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Undergraduate Study

How to apply

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Applying via UCAS

Applications for full-time study should be made via UCAS.

Each application cycle starts in September. Your application should normally reach UCAS between 1 September and the UCAS equal consideration deadline.

Applicants for Medicine must apply between 1 September and 15 October.

All Home applications received by the UCAS deadline are given full and equal consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered if places are still available.

Our application timeline contains the key dates for each stage of the application process.

You may apply to up to five institutions and courses. The University of Exeter’s UCAS code is E84 EXETR.

When completing your application, you may find our page on how we assess your application helpful to understand the key indicators we look for in your application.

Courses based at Penryn Campus, Cornwall

If you are applying for a course that is offered at our Penryn Campus, please note that these programmes are indicated by ‘Penryn Campus, Cornwall’ after the title and you should indicate ‘C’ under ‘Campus Code’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application. Check the programme page to see which campus your chosen programme is based at.

Flexible Combined Honours, Modern Languages or Liberal Arts

If you are applying for a Flexible Combined Honours, Modern Languages or Liberal Arts programme, you should clearly indicate the subject areas that you wish to study in the ‘choices’ section of the application.

You will be asked to sign a declaration on the application form, which confirms that the information you have given is true, complete and accurate. Discovery of false information or omissions in your application could lead to your offer being withdrawn or, if you have registered with the university, to you being asked to leave.

If you firmly accept our offer of a place, we will require documentary evidence of any qualifications as stated on your UCAS form if these are not verified by UCAS.

We may ask you to provide additional information such as:

  • Documentary evidence of your qualifications as stated on your UCAS application (if these are not verified by UCAS)
  • Result transcripts
  • Academic references
  • Information about any alternative qualifications you have.

When you supply this information, please include your Personal Identification Number (PID - the ten-digit number you get when you register to apply via UCAS) or student number and the course(s) you have applied for.

UCAS ask you to declare any relevant criminal convictions in your application. A criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from receiving an offer: each case is considered on an individual basis and will depend upon the nature of the offence. Where an offer is recommended, the offence(s) will be considered by a panel of appropriate University staff.

Disclosure and Barring Service checks

If you are offered a place on a programme which includes working with children or vulnerable adults, you will require a satisfactory enhanced disclosure check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). For more information please see our Disclosure and Barring Service pages.

Deferring means applying for a course, then taking a year out before going to university.

We are happy to consider applicants who intend to take a year out between school/college and university. Applicants applying for deferred entry will be considered in the same way as applicants applying for entry without a gap year.

How to apply for deferred entry

In your UCAS application, choose the deferred entry start date when you add the University of Exeter as one of your choices.

For information about deferring your application after you have applied, see 'Changing your year of entry' on the After you apply page.

Following the UCAS deadline, a number of our programmes will start to close to applicants for first year entry. However, it may still be possible to be considered if you are applying for entry into the second or further years.

If the programme you wish to apply for is showing as closed on UCAS, please contact the Admissions Office for further advice.

We welcome applications from people of all ages and applications will be considered on their individual merits.

If you are offered a place and will be under 18 when your course starts, we will follow certain legislative procedures in order to fulfil our duty of care for students. Policy details can be found on our page for students under 18.

We welcome applicants who may not have come directly from school or college and who wish to return to education at different stages of their lives.

There is no upper age limit for applications.

However, for certain programmes related to health services, the University has a responsibility to ensure that the investment made by public funds in relation to NHS training is realised in terms of length of service within the health service.

Supporting your application and studies

On our mature students page you’ll find guidance on applying and information on the support we can offer throughout your student journey.

If you have a disability, we encourage you to declare your disability in your application and indicate any health or access needs.

This will not be used to assess your application but will help us plan for your support.

We aim to create an environment which welcomes those with physical disabilities and those with unseen disabilities, enabling them to participate fully in university life.

It may be beneficial for you to visit the University before applying; if so, we can arrange informal visits on an individual basis. We can also arrange support for applicants at Offer-Holder Visit Days and interviews (if applicable).

Details of support available during the application process, with the transition to university and throughout your studies can be found on our Students with disabilities page.

What is a UCAS Reference?

The UCAS reference is part of the applicant’s UCAS profile, which is the means by which applicants apply to university courses in the United Kingdom.

Along with an applicant’s grades, personal statement, and any relevant entrance tests, the reference helps a university build a picture of your profile and any circumstances which may inform offer-making - such as qualifying for a contextual offer - or signposting to specific support provided by the institution such as support for disability, wellbeing, and additional learning needs.

Who can provide a UCAS Reference?

Most UCAS references are written by teachers, tutors, or other assigned academic or pastoral contacts at the school, college or education centre the applicant is using. If you are applying independently and do not have access to a recent contact within these categories, you may need to ask someone else.

A reference cannot be:

- A close friend or family member
- A partner or ex-partner
- Yourself

Examples of people you could ask to provide a reference include: 

  • A former tutor or teacher from a previous school or college
  • A current or former tutor or teacher from any independent learning programmes you have recently undertaken
  • A manager, employer or work / placement supervisor
  • A trusted work colleague
  • A training assessor or group project lead
  • A social worker or nominated Council or local services guardian
  • A co-ordinator or staff member of any returning to learning / independent student study support groups, programmes or charities to which you belong
  • A volunteering group leader or manager
  • A counsellor
  • A current/former Commanding Officer or Educational Resettlement Officer for applicants previously serving in the Armed Forces

Check with the universities to which you are applying to find out whether they have any specific requirements around references which may require you to choose a speci.

What is needed from my referee?

UCAS will require verification from an individual that they have agreed to act as a reference – they will receive an email from UCAS with a password which will allow them to input and submit their written reference online. They will use the same system that school references do, and be asked to provide the same information.

UCAS has issued guidance for referees, which can be found on the changes to undergraduate references for 2024 entry webpage. 

The content of a reference will vary from individual to individual, depending on their relationship to the applicant. If you are planning to ask someone to be your reference, you should speak with them in advance about your application.

Your referee may wish to include the following:

  • How the referee knows you
  • Your preparedness for study
  • Your suitability for your chosen course(s) and institutions
  • Your general attitude and motivation for study
  • Your skills and qualities, and the ways in which you have demonstrated them
  • Your achievements, non-school activities, work experience and independent undertakings relevant to your chosen course(s), which demonstrate your suitability and motivation for study
  • Any super-curricular initiatives, summer schools, courses or outreach programmes that you have undertaken; these could include widening participation and access outreach, Gifted and Talented initiatives, or Partnerships for Progression
  • Details of extenuating circumstances, particular and specific to you, that the referee feels could be relevant to a university’s consideration of your application (e.g. illness, bereavement, mental or physical health factors)
  • Additional context about your educational pathway and current situation regarding studies or returning to learning, especially if you have a non-standard educational journey or have undertaken education outside traditional or standard settings

Remember to check with the universities to which you are applying whether they have any specific requirements around references that may require you to choose a specific individual or type of person. 

What are the University of Exeter’s requirements for references? 

The University of Exeter does not have any specific requirements or restrictions on who may provide a reference. 

At the University of Exeter, the reference is generally not used as part of the selection process, and is not marked, weighted or scored as part of our processes.  

We use the UCAS reference to look for background information linked to contextual offer eligibility, or extenuating circumstance. However, in this instance we would also ask applicants to complete our online extenuating circumstances form to ensure that this information is taken into account directly.


International applicants

If you live outside the UK, you should also apply via UCAS using Apply online.

Advice is available from your local British Council office and other centres, such as your school or one of our local representatives. Details of our approved representatives can be found in the Entry requirements section of our International Students website.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible and before UCAS deadline but will continue to consider applications from international students until 30 June if places are available. After this date we will consider applications through Clearing for any vacancies we still have.

If you think you may be assessed as a ‘Home’ student for tuition fees purposes, then you should apply by the UCAS deadline.

If English is not your first language and you have not completed your education in an English-speaking country (ie, the UK, Anglophone Canada, USA, Australia or New Zealand), you will need to submit evidence of a good command of English before starting your degree programme. Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Applicants wanting to study at the University of Exeter for only one or two semesters under our Study Abroad at Exeter programme should apply direct to the University. Application information can be found on the Study Abroad at Exeter website.


Second year entry

For some of our programmes we will consider applications to join in second year or later years if we have places available.

To be accepted for entry into the second year of a programme we will normally expect that you:

  • achieve a 2.1 within the first year of your current programme
  • have studied or are studying modules that match the core components of the first year modules on the programme you are applying for (check the ‘Course content’ section of the programme webpage)
  • have achieved level three qualifications (A levels, IB or equivalent) equivalent to those of current first year applicants

Applications for second year or a later year entry should be made via UCAS.

As part of our selection process we will consider whether the modules you have previously studied match the core components of the first year of the programme you are applying for (module details can be found on the programme pages under ‘Course content’).

You will therefore need to send the following information directly to us if it is not included on your UCAS application:

  • Up to date transcripts of your current higher education studies and/or predicted grades supplied by your academic referee
  • List of all level 2 and 3 academic achievements to date, including GCSE and A level or equivalent.

If you are currently studying or have previously studied for a degree at the University of Exeter or any other institution you will need to share details of modules studied and grades achieved to date. The information will be used to consider your suitability and potential to succeed at Exeter. Where there is no evidence of this, we may not be in a position to offer you a place to study here.

Please note: we are unable to consider your transcripts and previous qualifications or comment on whether or not you will be offered a place prior to the receipt of a formal UCAS application.


Part-time study

Applications for part-time study are not made through UCAS.

How to apply

If you wish to study part-time, you should contact our Admissions Office: you do not apply through UCAS. The Admissions team will contact the relevant department to confirm whether the course you are interested in is available part-time.

If part-time study is available for your course of interest, the Admissions Office will send you the relevant application form to complete. Please return your completed application to:

Courses not available part-time

The following courses are not available for part-time study at undergraduate level:

When to apply

Application forms must be submitted by the same UCAS deadlines as applications for full-time courses: in October and January.


All course entry requirements, including subject-specific requirements, remain the same, whether you are applying to study full- or part-time. 

International students should note that UK student visas only permit the holder to study full-time.

Fees and finance

Student Finance works differently for a part-time degree; this includes Tuition Fees and any Maintenance Loans to which you may be entitled. To learn more, see the government webpages on finance for part-time study.

Additionally, UCAS provides an overview of how fees for part-time students work, and how to apply: Part time tuition fees. 

For further enquiries, please contact our Admissions team via our online enquiry form.


Contact us

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team:

Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)*
+44(0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
Web: Enquire online

* Calling us on an 0300 number will cost you the same as a call to a standard landline number starting with 01 and 02. If you have an inclusive call package for calling landline numbers on your mobile or landline telephone the call would simply be reduced from your available talk minutes. Otherwise your call will be charged at the same rate as calling a standard national rate number.