The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for Northern Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh universities.
Services provided by UCAS include several online application portals, a number of search tools, and free information and advice directed at various audiences, including:
- students considering higher education;
- students with pending applications to higher education institutes;
- parents and legal guardians of applicants;
- school and further education college staff involved in helping students apply; and
- providers of higher education (universities and HE colleges).
While UCAS is best known for its undergraduate application service (the main UCAS scheme), it also operates a number of other admissions services:
- Conservatoires UK Admissions Service (CUKAS) – for performing arts at a UK conservatoire;
- UCAS Teacher Training (UTT) – for postgraduate teacher training schemes;
- UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS) – for some postgraduate courses; and
- UCAS Progress – for post-16 education and training.
Currently, as the vast majority of Northern Irish students applying for university/HEI places go through UCAS (www.ucas.com), the application process is well known and supported within Northern Irish schools. Information on institutions, course requirements and the application process can be found on the helpful and comprehensive website.