Upcoming Intakes to Study in UK


UK Universities: Intakes

Universities in the UK follow an academic calendar that begins in September and ends in July. Between this time, UK’s universities and colleges, like their counterparts in USA and Canada, accept students in three intakes.

  • Fall or September/October intake
  • Winter or January/February intake
  • Summer/Spring or May intake

Here is how UK universities and colleges conduct their admission cycles throughout the year

FALL September September–December/early January Primary/Main intake Most popular intake for international students, including Indian students because

  • Gives you enough time to familiarise yourself with the environment and other conditions
  • Universities/colleges offer their flagship and major courses
  • A wide variety of courses are offered
  • Greater opportunities for funding such as scholarships and bursaries
  • The largest number of internship opportunities
  • Greater number of applicants
  • Most intense competition
WINTER January January–April Secondary intake
  • You get the chance to apply if you have missed the September/October intake
  • You have less time to adapt to the North European winter
  • You get more time to work on your application
  • Does not offer as many courses as the Fall intake
  • The number of international applications is small because of the winter climate
SUMMER/SPRING May May-August Least preferred intake
  • Offered by few universities/colleges
  • Least options of courses
  • Students prefer to take a spring break
  • The pool of applicants is very small
  • Competition is the least intense
  • Enhanced chance of getting an offer


The Winter Window: Don’t Pass Up

Undeniably the Fall intake is the most popular among international students. However, it will be unwise not to explore your options for the Winter intake as well, especially if you need more time on working on your application. There are a handful of UK universities that offer a host of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in their Winter term. Please check out individual universities for offered courses and real-time updates on application deadlines.


Which Intake for Me?

Your decision will depend on your chosen university and preferred course, your past scholastic performance, your test scores, the acceptance rate of your university of choice, opening of application, class commencement, and your availability for the course. Consider the following.


  • Many of the top universities do not have a Winter or Summer/Spring intake for Postgraduate courses
  • Research your university thoroughly
  • What kind of classes do you stand to gain or miss by choosing your intake?
PhD in UK
  • Most PhD studentship begins in September or October
  • There are both funded and self-funded PhD studentship opportunities in the UK
  • Both types of PhD can be undertaken at any time of the year.
  • Most top B-Schools including Cranfield School of Management, Judge Business School, Said Business School, London Business School, Warwick Business School, Imperial College Business School offer their flagship MBA programs in the Fall/September intake.

The upcoming intakes in the UK for you should be Fall 2021 and Summer/Spring 2021.


Here is a general guideline for the deadlines of the UK universities.

  • Fall or October Intake
  • Top Universities: Between February and May of the same year
  • Winter or January/February Intake
  • Top Universities: Between June and September of the previous year
  • Summer/Spring or May Intake
  • Top Universities: Between October and January

Note that

  • For all the three intakes, the deadlines vary between universities, courses, and the levels of courses
  • Always check your university/department for its deadlines for your chosen course

The UCAS Connection

Are you applying to UK universities in Fall 2021 through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) portal? You should check out these application deadlines for UCAS.

  • For Undergraduate (UG) courses
  • 15 October 2020 at 18:00 HRS UK time
  • Any course at the universities of Oxford/Cambridge
  • Courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science, dentistry
  • 15 January 2021 at 18:00 HRS UK time
  • For most of the courses
  • For Postgraduate (PG) courses
  • The UCAS does not have its deadlines
  • UCAS follows the deadlines of the universities
  • The universities and their departments decide their deadlines for different courses

The Good and the Not-So-Good News from UCAS

  • The 15 October deadline is generally inflexible
  • Applications received after 30 June are archived in UCAS Clearing
  • Many universities and colleges are flexible about accepting applications from international students late into the year, close to the beginning of the course
  • However, ask the university if it has a vacancy, especially for courses with a 15 October deadline because these courses are highly competitive
  • Some universities might have additional admission tests alongside UCAS application and these tests might have deadlines

Types of Deadlines

UG: See the UCAS section

PG: In the case of a Master’s, there are generally two types of deadlines.

  • Course Application deadline
  • Scholarship Application deadline, which will be different from the Course Application deadline.
  • Scholarship deadline can be as early as 6 months from the commencement of the course or as late as a few weeks before the course starts.

MBA: Most B-Schools have several rounds of deadlines: Early Decision, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, and sometimes Round 5

  • Early Decision: Early September
  • Round 1: Between mid-September and late October
  • Round 2: Between early November and mid-December
  • Round 3: Between early January and March
  • Round 4: Between early April and mid-July

Still, feeling a little confused? You can always reach out to us at Manya Education. We provide study-abroad counselling and would be happy to help you to stay on a steady course in your journey of studying abroad.

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