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UCAS extra: Who is it for and how do you use it?

UCAS Extra runs between 28 February and 4 July 2024. It isn't for everyone though, so don't get ahead of yourself thinking you can apply to another load of university choices. UCAS Extra is very selective about who can use it and how you can use it. There are specific criteria that you have to meet for it to be available to you:

By Cara Fielder. Published 25 February 2022. Last updated 8 March 2024.

  • You must have included five choices on your final application
  • You must have received decisions that are not offers from all of your choices (in other words, declines)
  • You must have rejected all of the offers that you received
  • You must have cancelled any applications that have not yet received responses from the university (where applicable).

In other words, you must have applied to five universities but have no open applications or offers in your account.

You can find out if you’re eligible to use UCAS Extra by logging in to your UCAS account and going to Track. Under the ‘Your choices’ section you’ll find an option called ‘Add an Extra choice’, which will appear as soon as you become eligible to use Extra (so this can happen before Extra opens). If this doesn’t appear on your page it’s probably because you haven’t met the criteria listed above, so you need to check back through your choices to see what might be hindering you from getting access to Extra. You can also contact UCAS directly to find out what’s going on and get guidance on your specific circumstances.

How does UCAS Extra work?

Through Extra you can apply to as many courses at as many universities as you like, but you can only do it one at a time. So that means you apply to one and can’t make a second application until the first has been closed (this can be either by the university declining your application, or by you rejecting the offer they make – until one of these things has happened you won’t be able to apply to another course or university). Not all universities and courses will have spaces available through Extra though, so be prepared to have to get creative with your choices.

Some tips on handling UCAS Extra

  • Due to the limitation of only being able to apply to one course at a time, it's worth taking a look back through all your preferred universities and course options before you begin. See what other alternatives there are, then rank them in order of your preference. That way you can start at the top and gradually work your way down so that you don’t miss out on your top choices.
  • Visit more universities. You’ve got until Thursday 4 July to keep applying through UCAS Extra, so it’s worth spreading your searches out further and checking out more potential universities. We have plenty of open days scheduled for you to attend.
  • If there’s a particular course you’d like to apply for but it isn’t listed as available through Extra, give the university a call to find out if there are any spaces left. If they’re happy to review your application they’ll need to open up course vacancies so that you can apply.
  • If your previous applications were declined due to entry requirements, try taking a look at related or alternative subjects. They may have different entry requirements but still suit what you’re looking for in a course.

If you’re not eligible for UCAS Extra

If you didn’t apply to five universities during your initial application then you won’t be eligible to use UCAS Extra, but you can still add more applications through Track. Before 4 July you’re able to bump up your applications to the maximum total of five, so it’s worth getting those additional options filled. Just remember that if you only applied to one university originally and want to add more, you’ll be asked to pay the additional application fee.

After Extra comes… Clearing

If you don’t have any luck through Extra, don’t worry. Clearing’s your next chance to have another crack at applying to universities. If you don’t hold any offers after Thursday 4 July, you will be able to add an additional choice using Clearing.


If you’re still considering which subject to apply for, check out our range of undergraduate degrees in law, business, criminology, psychology, policing and computer science.