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Starting university in January

Starting university in JanuaryFind out why some courses start in January, and how a January start affects your application.

Why start in January?

There are a few reasons you might want to apply to start in January:

  • you missed the application deadline
  • your applications weren't successful or you missed the offer
  • the course you want to study starts in January

It's sometimes possible to start a short foundation or first year in January, and then pick up the standard degree course the following Autumn.

When considering January entry, remember that you could also choose to wait and apply for the following academic year. It's important to think carefully about which option is best for your situation.

Who can start in January?

Only a small number of courses can be started in January. January starts are more often available for postgraduate degrees and part-time courses. If a university does offer January entry, it will usually only be for certain subjects.

In some cases, universities may offer January starts only for international students, as these students may have to take extra tests to prove their English skills before they can start. Make sure that you’re eligible for the course before you apply to avoid wasting your time.

How to apply

In many cases, you will have to apply directly to the university rather than through UCAS. You can find out about deadlines and how to apply through the university website.

If you do apply through UCAS, the university is likely to set extra application deadlines. Look on the university website or contact them directly to check.

Will it affect my student finance?

If you start in January, you will still be able to apply for any student finance available for the kind of course you are on. However, as the system is designed around September/October starts, it's even more important that you apply as early as possible keep an eye on your application and payments in case something goes wrong.