University offers: This is when application decisions will be released in 2020

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Going to university is an exciting milestone for many people, but awaiting confirmation of a college place can be nerve-wracking time.

Those due to make the leap this year will soon receive news, with universities across Northern Ireland, including Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University and Belfast Metropolitan College, soon to release their decisions on applications.

Universities and colleges in the UK make their decisions on applications at different times (Photo: Shutterstock)

Universities and colleges in the UK make their decisions on applications at different times (Photo: Shutterstock)

When will offers be released?

Each university and college in the UK will make their decision on applications at different times.

In this case, you may hear back from some institutions sooner than others, depending on where you have applied to.

However, there are set deadlines by which all universities and colleges need to have made their final decisions.

Applicants to the University of Oxford will be informed if they have been successful on 14 January 2020 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Applicants to the University of Oxford will be informed if they have been successful on 14 January 2020 (Photo: Shutterstock)

These dates for 2020 entries are as follows:

- 6 May 2020 – if you sent your application by 15 January 2020

- 13 July 2020 – if you sent your application by 30 June 2020

- 20 October 2020 – this is the final deadline for unis to make decisions on applications to courses starting in 2020.

If a university or college you have applied to fails to make a decision by the appropriate deadline, that choice will automatically be made unsuccessful.

Why are Oxford and Cambridge early?

Those who have applied to Oxford and Cambridge will be informed if they have been successful earlier than other institutions.

Both universities require applications to be submitted by their 15 October deadline, with interviews then held in November and December.

Candidates who have applied to either of these institutions will usually be notified by the end of January.

The Oxford University website states that shortlisted applicants will know if they have been accepted on 14 January 2020, with decisions released via UCAS Track early in the morning.

The University of Cambridge has a ‘winter pool’ for strong applications who have applied to a college that is over-subscribed for their particular course, meaning a small number may be asked to attend a further interview. This takes place in early January.

Final decisions for pooled applicants are then made by the end of January.

However, most Cambridge applicants who were interviewed in December should have heard whether they have been accepted conditionally or unconditionally, or have been unsuccessful before the end of January.

What decisions can universities make?

Universities and colleges can make the following decisions on applications:

- Conditional offer - this means applicants still need to meet the requirements, usually the exam results.

- Unconditional offer - this means your application has been accepted and you have secured a place. Although there may still be a few things that you need to arrange.

- An unsuccessful or withdrawn choice removes that university from your options, but you could add more