The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) allows you to take up to five offers from the choices you have applied to. You can hold on to any UK university offer until you are ready to decide whether to accept or refuse it. Based on whether the acceptances are conditional or not, you can reach the following conclusions:

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Firm Acceptance

You have to choose one of the five choices as your firm acceptance. This is usually the first priority in shortlisting the dream school. It does not matter whether you have been accepted there conditionally or unconditionally; you can still choose it as your firm acceptance.

Insurance Acceptance

Insurance acceptance is also commonly known as the second offer. This is a choice you can go back to if you do not get into the school you chose as your firm acceptance. Like with firm acceptance, you can also select schools that gave you either conditional or unconditional offers as your insurance acceptance. When candidates get more than one conditional offer and an unconditional offer, they prefer to choose their dream school or the conditional offer as firm acceptance. Any other unconditional offer is left to be the insurance acceptance. This ensures that there is a safe choice for you to fall back on if you cannot meet the requirements of the conditional offer.

What Should I Do If I Have Made a Mistake?

You realize that you have made a mistake in your choice of subject or school, need to choose another subject, or have not received any offers yet, but you have utilized all of your UCAS choices. What do you do? Don’t worry; UCAS has you covered. UCAS Extra is a process that allows you to choose another choice for absolutely no extra cost! UCAS Extra only allows you one choice, which has to be your firm acceptance, whether it is a conditional or unconditional offer.

All You Need To Know About Accepting An Offer

After you accept a university’s offer, you have to abide by the rules of UCAS. If you choose an unconditional offer as your Firm Acceptance, you have a confirmed place at your desired university. If you accepted a conditional offer and met all the prerequisites, the university is bound by the rules of UCAS to admit you.

Which Offer Should I Choose as My Firm Acceptance?

Choosing a Firm Acceptance depends on several factors. This includes the list of your priority universities, what type of offer you get, and your grades. If you get an unconditional offer from your dream university, that should be your “firm acceptance.” But it can get a little more complicated than that. If you receive a conditional offer instead, you will need to look at the conditions set out by them and whether you are fulfilling them or not. There can be two situations in the case of a conditional offer.

1. If you are exceeding the expectations set out by your university

For instance, if your university accepts you because you will get three B’s and your expected grades are all A’s and B’s, you can easily choose this as your firm acceptance.

2. If you are unable to meet your university’s conditions

If your university wants you to aim for a minimum of an A and two B’s, and you are only getting B’s and C’s, it can get more complicated. If you choose this as your firm acceptance despite the situation, there is a possibility that you may miss out on the offer as well as waste a UCAS choice.

What Offer Should I Choose as my Insurance Acceptance?

Insurance Acceptance is the second offer you can choose if you get more than one conditional or unconditional offer from universities. Since this is the second choice, it has no use if you get accepted by your firm acceptance. It is preferable that you choose any conditional offer as your Insurance Acceptance as this acts as a safety net. This way, you will not miss out when the term starts.

Since this is an optional choice, you can also skip this step. If you have a conditional offer on the table, you should only skip this if you do not have a single doubt in your mind that you will meet all the requirements. Even then, it is usually not the preferred course of action as you will be removing your own safety net. Better to be safe than sorry!

A Guide To Declining Offers

Uk university offers

If you’ve gotten into your dream university, congratulations! Now that you have been accepted, you can decline any other offers you may have. If you do this through UCAS, your seat will be automatically let go from that place. If you have decided to change your course of study, you can choose to decline all offers you may have received. This way, you will be automatically placed in either the UCAS Extra or Clearing to get a chance to choose something else.

Suppose you would like to take a gap year. You can officially apply to defer your seat rather than decline any offer. This way, you will have an easier route to admission when you want your classes to commence.

Extra Tips and Information

  • When you choose to accept an offer, make sure that you would still like to be admitted there. Note that as per the UCAS rules, you need to start studying there once an offer is accepted.
  • If you have accepted an offer from a place where you do not want to study, you can now trigger self-release. This will automatically place you into Clearing.
  • Only about 8% of the people in the UK choose to study at their Insurance choice.
  • In a few majors, such as Humanities, you can get admission into prestigious universities even from Clearing. It can be better for you to go into Clearing if you don’t get Firm Acceptance, rather than choosing an Insurance choice you would rather not attend.
  • Be efficient and accept or decline all your offers before the deadline or you can automatically lose out on your place by being rejected from everywhere.
  • Do not hold out on your Insurance offer if you don’t want to go there. It will only waste your time getting into Clearing, where you have a better chance of getting offers from places you prefer.


The UCAS Hub is quite literally a “hub”, or a database of sorts, by the UCAS. Here, you can track all five of your applications and their statuses. Once you sign up, you will be given a password that you have to use to access it. It provides an updated and concise report of exactly where your applications stand.

What Are The Deadlines for Applying to Universities in the UK in 2022

26 January: All applications to be submitted to the universities by candidates

25 February: UCAS Extras opens

19 May: All universities to send out decisive applications to the candidates

9 June: The last date to accept or decline university applications (does not apply to students applying through UCAS Extra).

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed reading this guide on ‘Replying to UK University Offers. You can reach out to our team of experts if you require any help or assistance regarding your UK university application. Best of luck!


How do you respond to university offers?

A maximum of two options—one firm and one insurance—can be accepted. Only if your firm option is a conditional offer are you able to choose an insurance provider. You cannot choose an insurance option if you accept an unconditional offer as your final decision because the job is then assured.

What does replying to offers mean on UCAS?

It means that not all of your courses have accepted or rejected you yet if you are unable to see a choice in “track to react.” You may react to the offers you have received once you have heard back from each university (UCAS offer or UCAS rejection). UCAS will then confirm this response.

What is the deadline for replying to UCAS offers?

You can reject any of the offers, though, and add more courses to Extra service if you decide you do not wish to take any of the offers. Alternately, you can check back later to see which courses still have openings.

How do I accept a university offer letter UK?

The next stage is to receive an offer letter from the University of your choosing when you have finished applying to them. In essence, receiving an offer letter indicates that you have been accepted to the program for which you applied. The institutions may issue one of the following two types of offer letters:
·Letter of conditional acceptance
·Unconditional offer letter

Can I accept offers from two universities?

You could do so in theory, but it’s not recommended for the simple reason that both schools could wind up rescinding their offers if they learn you’ve accepted another offer, and they would have every right to do so.

Can you accept a university offer and then reject it?

You may decide not to continue attending the university you are presently enrolled in from the day you accept your acceptance offer until the day of your graduation. This holds true even for those who accept a binding early decision acceptance offer.