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You've done something amazing in applying to uni. Here's what comes next.

4 min read/watch

Once you’ve submitted your application, there are loads of useful things you can do to get ready for the exciting times ahead.

Attend an applicant experience day, tour a university's campus, get some interview preparation done. All ways to stay ahead of the curve while you wait for your offers to fly in.

Next steps after applying to uni

How to stay prepared

The next steps after submitting your application can be a little uncertain – the key is to make sure you're prepared for all outcomes. We've got you covered.

Key takeaways

While you’re waiting for a decision

The admissions team who processes your application will write to you and let you know when they have made their decision, which can take 2–3 weeks – sometimes a little longer. So don’t worry if we don’t get back to you straight away, particularly if it’s a busy time.

You might be asked to an interview

Some universities will ask you to attend an interview or an admissions test before a decision is made. But you will always be told what to expect, what to bring and where to go when you’re invited.

Start preparing for the possibility by re-reading your personal statement and around your subject area of interest. Read the news, watch some virtual lectures, or jump on YouTube. Anything to keep you sharp for an interview.

Check UCAS track

After submitting your application, your UCAS portal will then turn into UCAS Track. This is where you will be notified when a university has made a decision about your application.

3 types of offers

Conditional offer (C)

You have a place based on you achieving certain entry requirements.

Unconditional offer (UC)

You've been accepted regardless of your results, usually awarded when you've already sat your exams.

Unsuccessful or declined offer

This unfortunately means you've not been offered a place.

What to do with offers

Once you’ve heard from your universities, it’s up to you to decide who you are going to hold your offers with. You can hold a maximum of 2 offers.

The first offer will be your firm acceptance, your first choice. This is where you will go should you get the grades you need.

Your second choice will be your insurance acceptance: your second choice backup should not get into your firm choice. Your insurance choice should usually have a lower entry requirement than your firm choice.

Changed your mind or didn’t get your grades?

If you decide on a different course or university or you don’t get the offers you wanted, there are ways to apply for more using UCAS Extra. You can also use Clearing to apply for courses if there are still spaces available.

Deferring your place

Taking a year away from your studies can refresh you, but it can also make it harder to get into the routine of studying when you do start uni. But there’s plenty of benefits too, such as saving money, travelling and getting some breathing space before you start. Weigh up the pros and cons of deferring your studies.

Other things you can do

Visit Applicant Experience Days

The perfect way to get a feel for a university and a taste of student life. If you’ve applied to Portsmouth, you can take a closer look by booking your place on our next experience day.

Go on a campus tour

Take a campus tour, usually with student ambassadors. They’ll give you the tips on the best places in the city to eat, drink, socialise and take a break from your studies.

Look for social media groups

Explore social media for applicant groups and students in the same position as you. They're a great way to make friends, find accommodation, and stay up to date with things.

Apply for student finance

Once you’ve applied to uni, it's time to apply for student finance. Do this as soon as you can – even if you're waiting for offers. And don’t forget to explore scholarships and bursary options. Find out how to get started on our Student Finance page.

Sort your accommodation

Usually, you'll get emailed with instructions on how to arrange accommodation when you're offered a place. Until then, it's always worth checking out our Accommodation pages, so you know what you’d like and how it works.

Research clubs and societies

Remember, university is also a place where you’ll have fun and meet new people. Research how you can get involved in the student experience. Our Students’ Union has over 150 clubs and societies that you can join.

Take a walk around the campus

Full University of Portsmouth tour

Photography student, Amy, and Business Information Systems student, Joel, take you on a walking tour of our University campus.

If you can come to Portsmouth for a visit, follow our self-guided tour to explore the city.


Amy Welcome to the University of Portsmouth walking campus tour. My name is Amy and I'm a second-year photography student.

Joel My name is Joel. I'm a third-year student studying Business Information Systems. Now, let's follow me.

Joel Here we have three halls. So the first one is Greetham Street, then Margaret Rule and Chaucer House.

Amy And Greetham Street is the really tall yellow one that you can see has a viewing platform of the whole of Portsmouth. It's really nice.

Amy Here is Portsmouth and Southsea train station. It has great transport links around the city and you can get to London in just an hour and a half.

Joel Here we have Commercial Road, known as 'city centre', where we have the high street shops. On my right, we have another halls of residence known as Catherine House. It's one of our largest and newest halls of residence. They also do social activities, during Halloween they do trick or treating.

Amy We're now heading to Park Building. Follow me.

Joel Welcome to Park Building, the home of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and we have Politics, International Relations and Languages.

Amy You can choose to learn from eight different languages alongside your university degree, such as Mandarin and British sign language, which I take at the moment.

Joel Now, follow me.

Amy Here, we're outside the White Swan Building, which is the home of Drama, Performance and Musical Theatre.

Joel If you study Television and Broadcasting, they provide a green screen studio.

Amy And whilst we're here, this is Rosalind Franklin halls of residence. Anyway, on with the tour.

Amy These two buildings are for the Faculty of Science and Health.

Joel And this is Rosalind Franklin West and if you study health-related degrees, they provide mock operating theatres and radiography suites.

Amy And in St. Michael's, you'll find Biomedical Science degrees and Pharmacy, with state of the art labs.

Joel Continuing from the Faculty of Science and Health, we're at the King Henry Building, where they provide School of Biological Sciences and Psychology.

Amy Part of the Faculty, we also have a Marine Biology degree which is situated in our Eastney campus.

Amy Welcome to Anglesea Building, the home of the Faculty of Technology.

Joel They provide courses such as Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. We have a School of Law also here.

Amy They have a mock law court situated inside.

Joel Follow us onto the Northern Quarter.

Amy If you continue this way, you'll get to Gunwharf Quays.

Amy Welcome to Northern Quarter.

Joel This is the Dennis Sciama Building. It's the home of the Institution of Cosmology and Gravitation. We also have a hub cafe and they do some amazing hot chocolate.

Amy And just behind us, we have Burnaby Building, which is the home of Earth and Environment Sciences and it also has an Engineering degree.

Joel I'm at Richmond Building at the Faculty of Business and Law. It has the largest lecture theatre and during my first year, I spent most of my time in this lecture theatre.

Amy We also have the Bloomberg Suite, which is the mock stock-exchange facility.

Amy Welcome to Portland Building. It's the home of Civil Engineering and Surveying degrees and it has a large open-access IT suite for all students to use.

Joel Here, we have the Future Technology Centre, one of our newest buildings. At the ground floor, we have the global centre. On the first floor, we have large group presentations where they have large TV screens as well. On the second floor, you have personal computer suites and they have some cosy booths. And on the top floor, they have business networking suites.

Amy Lovely. And onto Lion Gate and Buckingham Building.

Joel We're at Lion Gate, the Department of Mathematics, where they provide Maths Cafe and help you with one-to-one support and group support as well. I've had a previous experience where I've got loads of one-to-one support with my coursework and assignments, and also you can rent out laptops as well.

Amy And here's Buckingham Building, with the Department of Geography and the School of Computing. And they have a forensic computing lab inside.

Joel Follow us to the Milldam Building, the last stop of the Northern Quarter.

Joel We're at the Milldam Building, the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, and if you study Journalism, there's also a journalism newsroom.

Amy Here, you'll also find the University on-campus nursery, where spaces are primarily reserved for students with children.

Amy Welcome to the University Library. During term time, the library is open 24/7. It is where you'll find the majority of students. There are computer rooms that are bookable for group sessions and there's a large open-access computer suite for all students to use. There are also laptops available for loans for up to 24 hours.

Joel We have the new Ravelin Sports Centre. Once it's finished, you will have a 25-metre swimming lane and climbing walls and ski simulations.

Amy Welcome to Ravelin House, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Joel The University of Portsmouth has a partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, where they provide placements for students and also graduate jobs. St George's Building, it's also a building where they do Criminology, as well.

Amy And just behind us, we have William Beatty Building, which is the Dental Academy where students practise in professional clinics with phantom heads.

Joel Welcome to the Student Union. They provide services such as advice and support for students.

Amy There are also over 200 student-led societies.

Joel I'm part of the Bollywood Society and we have weekly practises and we perform at cultural events.

Amy And it's also the home of Third Space, which is a large study social area. And there's also the University shop, which sells University hoodies that everyone wants.

Joel Now follow us onto Nuffield Centre.

Amy Nuffield Centre is home to Academic Skills, the University Student Finance Centre, Student Wellbeing and the MyPort Hub.

Joel Also, additional support and disability services, Student Housing and faith services as well.

Tati The Nuffield Centre is also home to the Global Team. They provide support to our international and EU students with everything from arrival programmes, visa advice and extensions. They also offer opportunities to engage with exchanges, study abroad and summer schools for all students of the university.

Amy And right next door, we have the University Surgery. Top-tip advice is to register with a doctor when you get to the University.

Joel Behind me is the Spinnaker Building. It's the heart of sports-related degrees.

Amy And right next door is the Spinnaker Sports Centre, which you can have over 50 classes per week. And there's a large sports hall where we can play a variety of sports, such as badminton.

Joel Now follow us onto Eldon Building.

Joel On my left, we have the University House. On my right-hand side, we have the Careers and Employability Service, they help students with placements, part-time jobs, internships and also graduate jobs and finding volunteering services as well.

Amy Welcome to Eldon Building, it's the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, and it's where my degrees take place. Inside, there's an art shop, CCI TV and the radio station.

Joel On my left, we have another hall of residence. It's known as Trafalgar Halls, it's recently been refurbished. Now follow me to Harry Law and Bateson.

Amy These are the last two halls on our tour. On my right, we have Harry Law and on my left we have Bateson.

Joel Now, let's go back to Guildhall where we started.

Amy And now we're back at the Guildhall, which is the centre of the city, and it's where you'll graduate after your time here at university. If you've got any more questions for us, head to the University of Portsmouth website.

Joel Thanks for joining us.