Awaiting our decision?

When we first assess applications, we can make one of three decisions at that point:

  • we may make an offer straight away;
  • we may make an application unsuccessful straight away;
  • or for certain courses, we may invite applicants to interview.
  • Alternatively, we may put the application on hold, pending one of those three outcomes.

    Why haven't I had a decision yet?

    Putting an application on hold means that we have assessed the application and decided that the applicant meets the entry requirements for our offer, but we are unable to make a final decision (ie make an offer, or make the application unsuccessful) until we have assessed more of our applications, or until we have an understanding of how many offers we’re able to make this year to fill our places.

    We often put applicants on hold until after the 15 January UCAS application deadline for equal consideration to ensure that we can consider all applicants fairly for the places we have available. Making too many offers early in the cycle might mean that we have too many students to fit into our teaching space or accommodation. We might hold applications until we know how many of our offers are being accepted. Holding applications before making offers gives us the best chance to get the right number of students on each course, ultimately to provide our students with the best experience of studying and living at Bristol.

    How long will I be waiting for a decision?

    Some applicants will wait just a few weeks for a final decision; others may be waiting for several months, depending on when they applied in the UCAS cycle and how many applications need to be assessed for that course. We appreciate that waiting for a decision can be frustrating, but we do our best not to make any applications unsuccessful until we are absolutely sure we cannot make an offer. 

    When can I expect a final decision?

    Our aim is to make final decisions for everyone who applied by the 15 January deadline by 31 March, although some decisions may not be made until 4 May (the deadline set by UCAS).

    Anyone who applied between 16 January and 30 June will receive a final decision by 13 July, however we aim to make our decisions long before then.

    Will being on hold affect my applications elsewhere?

    No, your other applictions won’t be affected in any way. You can only reply to your offers at UCAS when you have received all your decisions. If another institution has made you an offer, they won’t withdraw it or change it in any way just because you haven’t heard from another university that you’ve applied to.

    UCAS’s key dates timeline explains when you have to reply to your offers, depending on when you received all your decisions. The UCAS website also has more information about replying to your offers.

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