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Application Procedure for Undergraduate Courses
Bachelor Degree Programmes

This section explains the process of applying to UK universities for undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) courses. For details on how to select a university that matches your interests, needs and academic background, go to the Selecting Universities section.  

Application Requirements
  1. Academic Records
  2. Standardized Tests
  3. Letters of Recommendation
  4. Statement of Purpose (SOP)

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Applications are made through a computerized national system known as Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Students must complete a single UCAS form which allows them a choice of six universities and courses so that they don’t have to make costly and time consuming multiple applications. UCAS forms are available at all British Council Offices in India for self funded students.

UCAS forms should be ideally submitted before 15th December of the preceding year. Students can start applying even if they have received their final results. However, even after 15th December, applications can still be processed in the normal way until 30th June. After that, applications will be handled through "Clearing Process".

Note : For Oxford and Cambridge
  • Students must apply before 15th October of the year preceding their year of proposed entry.
  • There are specific forms to be filled and sent to the universities.
  • You cannot apply to both the colleges in the same academic year.

British students undergo thirteen years of pre-university education as opposed to twelve years in India. Outstanding marks from one of the two Central Boards (CBSE or ICSE) or their equivalent, or the first year of an Indian degree programme are therefore usually required for direct entry into an undergraduate programme in UK.

For those who do not, as yet, have these qualifications, there is a range of access or foundation courses available. Foundation courses range from four months to a year.

Applicants must satisfy both general and course requirements for admissions

General Requirements
A specified number of subject passes at both GCE "A" Levels and GCSE at grade C minimum is required for admissions in UK educational system. An equivalent Indian qualification such as a good score in the CBSE and ICSE etc. would be acceptable.

Course Requirements
Course requirement details can be obtained from prospectuses of institutions which are available at the Education Counselling Service located in the British Council offices or Libraries.
Note: For Entry into Oxford, Cambridge and London University, ‘A’ level results are required. This in the Indian context would mean one year in college after 12 years of education.

Application Requirements

Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or another undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster.

This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relation to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a prediction of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and the ones used in India, ask your school to include a guide to the grading standards used in your educational system and your school. 

If your school ranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that the ranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior college leaving certificate as and when it is available.

If the transcripts are in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university otherwise it may not be acceptable.

Standardized Tests


IELTS : For most courses and universities, International students are required to take  IELTS (International English Language Test) which is regularly administered by the British Council. Some universities may accept TOEFL as an alternative.

Note : Some Universities may waive IELTS if you have been studying in English medium throughout and they are convinced that you are proficient in English.

Letter of Recommendation


Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission especially in courses that earn you a master’s or doctoral degree. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well or has taught you in a subject at school or college. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information.

The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection. 

Note : Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your applications as they increase your chances of getting admissions.

For more details on letters of recommendation, formats and tips, check out Letters of Recommendation

Statement of Purpose


The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself.

A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals.

For more details on various essay topics, tips, sample essays, check out our Essays/Statement of Purpose section.
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