The process of applying to universities in the UK can feel overwhelming. You need to plan carefully so everything is complete on schedule. Knowing what your deadlines are and how far in advance you need to start is essential for making an efficient plan. Which is what brings us to this thorough breakdown of the January intake in the UK 2024!
There are a couple of quirks about the academic year in the UK that you need to know to apply on time. What are the advantages of applying for the January intake, as opposed to the more popular Fall intake? When do you start applying so you have a great shot at landing a spot? UniSearch experts break down and all that and more in this article.
How Many Intakes Are Available for International Students?
In the UK, universities typically welcome new students in either September or January. There is also a summer intake, however, this semester tends to be shorter, with far fewer available programs from fewer universities.
Keep in mind that application deadlines and semester start times for individual universities and programs may vary. Be careful to apply on time by researching the deadlines for each institution and program of interest.
September Intake in the UK
The autumn semester is the busiest and most competitive time for students to apply to UK universities. This is when the largest number of UK universities offer the greatest number of programs.
January Intake in the UK
You might hear about this intake as the "secondary" intake in the UK. This is because there are fewer students applying to the fewer universities and programs offering seats compared to the Autumn intake. That's not to say this intake is second-best - if you were unable to enroll in September, the January intake is a great option for you.
If you were not able to complete all of the steps in the application process or meet all the requirements by the September deadline, you can opt for the January intake. This includes taking any necessary standardized examinations, such as the IELTS or GRE, or collecting your exam transcripts.
The January intake has some other perks too. For instance, since fewer students apply for this intake than Autumn, admissions are less competitive. You might have an easier time getting a seat in your chosen program. Accommodation may be cheaper too, as well as less competition for available scholarships.
If you need to complete a preparatory course as a pathway into the September intake the following year, January is the perfect time to enroll in a pathway program. These foundational courses help you meet the minimum requirements of the program you want to apply for in September and in some cases help you transition right into that program. Be sure to look into these pathway options at your chosen universities!
There are fewer options for this intake with fewer institutions providing them. This intake sees on average the lowest number of applicants - but since fewer seats are on offer, it may not exactly be less competitive.
Consider applying for the May intake if the school of your choice offers the program you want to study. Applying early is your best guarantee of getting a seat in your chosen program!
Take a look at the timelines for the different UK intakes below:
|Specifics||September Intake 2024||January Intake 2024||May Intake 2024|
|When does the session start?||Sessions begin in September||Sessions begin on January||Session begins on May|
|Application time||December to July||September to November||October to November|
|Also known as||Autumn Intake||Spring Intake||Summer Intake|
|Scholarships||Maximum number of scholarships and grants available||Fewer scholarships and financial aid options available than in Autumn - nonetheless, because of fewer applicants, you may have a greater shot at securing one||Least number of scholarships & aid available|
|Programs Offered||The institutions offer all the major programs||Fewer programs and seats than Autumn - however, the number is still quite large. With fewer applicants this intake, you may have an easier time getting admission||Limited programs available|
Why Choose the January Intake in the UK?
The secondary entry period for universities in the UK is the January intake, also known as Spring. Students who were not able to apply during the regular September (Autumn) intake or who need additional time to do so can opt for this intake instead. It’s a great option if you’re not keen on waiting another year to start your degree program.
Universities offer fewer seats in fewer programs compared to the Autumn intake. Nonetheless, the numbers on offer are still pretty impressive. Several students and applicants actually prefer the January intake over the September one because of the extra available time to prepare for admissions.
Students will have until September 2023 to complete all application requirements and submit their applications for January 2024 admission courses.
Benefits of the January Intake in the UK
The following are a few of the many advantages of enrolling in a UK university during the January intake:
- If you were hoping to enroll in Autumn, but missed the original September intake application deadline, this is your second chance.
- Less competition - universities see fewer applicants compared to the Autumn intake in January. You can stand a greater chance for your program of choice by applying for January.
- Classes will be smaller and lecturers will be able to devote more one-on-one time to you if you join in January.
- There are fewer students on campus in January, giving you more time with lecturers and less competition for study spaces.
- Applying for jobs in early January provides you an advantage over other graduates who are also on the job hunt.
- You can save money on your degree by enrolling in January, when you can enjoy reduced accommodation costs and a greater shot at scoring a scholarship thanks to less competition.
Drawbacks of the January Intake in the UK
To help you make an informed decision, the following are some of the drawbacks of enrolling at a UK university during January Intake:
- You should pack for cold weather because January in the UK can be very cold - much colder than you’re likely used to, if you’re heading up from a country like Bangladesh or Malaysia
- Due to the popularity of the September enrollment period, it may be more difficult to find on-campus lodging during the January intake. For off-campus housing, it might be harder to find roommates as most students go for September intakes
- You should check whether the university you're applying to offers the courses you're interested in, as there may be fewer options during the January intake
Universities that Accept Students in January Intake in the UK
Universities in the UK are always on the lookout for international students who will contribute to their communities. So, if you want to get into a university in the UK in January, put your best foot forward. Now let’s take a look at the universities that accept intakes in January and the popular courses they offer:
|University||Courses Offered in the January Intake|
|University of Brighton|
|Anglia Ruskin University|
|University of South Wales|
|Queen Mary University of London|
|Edinburgh Napier University|
|Oxford Brookes University|
Other than the universities mentioned in the list, here are some more great universities to consider that offer January intake programs:
- University of Hertfordshire
- University of Greenwich
- University of Surrey
- Birkbeck University of London
- University of Derby
- University of Westminster
- Kingston University
- London Metropolitan University
- Swansea University
UK University Timeline for January Intake
International students who missed the Autumn intake or who need more time to complete their applications to study in the UK should take advantage of the January 2024 intake. From June through September 2023, you can submit applications to many UK universities for this intake. Here is what you need to do to enroll at a university in the UK for the January intake:
1. Research and Shortlist Universities
If you want to enroll in the UK's January 2024 intake, begin looking into and researching your options by August of the previous year. This is a really crucial part of the January intake in the UK. So take your time and learn more about the requirements for each university during this period.
Create a list of colleges and the courses they provide that match your interests, plan your strategy appropriately, and begin the application process. You should:
- Choose the universities and institutions in the UK that offer the majors or fields of study you're interested in.
- Learn more about the specific requirements for enrolling at each UK university for the January 2024 Intake by downloading their brochures or prospectuses, or visiting the program pages online.
- Carefully consider whether you meet the minimum requirements and pick a school that is a good fit for your requirements and goals, as well as your budget. Remember to take into account your costs of living during your time of study as well.
2. Take the Standardized Tests
Knowing which standardized tests are necessary for international students is crucial for anyone considering enrolling in a university in the UK for the January Intake. General requirements for English proficiency tests fall somewhere around the scores below:
- TOEFL - 70 points
- IELTS - 6.0 to 7
- PTE Academic - 56 and above
Note that different universities and programs have different requirements for English proficiency. Be sure to check the requirements of your shortlisted programs.
The GRE or GMAT may be required for admission to certain graduate programs. Typical requirements fall somewhere around:
- GRE- 130 to 170 (Applicable for both quantitative and verbal sections)
- GMAT- 600 to 700
Check the universities' websites to see whether you meet the admissions criteria. The best time to study for and take these exams is between June 2023 and September 2023, to ensure timely score reporting.
The recommended registration time for the IELTS and TOEFL is one month before the test date, whereas the recommended registration time for the GRE and GMAT is three months before the test date. Since these exams are recognized and required by universities across the globe, including those in the UK, it is wise to take them as early as possible.
3. Start the Application Process and Submit the Necessary Documents
Once you are ready, filling out and submitting application forms to your chosen universities is the next step. Here’s what the process generally looks like:
- Visit the official website of the universities you chose - generally, you will find the application portal on the program page of your chosen course. Complete the necessary steps to sign up and apply with the necessary details.
- Uploading all necessary documents is a must, so make sure you double-check all the requirements and have everything you need before you start applying. For undergraduate programs, you can also apply through UCAS to UK universities.
- Some institutions can ask applicants to submit two to three letters of recommendation as well as essays or statements of purpose. A month or more before the application deadline, make sure to get these letters of recommendation.
- Before the deadline set by the university for the January 2024 intake in the UK, submit the application forms, letters of recommendation, and SOPS (also known as personal statements). The last date to apply for the January intake in the UK varies across universities. Typically, the deadline closes by November.
4. Respond to University Emails and Prepare for Interviews
Keep an eye on all emails or messages you may receive from the universities you applied to. Take the one on one interviews some universities may ask you to sit. Last but not least, let the universities know you've made up your mind after you receive an offer!
The university will send an offer letter that is either conditional or unconditional. A conditional offer usually asks you to fulfill some requirements to guarantee your admission. This could be meeting an English test score requirement or passing your exams with a certain GPA. An unconditional offer is basically a guarantee of your spot in your chosen university!
To begin your studies in the UK's January Intake, you may need to pay a non-refundable deposit and abide by any further instructions the university provides.
5. Work on Your Finances and Apply on Your Student Visa
One of the requirements for your Student visa is proving you have the finances to fund your stay and studies in the UK. The UK government requires you to show that these funds were in your account for 28 days within a month of the date you apply for the visa.
Make sure you have your financial arrangements, bank statements, and so on ready in time. Apply for your UK student visa no later than three months before the January enrollment period begins. Here are the steps to follow:
- Sit for the UK credibility interview, also known as the Pre-CAS interview
- Make sure that you have all the required documents like financial documents, valid passport, English proficiency proof papers, medical records, etc ready to go.
- Find out what kinds of student loans, scholarships, and other financial aid are available to international students starting their studies in the UK in January 2024. Apply for the right kind of financial help to reduce the financial burden.
- Last-minute financial issues can be fatal and lead to UK visa rejection - therefore it's essential to take care of those matters as soon as possible.
6. Look for Accommodation & Book your Ticket
- The next move is to start looking for a place to stay. If you don't want to live in the university's dorms, you'll have to find off-campus housing - this will give you greater flexibility in terms of cost. Don’t wait until too close to the intake date to start looking - you might have less options to choose from closer to the date.
- Plan your itinerary before arriving - you will want enough time to settle in, get your bearings, and attend any orientation sessions at your university.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For the UK, which intake is best for a Bangladeshi student?
This is subject to the specifics of the program, degree level, and school to which you are applying. The majority of students choose to begin their studies in September. All major classes are often available at the largest number of UK universities. This means that it is also the most competitive intake.
There is a second application period each year, in January, for those who are unable to join in September. There are still lots of opportunities to enroll for this Spring intake, albeit fewer schools and courses accepting applications for it compared to September.
If you miss the September intake or need more time to prepare for applications, January is a great alternative. Be sure that the institution and semester you want to enroll in offer the class you want to take.
Between April and May, only a small number of classes are available at fewer schools. This entry may be a good option for you if you find your chosen program available. There are fewer applicants for this period than at any of the other two UK intakes.
When do I apply for a January intake in the UK in 2024?
Want to join the January intake at a UK university in 2024? Start working on your applications as early as May of this year so you don’t miss the application deadline for January 2024 intake in the UK.
You'll have plenty of time to study for and take any tests, compile any supporting materials, and submit a complete and compelling application. It also provides you time to acquire an unconditional offer, which you need to apply for a student visa and begin your accommodation search.
The best way to find out about deadlines and requirements for your chosen program is to check the university website or by contacting the university of your choice directly.
Is IELTS required for Bangladeshi students?
A majority of universities in the UK ask for an IELTS score. They do this to understand your ability with the English language, since this is the language you will be using in class and in daily life. Nonetheless, there are schools to which you can apply even if you don't sit for the IELTS.
Alternatives include other tests like Duolingo and PTE Academic, or through an MOI certificate proving your most recent education was in English. Among universities that accept alternatives to the IELTS are Swansea University, Birmingham City University, and the University of Bristol, to name a few.
Will I have to meet any extra requirements as a Bangladeshi student to get into the UK in January?
No, the criteria for admission to UK universities for Bangladeshi students in the January intake are still the same as for all other intakes. If there are any additional requirements for admission to the summer semester, you can check the admission requirements listed on the program page of the university's official website.
Our Concluding Thoughts
Our advice would be to start your application as soon as possible for the January intake in the UK for 2024. Even though the deadline may seem far away, you'll need the extra time to do everything you need to do to meet it. And if you're going through all this effort to study abroad, you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance you can.
Make sure you've checked to see if your course is available for your desired start date and that you know all of the deadlines for the January intake in the UK 2024. Give yourself at least six months to prepare everything you need to apply for the course and your visa. Be careful, but don't hurry. If you rush through any part of your application, you might lose your chance at acceptance. So, take it one step at a time, start early, and all the best!