The Full UK Master's Application Procedure
1. Your application is received at the university
The instant you click submit, your application immediately goes to the university Postgraduate Admissions team. They then distribute it to the academic department coordinating your course programme.
2. University notifies student of receipt
You should receive a confirmation by email or status update in your application portal system. Your application number and course applied for will be stated for your reference. Often, a student ID will be issued and this will be the same ID you use throughout your course.
You may also receive a list of supporting documents for submission alongside your application, if you have not already submitted them. Please be mindful that some universities have deadlines for supplying these documents; failure to do so might cause your application to be discarded.
If you have provided referee contacts, the university will contact the referee directly for reference. Remind your referee to provide reference on the Referee Portal so your application can move up the consideration queue.
3. Application is under consideration: 4-8 weeks
Universities with higher rankings usually take longer time to process applications. This is because they receive large batches of applications and are more administratively complex. Make sure you allow for sufficient time between your application submission and visa application.
Decisions on admission are made by Course Selectors from your academic departments. However, the official decision will be communicated to you by the Postgraduate Admissions team.
Note: Interview: 3-5 weeks in
Part of the consideration process can sometimes involve an interview with the course supervisor. This only applies to certain course programmes, however. For example, film-making courses would like to meet you to hear about your past work or project experience, your interests and motivation, and so on.
There are some universities that are known to conduct interviews for all applicants, for example UCL, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, and Cranfield. Check your course description to determine if you need to attend an interview. You may not have to attend a physical interview. Interviews can be conducted over the phone or Skype, as long as you specify during your application your preferred mode of interview.
4. Decision outcome
Upon receiving the official decision, the Postgraduate Admissions team will inform you via email, post, or on your student system. You can also contact ApplicationUK for updates on your submitted application. There are several outcomes to be expected.
5. Offer accepted or rejected
You have been accepted on:
a. An unconditional offer – you have satisfied all academic requirements to secure a place in the programme; move on to the step
b. A conditional offer – you have not satisfied all the academic requirements to secure a place in the programme; this is common if you have not received your final degree certificate and transcripts from your undergraduate study. Read more about converting your conditional offer into an unconditional here.
You have been rejected. (The notification usually arrives much earlier than if you had been offered a place, so you can start on pursuing alternative solutions). The Postgraduate Admissions office rarely gives an explicit reason for rejecting your application. You may contact the department to request feedback; however they are not obliged to provide this in all cases.
Instead, the generic responses are:
a. You did not fulfil an academic requirement i.e. low GPA, unsuitable background, etc. If 'unsuitable background' was the reason, this means you do not meet certain prerequisites for the applied course programme but you may be eligible to apply for other courses at the same university. If you are not offered an opportunity to reapply for another course, you may write in anyway and ask permission to re-apply.
b. General feedback i.e. highly competitive course, limited spaces, large volume of applicants this year, etc. If this is you, you may be interested in applying at another university offering a similar course program. Speak to our advisors to discover alternative programmes available to you.
As long as you have applied to a partner university, ApplicationUK will be in direct contact with your Postgraduate Admissions office and we will be able to pursue the reason for your application rejection. Following that, we might be able to renegotiate your admission conditions to secure your offer. Speak to our advisors as soon as possible should you face this outcome.
You may have applied to more than one university and received more than one offer. At the end, you will only be allowed to accept ONE offer and enrol in that university. You can usually submit your decision via your application portal. All remaining offers will have to be turned down; the choice is now in your hands which offer to accept or reject. If you are having difficulty choosing, seek advice from our advisors at ApplicationUK.
Sometimes, you will have to pay a deposit in when accepting your offer to secure your place. This deposit is non-refundable but may offset some of your course tuition fees. Check your offer the deposit clauses before making your decision.
Be aware of funding and scholarship application deadlines to ensure you submit your application well before it is due. There may be some criteria that filter for eligibility such as a minimum GPA, subject area, family income, etc. Find the right one for you here.
6. University issues CAS
After you receive your unconditional offer and strictly three (3) months before your course start date, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This document lists all the vital information for your course program, tuition fees payable, university license number, address, and details (for visa application), and other such details.
To find out what you should do with your CAS, contact our advisors or see our visa guidance handbook.
7. Submit visa application
As a student requesting leave to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. Your application can only be submitted no more than 90 days before the start date of your course; any earlier applications will automatically be discarded and you have to start again.
To apply online, you need to have your passport and CAS with you, and answer some questions. A successful application takes 4-6 weeks to complete so make sure you plan your travel dates accordingly. More details are explained in this video.
Sign up to receive your ApplicationUK visa guidance handbook. In this handbook, we walk you through the application process and the documents you need to prepare.
8. Get ready to fly!
After you have received your travel visa, you're all set to head to the UK. Now, you just need to pack your bags and sort your flight.
Follow this link to find out what you can do pre-departure.
Higher ranking universities have limited spaces. If you're aiming high, you best start your application early. With ApplicationUK, it's not too late! You can accelerate the process and let us do the run about to secure your postgraduate admission. Simply have ready these documents and you're all set to submit your application.
If you have any further questions or queries on UK master's degree applications, contact Team AppUK on firstname.lastname@example.org.
ApplicationUK's easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.
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