involve the university asking the student to attend an interview.

If successful, the university will make the student a conditional or unconditional offer.

Understanding university decisions

A conditional offer is an offer of a place that is dependent on the student achieving certain grades or points in their forthcoming A Levels or other exams.

An unconditional offer is made if the student has already achieved the required grades.

February - April

Offer holder days

Once students have an offer they will be invited to an offer holder day. Here, they will spend more time in the department taking part in lectures and talks, with the chance to meet current students studying their chosen subject.

What are offer holder days?


Apply for Student Finance

Applicants can apply online for their student loans from early March.

Student Finance


Making a Firm and Insurance choice

Applicants will usually accept two offers, their Firm and Insurance choice

Firm vs insurance

Firm is the student's first choice – the place they most want to go to. If they accept a conditional offer from us and meet the conditions, they’ll have a confirmed place here.

Insurance: this is the choice the student would want if they didn't meet the conditions of their Firm choice. If this is a conditional offer, they'd need to meet the conditions for their place to be confirmed.


Exam results
Confirmation and Clearing

When exam results are released, the Firm and Insurance universities will decide whether or not they can confirm a place. Clearing opens for students who don't have a confirmed place, or who would prefer to go elsewhere.


Moving weekend and welcome week

It's the end of one journey and the start of an exciting new one.

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.