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What is an unconditional offer?

If you apply to a university and they make an unconditional offer, it means they are offering you a guaranteed place on a course, should you want to take it.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 25 July 2022.

How to get an unconditional offer?

Universities can make an unconditional offer for several reasons.

The most likely reason is that an applicant already meets their entry requirements and conditions for the course. Alternatively, a university may feel your predicted grades are high enough to show you will achieve the results needed. A university may decide to make an unconditional offer after an interview. Occasionally, the strength of your university application alone may be enough to secure an unconditional offer. Take a look at our successful UCAS application guide to make sure your application is the best it can be.

How do you know if your university offer is unconditional?

The university will make it clear if you have an unconditional offer. You will be notified by either the university directly, your UCAS account, or both.

It can be tempting to accept an unconditional offer the moment you receive one. However, before accepting an unconditional offer, ensure you read the terms and conditions fully and are happy with them, before you accept.

Something to be aware of is a ‘conditional unconditional offer’. This is a procedure whereby a university offers a potential student an unconditional place, but only if they accept the offer and make that university their firm and only choice. This practice had been heavily criticised by schools, colleges and even the government, and has been outlawed for the 2022/23 intake.

Remember, most university applicants will receive a conditional offer, so don’t feel too disheartened if you don’t receive an unconditional offer.

What happens after accepting an unconditional offer?

Once you have accepted an unconditional offer the university place is yours.

However, by accepting an unconditional offer you are committing yourself to that university. You must ensure you’re completely happy with the university and the course, so it might be worthwhile taking some time to fully consider your options before you decide.

It’s also worth noting that you will not be able to make an insurance choice on UCAS if you accept an unconditional offer as your firm choice. This is because you have a guaranteed place at a university. You can however accept a conditional offer as your firm choice and an unconditional offer as your insurance choice. If you accept an unconditional offer and later change your mind, you can apply to other universities through Clearing.

Do exam results matter if you have an unconditional offer?

Applicants receiving an unconditional offer are not required to meet the grades set out by the university. That said, if you are lucky enough to receive an unconditional offer, you should still aim to get the best grades possible. If you did decide to change course or university, or take another course in the future, then you may need to meet alternative entry requirements. Additionally, future employers may also take these into account when considering applications.


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