UCAS Terminology

For many students and parents, the process of applying to university can be a daunting one, not least because of the range of specialised terminology. The following explanations will help guide you:

UCAS: this stands for the University and Colleges Admissions Service; the vast majority of students apply to university through their online system, and UCAS acts as a central agency to manage all the applications. Students make their initial online application through the APPLY section of the website, and then monitor the progress of each of their choices through a section of the website called TRACK. Should a student find themselves in the rare position that they have not received an offer from any of their five choices of university, there is the opportunity to make single further applications through a system called EXTRA.

Clearing: this is the process following Year 13 Results Day in August, whereby a student can apply for any advertised courses which a university has a vacancy on. These vacancies are all advertised on the UCAS website, as well as in a variety of national newspapers. The academy will provide online links to these in August to assist students and parents. Most of the students who use Clearing will have attained final results which fall below the grades stipulated in any offers they were currently holding and, as a result, they have found their original places declined by the university they were originally planning to attend.

Oxbridge: this is the term used for any application to either the University of Cambridge or Oxford University.

Russell Group/1994 Group: these are the terms used to describe two separate groups which are currently considered to be the leading universities in the UK. The criteria for inclusion into either of these two groups are strict, and universities are judged on various elements, particularly their research and academic achievements. Students in our Sixth Form who aspire to apply to one of these universities will receive very early additional support and preparation in Year 12. Please click on the following links to access a list of the relevant universities:

Russell Group: www.russellgroup.ac.uk