Is It Too Late to Apply for a Master’s?

Thinking of applying for a Master’s but worried it’s too late? This guide contains everything you need to know about the deadlines for Master’s courses, when you can apply, and how to submit a strong application.

The Profs’ Master’s tutors can provide you with valuable information on which Master’s courses you can apply for and when, and how to maximise your chances of receiving an offer. 95% of our students who work with us receive an offer from their first or second choice university. Speak to a member of our team today to get set up with a tutor.

What is the deadline to apply for a Master’s?

Each individual Master’s course sets its own deadline for applications. Some courses may have one fixed deadline, while others may accept applications throughout the year on a ‘rolling’ basis, such as City, University of London. There are also some courses that have multiple deadlines, dividing applications into ‘rounds’. For example, London Business School has three rounds of deadlines for its MBA in September, January and March.

If the course has a fixed deadline, we usually encourage applicants to apply for their chosen course as soon as possible after applications open. This is because universities may consider applications as and when they are submitted and offer places on a first come, first serve basis.

If applications are segregated into ‘rounds’, it’s important to be tactical about when you apply. Depending on the course, sometimes we recommend you apply as early as possible, while other times we recommend waiting until later rounds where you may have a higher chance of being accepted. Working with a Profs admissions tutor can therefore be invaluable when applying for a Master’s with this type of application process, so reach out to our team for expert advice and support.

When do you apply for Masters?

You can apply for a Master’s at any time, as long as you are meeting the application deadline. Most universities will publish the dates that applications open and close on the relevant course pages, or specify if a course has rolling applications/no fixed deadline. We recommend that you apply for courses with fixed deadlines as soon as possible after applications open, particularly for the most competitive courses.

You can apply for a Master’s in your final year of university. You will need to submit your current attainment grade (e.g. a 2:1) as well as any other required elements, such as a personal statement and references. If you receive an offer to study your chosen Master’s in your final year of university, it will normally be a conditional offer. This means that you will be accepted if you meet the entry requirements for that course by the end of your final year (for example, achieving a first-class classification in your degree).

Can you apply for a Master’s later in life?

You can apply for a Master’s degree later in life, such as after a career or after taking time out to have children. Most Master’s programmes will require you to have a Bachelor’s degree to apply, however there are instances where you will be able to apply without a degree.

If you completed your degree a long time ago or do not have a first degree, some universities may ask you to take a pre-Master’s programme or postgraduate qualification (PGDip or PGCert) in order to ensure that you have the baseline knowledge and necessary skills to study at postgraduate level.

Can you apply for a Master’s after the deadline?

If there is a hard application deadline for a Master’s course and applications have closed, you may not be able to submit an application via the online portal. However, sometimes universities will extend their final deadline if they do not fill the available spaces – you can contact the university directly or look on the relevant course page to find out this information. Universities with rolling admissions allow you to apply for a Master’s course at any time. However, you should take care to see which year of entry you are applying for when you submit your application.

How to apply for a Master’s

The application process for Master’s courses is different from the undergraduate application process in that you’ll apply directly to the university, not via UCAS. You will usually apply via each university’s own applicant portal, and follow the instructions provided.
Your application will typically include submitting a CV, a transcript of your previous qualification/s, a statement of purpose, additional written work (such as writing samples), and up to three referees who can provide academic and/or professional references.

Many courses also interview shortlisted candidates as part of the admissions process.
For more information and tips on how to apply for a Master’s course, read our helpful guides via the buttons below:

How to Apply for a Master’s Degree
How to Write a Master’s Personal Statement
How to Prepare for a Postgraduate Interview

How can we help?

The Profs’ Master’s admissions experts can advise you on which courses you are eligible to apply for and provide you with invaluable support with your Master’s application. 90% of our tutors have postgraduate degrees and our Master’s tutors all have first-hand experience of the admissions process for top universities in the UK and abroad. This makes them best placed to give expert advice on all elements of your application, from meeting the entry requirements to writing a stand-out personal statement, and more. Reach out to our team today to access support.


Is there Clearing for Master’s?

There is no Clearing for Master’s. Clearing for undergraduates is operated via UCAS and the vast majority of postgraduate courses do not use UCAS. However, many universities do have rolling applications for their Master’s courses, meaning there is no formal deadline and you can apply to the course year-round.

How many Masters can you apply for UK?

There is no limit to the number of Master’s courses that you can apply for in the UK. Unlike undergraduate applications, which are limited to five and submitted via UCAS, Master’s applications are submitted directly to individual universities. Although there is no limit on how many Master’s you can apply for, we recommend limiting the number to five courses to ensure that you can invest sufficient time in tailoring your personal statements and maintaining a high quality of application to each.

Can you apply for Masters loans before being accepted?

You can apply for a postgraduate loan from the UK government before you have been accepted by a course. You will be required to submit details of your intended degree and university when you apply, however you can change your mind and update your application later. The deadline for applying for a Master’s loan depends on when you would be due to start your course, so make sure to check this in advance.