Comprehensive Guide for January Intake in UK University Applications

Are you an undergraduate or postgraduate applicant considering January intake? There are many high-quality January courses offered by prestigious UK universities. Perhaps January intake could be your secret weapon for a smooth and strategic entry into the academic arena. 

At The Profs, we have plenty of experience in successfully guiding students through university admissions, including January intake. Over 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities. So, why shouldn’t you get a spot at your top university? Reach out to access our expert support.

What does January intake mean?

January intake refers to beginning university in January rather than September; hence, it is a secondary admission opportunity. Information on dates and deadlines will be provided lower down in this article. 

While the array of courses available during this intake is more limited compared to the bustling September session, it stands as a valuable opportunity for students who might have missed the initial admission window. This alternate intake affords students additional time to meticulously craft and enhance their applications. 

Please note that the January intake is offered by a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK.

Navigating the unconventional path

Understanding January intake

Choosing a January intake course allows you to step off the beaten path. While the majority opt for September entry, January intake courses provide a unique opportunity for a fresh start mid-academic year.

Faster graduation

A major perk of January intake is that it often includes the possibility of accelerated degree completion. Always check your chosen course’s details on your preferred university’s website to verify this. 

If an accelerated degree is an option, consider aligning your academic calendar with this intake, so that you can graduate faster, propelling yourself into the workforce or further studies ahead of the traditional schedule. For example, London Metropolitan University offers a January intake undergraduate degree with a fast track, meaning you can complete your three-year degree in two and a half years.

Need any support navigating university applications for the January intake? No need to worry. We have expert admissions consultants on hand to help you. We know exactly how to nail this process, no matter whether you’re an international, undergraduate or postgraduate applicant.

Why January Intake? 

Strategic timing for exam retakes

For students aiming to retake exams, improve grades or complete a qualification, January intake provides an ideal timeline. It allows you to focus on achieving these academic goals without the rush of simultaneously settling into university and juggling the workload asked for by your degree.

Increased admission odds

With fewer candidates vying for spots, the January intake can be less competitive. This can be particularly advantageous for those with strong academic records seeking to secure a coveted spot in a prestigious university.

Extra time

Deadlines for January intake are usually a few months after the overarching September intake deadline in May. This means you have more time to perfect your grades, craft your written application and get your documents together. It also affords you a little more time to finalise your decision in terms of what universities and courses you’d like to apply for. 

If you feel like meeting the first UCAS deadline would mean rushing your decisions or submitting an application that could be stronger, the January intake deadline could be the way to put your best foot forward.

International students

In the UK, university courses starting in January are often considered “Spring Intake” courses. Although the September intake is more popular than the January intake, students who have postponed their studies in order to improve their IELTS (or other English language proficiency test) scores or apply for a specific programme might prefer the January intake.

Course options

Numerous universities still present a diverse array of postgraduate and sometimes even undergraduate courses during the January intake, ensuring a broad spectrum of options for you to explore. Pinpoint the programme that aligns seamlessly with your academic pursuits and future career objectives.

Intimate learning environment

Opting for the January intake grants you the advantage of smaller class sizes in comparison to the bustling September commencement. This scenario fosters an environment conducive to personalised attention from professors and enhanced interaction with fellow students.

Career opportunities

Graduating in the summer can strategically align with the ebb and flow of the UK job market cycle, potentially heightening your prospects of tapping into job opportunities immediately after completing your degree.

Scholarship opportunities

Check out the scholarship options for January intake for your chosen course and/or university. There are sometimes special opportunities for this academic calendar to incentivise students.

Some downfalls of January intake

  • Programme limitations: While the January intake boasts a wide course selection, some specialised programmes or disciplines may exclusively be accessible during the September intake.
  • Condensed schedule: Depending on the nature of the programme, the January intake may present a slightly condensed schedule, necessitating the coverage of the same coursework within a shorter time frame.
  • Social integration: Embarking on your academic journey in January might entail fewer chances to actively participate in on-campus activities and events, potentially impacting your social integration and networking opportunities.
  • Internships and work placement considerations: Keep in mind that certain industries may experience their peak recruitment period in the summer, potentially influencing your prospects of securing internships or work placements during your course of study.

Best UK universities and courses for January intake

Check out UK universities offering January intake in the table below. Many of these universities rank well in the university league tables. Some even have Russell Group status (marked by ***).

University Name Level of studyDepartments
Bangor University Postgraduate: MBA, MSc, MA, LLM.
  • Accounting, Banking and Finance
  • Business, Management and Marketing
  • Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • History and Archaeology
  • Law
  • Social Sciences 
University of Reading Undergraduate: International Foundation Programme (IFP).
  • Law
  • Construction Management and Engineering
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Consumer Behavior and Marketing
  • Politics and International Relations
  • International Development
  • Education Studies
  • Museum Studies and Archaeology
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
Queen Mary University of London ***Postgraduate: MRes, MSc, MA, LLM, GradDip.
  • Law
  • Economics and Finance
  • Business and Management
  • Medicine and Life Sciences
  • Pre-Masters Programmes in Finance and Economics or Humanities and Social Sciences
Queen’s University Belfast ***Postgraduate: MSc.
  • Midwifery
  • Clinical Practice
Middlesex University Undergraduate: BA Honours, BSc.

Postgraduate: MSc, MBA, MA.
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Education
University of Bedfordshire Undergraduate: BA BEng, BSc.

Postgraduate: MSc, MBA.
  • Health and Social Care
  • Marketing
  • International Tourism and/or Hospitality Management
  • Aviation and airport management
  • Business Management
  • Business Administration
  • Banking and Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Human Resource Management
  • Media/Marketing
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Nursing
London South Bank University Undergraduate: BA Honours, CertHE, BSc Honours.

Postgraduate: MSc, PgDip, MBA.
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business 
  • Economics
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Corporate Governance
  • Data Science
  • Human Resource Management
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Marketing
Lancaster University Undergraduate: BA Honours, BSc Honours, BEng Honours.

Postgraduate: MSci, MEng.
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Design
  • Drama, Theatre and Performance
  • Environmental Studies
University of York ***Undergraduate: BSc Honours, BEng Honours.

Postgraduate: MSci, MBA, MA.
  • Management
  • Computer Science
  • Business Administration
  • Music
  • Engineering
  • Physics
University of East Anglia Postgraduate: MA, MSc, LLM.
  • Law
  • International Commercial
  • Global Development
  • Business
University of Essex Undergraduate: BA Honours, CertHE, BSc Honours.

Postgraduate: LLB.
  • Business 
  • Marketing
  • Psychology 
  • Healthcare
  • Law
University of LincolnPostgraduate: MA, MSc, LLM.
  • Architecture and the Built Environment 
  • Design
  • Film, Media and Journalism
  • Law
  • Agri-Food Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Business School
Keele UniversityUndergraduate: Foundation years.

Postgraduate: MSc, MA, MRes, MBA.

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Business
  • Pharmacy
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Human Resource
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Philosophy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Politics
  • Prosthetics 
Kingston UniversityPostgraduate: MBA, MRes, MSc, MA, EdD, PgCert.
  • Business
  • Education
  • Management
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Art and Design
  • Science
  • Pharmacy
  • Digital Media
  • Engineering
  • Environment and Hazards
  • Healthcare
  • Human Resources
  • Maths
  • Marketing
  • Social Sciences
  • Social Work
  • Computing and Information Systems
  • Logistics
  • Creative Industries and the Creative Economy
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Performance, Film and Media
  • Psychology 
Brunel University LondonPostgraduate: MBA, MSc, LLM, PGCert, MA.
  • Business
  • Civil Engineering
  • Design
  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Law
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Postgraduate Research
  • Online
Coventry UniversityUndergraduate: BSc, BSc Honours, BA, BEng Honours.

Postgraduate: MSc, MA, MArch, PGCert.

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Architecture
  • Nursing
  • Clinical Practice
  • Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Psychology
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Aviation 
  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Psychology 
  • Media and Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Construction
  • Criminal Justice
  • Crowded Places and Public Safety Management
University of the West of EnglandPostgraduate: MSc, MA, LLM, DBA, PGCert, PGDip, PGCE, PGCE with QTS MBA.
  • Animation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Science
  • Building and Construction
  • Law
  • Data Science and Information Technology
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • International Studies
  • Healthcare
  • Architecture 
  • Project Management
  • Real Estate
Loughborough UniversityPostgraduate: MSc, MA.
  • Design Innovation
  • Development and Social Change
  • Digital Technologies
  • Diplomacy and International Governance
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • International Management
  • Media and Creative Industries
  • Sports Business
London Metropolitan UniversityUndergraduate: BA Honours, BSc Honours.

Postgraduate: MSc, MA, MArch, PGCert.

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Advertising, Marketing Communications and Public Relations
  • Aviation Management
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Events
  • Fashion
  • Graphic Design
  • Health and Social Care
  • Illustration and Animation
  • Interior Architecture and Design
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Music
  • Tourism
The University of Manchester ***Postgraduate: MSc.
  • International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response

Please be aware that this table includes a number of UK universities offering January intake rather than all of them. Similarly, the table details whether the universities offer postgraduate and/or undergraduate levels of study for the January intake, and in what disciplines, rather than all of the exact courses available. It should also be noted that specific details can vary year upon year so you should always check university websites directly.

Unsure about what university to choose or overwhelmed by information? Chat with us. We also have relevant subject tutors for any and every discipline no matter what level of study! 

January intake deadlines

Check out the table below for the typical timeline and process for January intake:

Typical timeline Action 
April-June Choose your 5 universities.
June-September Prepare, apply and complete your admission, standardised and/or language tests. 
September-NovemberComplete and submit your application.
October-December Reply to the universities to accept or reject offers. When accepting, take care to follow any extra steps.
December-January (into the new year)Arrange your finances e.g. student loan and/or scholarship.
JanuaryMove onto campus!

It’s worth noting that application deadlines for January intake courses vary depending on the year you’re applying, the university and the course. However, deadlines are typically scheduled between September and November.

The university entry date is usually late January, however, it can fall in February or as late as March. 

Usually, courses are full time and there are seldom part-time options available for January intake. If you’re looking for a January intake part-time course, check out the University of East London.

Please note that private universities might surprise you with unusual deadlines. 

So, always ensure that you check your course page on your desired university’s website for the most accurate information.

Please note: For the January intake you can usually still apply to 5 universities through UCAS, however, private universities may not require your application to be through UCAS. Check out our previous blog on the UCAS application process.

Interested in January intake for universities in the United States? Talk to our US admissions consultants.

Tips for navigating the January intake journey

Start early

Begin your preparations well in advance. From gathering required documents to understanding the specific application deadlines, early planning ensures a seamless process.

What to do if this is a last-minute decision: Here at The Profs, we know how to create quality applications quickly. Just reach out if you don’t want to miss or mess up your chances!

Research extensively

Understand the specific entry requirements and deadlines for January intake at your chosen universities. Research thoroughly to align your application with the university’s expectations.

Reach out to the admissions office for clarification on any doubts. Direct communication shows your proactive approach and genuine interest in the programme.

Demonstrate alignment

Craft a compelling personal statement that clearly articulates your academic and career goals. Emphasise how the January intake aligns with your aspirations. 

Try to answer the following:

  • Why are you choosing January intake? Your answer should be related to academia and/or career growth or ambition.
  • How have you spent the extra time that this later application has afforded you? It’s great if you can prove you’ve invested this time wisely and strengthened your abilities as a student.
  • What examples do you have of being independent, proactive and going against the grain? Your university wants to be confident that you can handle this unique study route. If you’re choosing a fast-track option they’ll most definitely want to know that you can keep up with this. Therefore, it’s great if you can demonstrate your independence, organisation and determination.

Your recommendations should also highlight your suitability for the programme and your ability to thrive in an accelerated academic schedule.

Don’t forget, university applications are our forte. We can help you curate the perfect application for your chosen university that demonstrates all the right qualities.

Prepare for interviews

Some universities may conduct interviews as part of the January intake university and college admissions process. Prepare for these by anticipating common questions and articulating your motivations clearly.

Watch our previous video on how to prepare for a university interview or read our article on online interviews or postgraduate interviews for further guidance. We also have expert interview coaches who can help you smash the process! Your interview is often the deciding factor on whether or not you receive an offer, so it’s not to be downplayed.

Polish your application

The same advice for the September intake regarding wider reading, extracurriculars, work experience and academic records goes for the January intake. 

Check out our blogs regarding university applications here. There you’ll find tonnes of free advice regarding how to craft the perfect application for specific universities and courses. 

Also, your written application must be compelling and strong. We have excellent writing tutors available who can coach you through submitting the strongest application possible. If you’re just looking for some tips, watch our video and or read one of our many articles on personal statement writing.

Navigating the intricacies of January intake can be challenging. Consider enlisting the support of our experienced mentors and tutors. We offer expert guidance, ensuring you’re well-prepared for this academic adventure.

Receive expert help from The Profs

Comprehensive exam preparation

Whether you’re eyeing January for exam retakes, admissions tests or aiming for a fresh start, our tutors specialise in comprehensive exam preparation. From refining study techniques to mastering subject matter, we’ve got you covered. Let’s work together to get you those top scores.

Get your spot on that course

At The Profs, we’re not just about tutoring; we’re about success stories, and we’ve got many of them. Over 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities, so join the party. Our experienced consultants provide expert, personalised guidance that leads you to achieving your potential! 

Reach out today.