Applying to University

Applying to university takes planning and organisation - from attending open days to choosing course options. This page contains important information about how to apply and the options your son or daughter has at various stages of the process.

Open Days

Before applying, one of the best ways to help your son or daughter decide what to study is to attend a Glasgow Caledonian University Open Day.  It’s a great opportunity to chat to staff, tour the university campus, meet other potential students and ask lots of questions.

Visit Open Days and tours for full information and dates, and to register for updates.

Applying through UCAS

All applications to full-time undergraduate degrees in the UK go through UCAS - the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service - via the UCAS online Apply system.

The standard application fee is £17 for up to five choices and £7 for a single choice. Once they have your son or daughter’s application, UCAS will send it around the individual institutions. Each institution (and course) has a unique code which needs to be entered correctly on the application form; Glasgow Caledonian’s code is GCAL G42.

An important part of the application process is the Personal Statement, which allows your son or daughter to personalise their application and explain why they are applying for a particular course and institution.

You can track applications online through UCAS’s Track system.

Decision time

Each university will respond in one of three ways:

  1. Conditional: Applicant must achieve certain exam results to be accepted.
  2. Unconditional: Applicant has satisfied all entry requirements.
  3. Unsuccessful: Applicant does not have the right qualifications, completed or pending, or there are no places left on the course applied for.

Your son or daughter has to pick two choices – one firm acceptance and one insurance acceptance.

What to do if your son or daughter applies unsuccessfully

Even if your son or daughter doesn’t receive any conditional or unconditional offers, all is not lost.

UCAS Extra

UCAS Extra enables applicants who find themselves without an offer, and who have used all five choices already, to have an additional choice through UCAS. Extra runs from mid-March to the end of June, when institutions list available courses online through UCAS Course Search.


Clearing provides an opportunity for those who do not meet the entry requirements or apply late to find a suitable course. 

What to do if your son or daughter gets better results than expected

If your son or daughter is in the happy position of getting better exam results than expected, meaning they meet and exceed the conditions of their conditional firm choice, Adjustment provides an opportunity for them to reconsider their options.

How Adjustment works

Your son or daughter’s individual Adjustment period starts on 20 August or when their conditional firm choice becomes an unconditional firm, whichever is later. They then have five full days (including weekends) to find an alternative course. If your son or daughter wants to try to find an alternative course they must register to use Adjustment on Track on the UCAS website so universities and colleges can view their application.

For full details, get the facts about Adjustment from the UCAS website.

Unsure when things are happening?

We've a handy timeline that maps out all the relevant activities in the application calendar.