University Intake Timeline: United Kingdom


If you’re ready to take the first step to realise your dream of Studying Abroad in the UK, we’ve got the information you need. Before you take things further, we recommend a well-planned and structured timeline to all of our clients, to ensure that each required step is completed in a timely manner. While each student’s timeline will differ based on a number of individual factors, we’ve put together a timeline for you to get an idea of what yours could – and should – look like.

Universities in the UK have two major intakes in a year at the beginning of its 2 major terms, with certain universities also having an additional intake in the Summer term. While in India, students can only enter university in the first semester, in the UK, students have the ability to commence their studies in whichever term suits them, subject to various factors including course availability.

The Hurray Overseas Education Consultant team has put together some information on the intakes so that you can decide on your choice of university.


  1. Term 1: commences in September

  2. Term 2: commences in January

  3. Summer term: commences in April

The exact date of intake will differ as per the university, and sometimes as per the programme, particularly in the case of postgraduate programmes. As and when you select your preferred university and/or programme, remember to keep note of the specific intake dates in order to plan accordingly. 

The following timeline is based on the assumption that you would be opting for the Term 1 intake in September 2021, which is often preferred by Indian applicants.

Application deadlines: For Term 1, commencing in September, the deadline for international students for a number of programmes falls in June of the same year. For certain top-tier universities like Oxford, as well as certain highly competitive programmes like medicine, the application deadline can be as early as a year in advance.

This timeline is framed keeping the June deadline in mind.


Step 1: Research and selection – July-August 2020

  • This is the step that most of you reading this post, are probably on – researching which universities and programmes are best suited to what you want to study in UK You may have started earlier or later – but by the end of August you should preferably have chosen the universities and programmes to which you wish to apply.

Step 2: Clearing standardised tests – August-November 2020

  • You are most likely aware that for admission to university programmes in the UK, you would be required to provide proof of sufficient proficiency in English. All New Zealand universities accept a number of English proficiency tests as proof of the same, such as IELTS, Cambridge English, PTE Academic and TOEFL.

  • Depending on the university/programme, there may also be additional entrance exams to be answered.

  • Before you can apply to a university, preparing for and clearing these tests is essential – this three to four-month period (though you may certainly begin earlier), is meant for just that.

  • Plan to take the test, leaving yourself with enough time to get your certificate, in time to process your application.

At Hurray we offer specialised training courses especially for IELTS and PTE Academic – enrol with us, and we will ensure that you are prepped and ready to take the test on time, and clear it with the required score – or higher!

Step 3: Applying to university – December 2020-January/February 2021

  • As mentioned earlier, for several universities in the UK, the application deadline for international students is in June, with notification of acceptance, invitation to interview, or rejection arriving in July.

  • Entry to several universities and/or programmes is highly competitive, some of which have limited seats and will close applications once they are filled.

  • International students will need to budget time for the possibility of an interview, as well as for the Visa application and flight ticket reservation. 

  • For these reasons, we recommend completing and submitting your application well in advance of the final deadline.

  • Assuming you are applying for the September term, you should be prepped and ready to submit your application, with all the necessary supporting documents – including your Statement of Purpose, college essays, Letters or Recommendation and so on, as applicable to your programme, by January/February 2021, depending on these and other factors.

  • Furthermore, if you have identified a scholarship that you wish to apply for, it will have its own deadline – in this case you will have to process your admission accordingly.

Step 4: Notification of acceptance and preparing to relocate – May-August 2021

  • You are likely to receive notification of either acceptance or rejection by May-June 2021, depending on the university or programme.

  • Once accepted, you will be given an Offer of Place, following which you must pay the tuition fee and officially enrol yourself in the university.

  • The next important step is your Visa application

  • For the Visa application, you will require a confirmed Offer from your university, as well as a valid passport, and other documents as required.

  • You can submit your visa application up to 3 months prior to the start date of your programme – assuming your programme starts on September 1, 2021, this means you can submit your application on June 1.

  • Your visa will take up to 3 weeks to be processed.

  • Thus, if everything has gone according to plan thus far, you can book your tickets to the UK by late June- early August 2021.

Step 5: Commence study! – September 2021

  • For a programme that is longer than 6 months, you are permitted to enter the UK up to one month prior to the programme start date. Accordingly, plan to arrive in the UK with enough time to find accommodation or make other such arrangements, and to settle into your new home.

  • Prior to the commencement of classes, you will have to attend the Orientation Week.

Based on your specific dates, your timeline may have variations – but you can nonetheless use the above structure, keeping in mind the number of weeks each step requires, in addition to the key dates for your preferred programme, and plan accordingly.

But why do it all by yourself? Our Overseas Counselling team here at Hurray has the expertise required to help you plan your timeline, as well as to carry out each step to success. To learn how we can tailor our services to your exact requirements, book your one-on-one counselling session now! Reach out to us via email:, or phone: 8971357928, for more details.

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