UCAS Extra – The Shaping Futures Guide

UCAS Extra, or just Extra, gives students a chance to gain a place at a university or college. Extra opens on February 25th and is open until the 4th of July, so it gives prospective students lots of extra time get a place.

Who can use UCAS Extra? 

You can use Extra if you submitted your UCAS application with five choices and you’ve received decisions from all of those choices, but you aren’t currently holding an offer. This might be because you weren’t made an offer from your choices, you declined offers you did receive or you cancelled a choice you made. You’ll know you’re eligible to use Extra because in the ‘Your choices’ section of Track an option to ‘Add an Extra choice’ will appear’.

If you submitted your UCAS application with less than five choices. and you haven’t accepted or declined any  offers, you don’t need to use Extra, you can just add another choice, and you have until the 30th of June to do so! It’s worth remembering that if you originally only applied to one choice and want to add more, you’ll need to pay the extra £11 application fee.

ucas extra

How does UCAS Extra work? 

If you’ve used all five of your choices and aren’t holding offers, Extra gives you a chance to submit additional applications to gain your place.

First you need to find a course that you’d like to apply for – you might want to use your original shortlist to find courses, or might need to start your research fresh if you’ve changed direction. The UCAS course search can be really helpful here – you can use the filter tool to show courses that currently have vacancies, as well as to search by course type, subject, locations and lots more categories.

When you’ve found a course you’d like to apply for, you need to contact the university or college that offers it to check they still have spaces, and that they’ll consider your application. You can also use this opportunity to ask them any questions about the course or institution that you might have.

If they say they have space and they’ll consider your application, you should add the details of the course in Track using ‘Add an Extra choice’. If the course is now full, or the institution otherwise won’t consider your application, not to worry – there will be lots of places you can apply, so get yourself back onto the UCAS course search!

Once you’ve added your details to Track the university or college will consider your application and give you a decision – they might offer you a place, which you can then confirm as your firm offer and you’re all done with Extra, or they might not be able to offer you a place at that time, in which case you can add another course in Track and start the Extra process again. If you’re made an offer using Extra but you don’t want to accept it, you’re able to decline it just like any other offer, and start the Extra process again.

If you’ve applied to a university or college using Extra and they haven’t responded to you within 21 days you can choose to remove it as a choice and add a different choice; you don’t have to, and can wait for their response if you’d prefer.

What should I think about when considering adding a university or college with UCAS Extra? 

Exactly the same things you thought about when you were making your first five choices! You should think about whether the course will suit you, if the entry requirements match your profile, the location of the uni, the type of uni (campus vs city), the student satisfaction scores, whether it offers extra opportunities like Study Abroad or placement years, teaching hours offered, graduate prospects and whether the course offers professional accreditation if that’s relevant.

What if I use UCAS Extra but still don’t have a place by July 4th? 

Although you have to add your choice by the 4th of July, universities and college have until midnight on the 12th of July to get back to you. But, if you don’t hold an offer at that point, you still don’t need to worry – you can add more choices using Clearing.

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How many times can I use UCAS Extra? 

There is no limit to how many Extra choices you can add during the period Extra is open, but you can only have one considered at a time – so you can’t submit two Extra choices at the same time.

Are all courses available in UCAS Extra? 

Not necessarily – each university or college tells UCAS which of it’s courses has space using an online system, and it’s these that populate the UCAS search tool when you select ‘Courses that still have vacancies’. If you course you want isn’t available in Extra, you could contact the university or college to see if there are spaces – if there are and you’d like to add it as a choice, you should ask the university or college to open course vacancies on UCAS to allow you to apply.

Can I use UCAS Extra to add an insurance choice? 

Unfortunately not – if you accept an offer from a choice you made using Extra it becomes your firm offer and you don’t hold an Insurance choice. If you don’t meet the requirements of your Firm choice you go straight into Clearing.

Do offers made through UCAS Extra have reduced grades, like some Clearing courses do? 

No, offers made through UCAS Extra will usually match the standard entry requirements published in prospectuses and on university or college websites.


Can I use UCAS Extra to apply for a totally different course than I originally applied to? 

Yes! You’re free to apply for something totally different if you’d like to, or even something that’s just a bit different (like switching from single to joint honours!) However, universities and colleges will see your original application, with your original course choices and personal statement, so it’s a good idea to write a new personal statement which covers why you want to do a different course and what it was that made you change your mind – as well as why you’d be right for it and any relevant experience or reading, just like you would have done in your original personal statement. You can send this directly to the university or college, but you should make sure that they’ll accept it and who to send it to, before adding your choice in Extra. It’s also a great idea to have your new personal statement written before contacting universities and colleges about the new course or adding it in Track – this means you can send it off straight away and don’t end up rushing anything.

Remember, if you’re going for a totally different course you should make sure you’ve done all the research for that course just like you did for your original course choices!

A uni that rejected me is showing as still having vacancies in my course, can I use UCAS Extra to apply again? 

Technically yes you can – but this doesn’t mean you should! If a university has previously declined to make you an offer has vacancies during the period Extra is open, it’s because they’re still looking for applicants who meet their normal entry requirements, which they’ve already said you don’t by declining to make you an offer.


I’ve still got questions about UCAS Extra! 

UCAS have lots of information about UCAS Extra, but if you’d like more personalised advice, please contact us!