Intakes in UK

8 minutes reading time (1652 words)

The UK is home to several prestigious educational institutes with admission intakes spread throughout the year. The admission intakes in the UK vary according to the admission requirements and the courses. Therefore, students who wish to study in the UK need to be aware of the intakes of different colleges and apply to them accordingly. UK universities commonly have two intakes – Intake in January to February and Intake in September to October. Additionally, some universities have intakes in April and May for select courses. Students who failed to participate in the September intake need not worry as they can still target the January intake. This will, in turn, give them more time to focus on their applications and make corrections if there are any. There isn't much difference between the intakes in January and September as both present many opportunities for students. 

How Many Intakes Are There In UK?

There are two significant intakes in the UK – January/February and September. However, some universities in the UK offer April/May intake for some courses.


About the Intake

Application Starts



Considered a secondary intake, the January intake doesn’t have many courses on offer, as compared to the September intake, but it gives lots of time for students to work on their application

Starts in June of the previous year and ends in September

Usually fall between June and September


The most popular intake for international students as universities/colleges offer their major/flagship courses. This intake provides enough time for students to get familiarised with the new environment and other conditions

Starts in February and goes on until May.

Usually, fall between February and May


Offered by only a handful of UK universities/colleges. This intake offers the least options of courses to students, and the pool of applicants is also small

Applications to universities start by January or February

January and February (Applications are available between October and November

January/February Intake in UK

The January/February intake is generally considered a supplementary one as not many classes are provided by universities at the beginning of this intake, compared to the September intake. However, this admission cycle is an incentive for students who had to skip the primary admission cycle for any reason. For students, taking part in the January intake means more time to focus on their submissions. The submission deadline for this intake cycle usually falls between June and September. The actual deadline may vary from one institution to another and from one course to another.

Here are some January/February intake universities in the UK:

  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Sunderland
  • Aston University
  • University of Essex
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Brunel University
  • Coventry University
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Chester
  • Kingston University
  • City University of London
  • University of Greenwich
  • Oxford Brookes University

Eligibility Requirements

September Intake in UK

September and October are the most extensive intake months in the UK. Considering the fall intake in the UK, it is common to see universities taking in the maximum number of applications for its courses from international students. Even scholars from overseas destinations prefer pursuing a class of their choice as there will be many options to choose from. The application date usually opens by February and goes up to May.

Here are some September intake universities in the UK:

  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Bradford
  • Birmingham City University
  • Swansea University
  • University of Reading
  • London Metropolitan University
  • University of Surrey
  • Kingston University
  • University of Derby
  • University of Leeds
  • Keele University
  • University of Hertfordshire

Eligibility Requirements

  • Minimum scores for standardised qualifying exams like the ACT or SAT for bachelors and GMAT and GRE for masters, as required by the university.
  • Minimum scores in standardised English proficiency tests like PTE/TOEFL/IELTS, as required by the university.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Proof of Funds
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Academic Resume
  • Research Proposal
  • Academic Transcripts, etc.

May Intake in UK

May intake universities in the UK come to the rescue of students who miss out on January and September intakes. Though small in number, the universities that also offer May intakes provide a window wherein students can apply for specific courses during summer. As the opportunities are limited, this intake season is not amongst the most preferred seasons for applying to different classes in the UK. Students need to be sure about the college and figure out whether the program is offered in the chosen intake or not.

Here are some April/May intake universities in the UK:

  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Coventry University
  • Salford University
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Kent
  • Ulster University
  • Brunel University
  • University of Chester
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Keele University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Richmond University of London

UCAS Deadlines

Depending on the course you are applying for, your application containing all your details and academic references needs to be provided to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) within the stipulated deadline. It is only then your application is considered. Given below are important deadlines for 2023 entry applications.

  • 15 October 2022 if you are targeting 2023 entry at 18:00 (UK time) – This deadline is applicable for all courses of Cambridge and Oxford universities. It is also applicable for most courses in dentistry, veterinary medicine/science, and medicine.
  • 25 January 2023 for 2023 entry at 18:00 (UK time) – Applicable for many courses.

Which is the good Intake in UK?


Pros and Cons about the Intake


Pros: Students have a chance to apply for programs in case they missed the September/October intake, get extra time to work on their application, and less competition because the number of applications will be less owing to the winter climate

Cons: Less time to adapt to the harsh North European climate and the number of courses offered is less as compared to the September/October intake


Pros: Wide variety of courses are on offer, Colleges/universities provide major and flagship courses, give lots of time to students to get acclimatised to the environment and other conditions, Higher chances of funding like bursaries and scholarships, and internship options are high in the UK

Cons: Competition is intense, and the number of applicants is huge


Pros: Competition amongst the students is the least, the pool of applicants is small, higher chances of getting an offer

Cons: Offered by fewer colleges/universities and choices of courses are less

How to Apply for Universities in UK?

There are a few simple steps international students must follow while applying to universities in the UK.

Step 1: There are a variety of courses and universities to choose from in the UK. Therefore, as an international student, if you wish to study in the UK, you must be sure of pursuing a particular course at a university of your choice before you set out to do anything else. However, keep in mind your preferences and academic profile before you start applying to universities. AECC lets you shortlist universities and courses based on your preferences and academic credentials. The search results are where you are most likely to get through. This step will help students plan their application process and get desired results.

Step 2: International students applying to courses in the UK need to know the exact deadlines of all colleges they are applying to. The application processes must be planned well in advance (preferably six months to 1 year before the deadline). This will provide the time for students to prepare for other essential things, like letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, scholarship or funding options, English proficiency tests, accommodation, etc.

Step 3: As a part of the application process, students must take up a few entrance tests as recommended by the university to which they have applied. The most common tests include IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL. However, some colleges require you to attend other tests, like GMAT, GRE, MAT, BMAT, LNAT, etc. Some universities also expect students to produce results on exams like the ACT or SAT. A new addition to the list of tests is the Duolingo test, which allows students to sit for the exam from the comfort of their homes and get accepted worldwide.

Step 4: The next step is to compile all the test scores and required documents. At this point, students can start getting their letters of recommendation from their supervisors and teachers, writing their SOPs, and even arranging financial statements. Also, as the current pandemic is still raging, it will be better if students download their vaccine certificates.

Step 5: AECC is with students at all the above steps and helps process students' applications directly with the university or through the UCAS website. We help students select the course of their choice, pay their application fees, and start the process of uploading the application form.

If you are still unsure about which intake you should be targeting or have other queries lingering in your mind, it is time you take help from AECC . Our education counsellors are experienced and friendly. They will assist you in all possible ways and ensure that your dream of studying in the UK is fulfilled. Get in touch with our experts today and see how we can help you.

AECC is one of the world's leading educational consultancies with versatile expert professionals who are ready to help you with any queries you may have. Contact us so we can be of assistance to you in your journey of fulfilling your dream.

Related Posts


Let's get social.

Copyright © 2024 aecc. Useful Links | Glossary | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Speak to our Consultant