Updated on 25-05-2023


Intakes in UK 2023-2024: September, January, May

Intakes in UK 2023-2024: September, January, May

International students prefer UK as their study destination as they have many top-ranking universities and colleges and the degree were recognized globally. Universities in UK have intakes throughout the year which vary depending on the courses and admission requirements. In general, there are three intakes in the UK which are also referred to as terms in some institutions. 

There are mainly two intakes in UK, January and September. Some UK universities also offer May intake for some of the courses. In this article, you’ll get to know the complete information on the three intakes i.e. fall, winter, and summer/spring, how to apply, the documents required, and a lot more. Before that, find the type of intake and the duration in the table below.

Terms Type of Intake Starts from Duration
Term 1 Fall September September - December
Term 2 Winter January January - April
Term 3 Summer/Spring May April - June

Table of contents

How Many Intakes are there in UK?

There are three intakes in UK:

  • January/February intake (Fall intake)
  • September/October intake (Winter intake)
  • April/May intake (Summer intake)

UK universities offer three main intakes for students to enroll in their programs, with the majority of courses starting in September/October and January/February. However, some universities also offer a third intake in April/May with limited courses. While September/October intake is the most common one, the January/February intake provides an equal number of courses to choose from. For those who missed the September/October intake, applying for the January/February intake can be a good option, as it provides more time to focus on applications and address any gaps in the profile.

January/February Intake in UK

The January intake, also known as the winter intake, is the second type of intake. Although it offers fewer courses compared to the September intake, it gives students who missed the primary admission cycles an opportunity to enroll in courses. The application process for the January intake generally opens in June of the previous year and ends by September, but deadlines may vary based on the course and university. The January intake provides students with extra time to work on their applications and make up for missing the September intake. However, it is important to note that the course options may be limited compared to the September intake. This intake is ideal for students seeking a Master's degree and offers a fair chance to enroll in an academic year. Below are the list of universities that offer January/February intake universities in UK.

  • University of Brighton
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of South Wales
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Keele University
  • Birmingham City University
  • City University of London
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of the Sunderland
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Coventry University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Exeter
  • Aston University
  • Brunel University
  • Bangor University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Kingston University
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Chester
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Essex
  • The University of Bath
  • The University of Bedfordshire
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The University of Buckingham
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London South Bank University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Newcastle University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Middlesex University
  • The University of Derby
  • The University of Northampton

Check January intake universities in UK.

September Intake in UK

The September or October intake is referred to as the fall intake in the UK. The September intake is the largest intake in UK conducted by universities to attract a large number of international student applications. This intake offers plenty of courses to choose from, as scholars overseas prefer this intake. The application timeline for this intake generally opens in February and lasts until May, but it varies from university to university and the course. This intake is also referred to as the autumn intake in the UK. The academic year in the UK starts in September, which is why this intake has the highest number of admissions. Over 80% of UK aspirants prefer this intake since it offers plenty of undergraduate and post-graduate course options. Since it aligns with the academic schedule worldwide, it is an ideal choice for students. Find the below list of universities that offers September intake in UK.

  • University of Bradford
  • Swansea University
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Derby
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Keele University
  • University of Leeds
  • Kingston University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Coventry University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Exeter
  • Aston University
  • Brunel University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • King's College London
  • Birmingham City University
  • Bucks New University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Reading
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Sussex
  • University of York
  • Bournemouth University
  • Cranfield University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • City, University of London
  • University of Essex
  • Hartpury University
  • Durham University

Check September Intake in UK

May Intake Universities in UK

The May intake, also known as the Spring intake, is the least preferred admission cycle in the UK as most students prefer to take a spring break. As a result, only a few universities offer it with limited degree options. However, this also means that the competition is less, and applicants have a higher chance of being accepted. It is important to note that not all colleges and universities offer this intake, and applicants should apply early, around January or February, if they plan to start their higher education in May. Below are the list of universities offering May intake in UK.

  • University of Kent
  • Brunel University
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Coventry University
  • Northumbria University
  • Salford University
  • Ulster University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Keele University
  • University of Chester
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • West of Scotland University
  • Richmond University of London
  • BPP University

Check May intake universities in UK

Important UCAS Deadlines

All undergraduate course applications in the UK are managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Some UK universities may allow international applications after the deadlines, but it is best to check directly with the university. It is essential to keep these dates in mind when contacting your preferred university, as most UK universities follow UCAS deadlines for undergraduate admissions. Deadlines for the 2023 intake are as follows:

  • 15 October 2023 - It is for all the courses at Cambridge and Oxford and most medicine, dentistry veterinary medicine courses at all other institutions
  • 15 January 2023 - It is for all other undergraduate courses for EU students
  • 30 June 2023 - It is for all other undergraduate courses for international students

MBA Intakes in UK

MBA is highly sought-after by international students seeking education abroad. It is one of the most popular courses offered by UK universities. In the UK, MBA intakes are generally held in April or May each year, although some universities also accept applications during the fall or September intake. The MBA admissions process can take up to four or five rounds, which typically last for 6 to 7 months until September. Check the below list of universities to get admitted for an MBA degree.

  • London Business School
  • Imperial College Business School
  • Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
  • Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • Lancaster University Management School
  • Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University
  • The Business School (formerly Cass), CITY, University of London
  • Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University
  • School of Business and Management– Queen Mary University of London
  • School of Management – Anglia Ruskin University
  • Business School – Coventry University
  • University of Strathclyde Business School
  • Leeds University Business School – University of Leeds
  • Durham University Business School, Durham University
  • Aston Business School, Aston University
  • Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham Trent University
  • Bath School of Management, University of Bath
  • Brunel Business School, Brunel University London
  • Exeter Business School, University of Exeter
  • Adam Smith School of Economics and Finance, University of Glasgow
  • Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago

Know more about the MBA in UK

PhD Intakes in UK

In the UK, universities offer Ph.D. programs with rolling admissions which means applications are accepted throughout the year. There are no fixed intakes for Ph.D. programs, students can apply during any of the three intakes or according to their chosen university's specific admission dates. This gives students flexibility in choosing when to apply and allows them to apply whenever they are ready. With a wide range of universities offering Ph.D. programs in the UK, students have the opportunity to find a program that suits them.

Intakes for Masters in UK

In the UK, there are three main intakes for university admissions, with January and September being the most popular for Master's programs. Some universities also offer May intakes for Master's applications. Applying in January or September gives you the opportunity to apply to more than 5 universities and keep your options open. Overall, the January and September intakes are the best choices for those seeking a Master's degree since most renowned universities have admissions open during these periods.

How to Apply to Universities in UK?

Step-1: Shortlist Courses and Universities

When shortlisting courses and universities, it's important to consider factors such as the course content, location, university ranking, tuition fees, and available scholarships. It's also important to check the entry requirements for each course and university, as they may vary depending on the level of study and the program you're interested in. Use resources like university websites, rankings, and course finders to help you create a list of potential options.

Step-2: Know Your Deadlines

After shortlisting your universities, make sure to note down the application deadlines for each one. These deadlines can vary depending on the university and program, so it's important to double-check the dates. You should also consider any additional deadlines, such as those for scholarship applications, and plan accordingly. Applying early is recommended as it gives you more time to complete all the necessary steps, including visa applications and accommodation arrangements.

Step-3: Take Entrance Tests

Most UK universities require international students to take an English language proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo. Some universities may also require a standardized test such as the GMAT, GRE, or LNAT, depending on the program. Check the requirements for each university and program carefully to determine which tests you need to take. It's important to prepare for these tests well in advance to achieve a high score.

Step-4: Compile Your Documents

Once you know the deadlines and entry requirements for your chosen universities, start gathering all the required documents. These may include academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, proof of English language proficiency, and financial documents. Make sure to carefully read the requirements for each university and program and provide all the necessary documentation in a timely manner.

Step-5: Get Started with the Application

After compiling all your documents, you can begin the application process. Some universities require students to apply through the UCAS system, while others accept direct applications. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure to provide all the necessary information, including personal details, academic background, and supporting documents. It's important to submit your application before the deadline and to check your email regularly for updates or requests for further information.

Step-6: Respond to Offers and Acceptance

After submitting your application, you may receive offers from one or more universities. Take the time to carefully consider each offer and its accompanying terms and conditions. You may be asked to pay a deposit to secure your place, so make sure to plan accordingly. Once you have made your decision, notify the universities of your acceptance or rejection before the deadline.

Step-7: Prepare for Arrival in the UK

After accepting an offer, it's important to start preparing for your arrival in the UK. This may include applying for a student visa, arranging accommodation, and purchasing international health insurance. Make sure to also research the local area and university to familiarize yourself with the culture, customs, and expectations.

Which UK Intake to Choose?

If you’re planning to study in the United Kingdom, it is important to choose the right intake that suits your needs. The UK has multiple intakes for admissions, September is the most popular and desired intake among international students. However, January and May intakes are also available and can be a great option for courses such as Business Management, Data Sciences, and Finance Management. The choice of intake will depend on various factors such as the availability of your desired course, academic records, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates of the university, job opportunities available, and your readiness to join the university. Candidates who are unable to apply for the Fall intakes can also consider Winter intakes in the UK. It is crucial to take enough time to prepare your application and take all necessary exams. Choosing the right intake is a crucial step towards admission, and it is important to carefully consider your options and not rush your application process.

Upcoming Intakes to Study in UK

The three admission intakes available to international students in the UK are:

Application Intake Application Opens Application Closes
Autumn September December
Spring January February
Summer June August

The following table shows how UK universities and colleges conduct their admission cycles throughout the year.

FALL September September–December Primary/Main intake
WINTER January January–April Secondary intake
SUMMER/SPRING May May-August Least preferred intake

The Fall Intake in the UK

The fall intake, which is known as the September or October intake in the UK, is the most significant intake for international students. It is a popular choice because it offers a wide range of course options and opportunities. The application period for this intake generally starts in February and lasts until May. This intake season is the largest one and most of the seats for admissions are available during this period. However, candidates who are applying for a course with limited seats may choose to apply during this season. It is advisable for international candidates to submit their applications as early as possible to avoid any delays in the admission process.

Merits of the Fall Intake in the UK

  • The Fall intake is the primary and most popular intake in the UK.
  • Most universities accept applications for a significant number of courses during this intake.
  • Fall intake provides enough time for candidates to prepare for applications and most programs are offered during this time.
  • After completing the course, students have access to a wide range of internship and career opportunities and can compete in a highly competitive environment.
  • As intakes are starting in September, students have the chance to choose from several universities and course options.
  • Fall intake offers the most number of scholarships and bursaries, providing an excellent chance to reduce costs.

Winter Intake in the UK 2023

The winter intake, which begins in January, is the second most common type of intake in the UK. The application period for this intake usually begins in June of the previous year and ends in September. In comparison to the fall cycle, not many courses are offered during the start of winter intakes in the UK. However, it provides an opportunity to candidates who failed to submit their applications in the fall semester as some colleges offer admissions in this cycle too.

Merits of the Winter Intake in the UK

  • The winter intake offers an additional opportunity for students who missed the primary Fall intake application deadline.
  • Students can catch up on their classes without taking a gap year.
  • Since you start your study much later in the year, you get more time to prepare your application.
  • The number of applications is relatively lesser than the Fall intake, so it’s comparatively easier to get accepted.

Summer/Spring Intake in the UK

The April/May session is the least popular intake offered by UK universities as most students take their spring break during this time. If you plan to start your higher education in May, you should apply to universities by January or February. On the other hand, the Summer intake in the UK is also not preferred by international students as only a few colleges and universities provide admissions during this time. This intake generally starts between April and May, and most international candidates prefer to take a break during this period. As a result, there are higher chances for other candidates to get an offer due to lower competition.

Merits of the Summer/Spring Intake in the UK

  • The Summer intake in the UK is less popular among students due to the April/May start date coinciding with the spring break.
  • Completing studies earlier can potentially save money on living expenses and help start a career sooner.
  • Summer break is available during this intake period.
  • There is minimal competition as fewer students apply for the May intake, resulting in higher acceptance chances.
  • The smaller number of applications means smaller class sizes and more attention from faculties.

Documents Required for Admission Intakes in UK

If you are applying for admission to a UK university as an international student, you need to prepare and arrange some mandatory supporting documents. These include:

  • Completed application form
  • Application fee
  • High school or degree certificates/academic transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • 2-3 SOPs (Statement of Purpose)
  • At least 3 LORs (Letters of Recommendation)
  • Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)
  • Student permit for UK or visa application
  • Immigration documents (passport, national identity proof)
  • Proof of financial availability
  • Health insurance (if required)
  • English proficiency test scores
  • GPA, GMAT, or GRE scores
  • Work experience (if applicable)

It is essential to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in place before your departure.


1. How many intakes are available in the UK?

There are three intakes in UK:

  • Term 1: September to December
  • Term 2: January to April
  • Term 3: April to June

2. Which is the main intake in the UK?

There are mainly two intakes in UK: September/October and January/February. The September intake is also known as the fall intake and the January intake is known as winter intake.

3. Which intake in the UK is best?

The September intake/fall intake in UK is the most preferred academic slot by international students as it has numerous undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Over 80% of aspirants have chosen the September intake for studies.

4. Is Gap acceptable in UK?

Many UK universities accept international students with two years study gap. Some universities also accept more than two years. Before applying for admission, you need to refer to the university's official website.

5. Is IELTS required for the UK?

Yes. IELTS is required to study in the UK. As IELTS is one of the English language proficiency tests, it is essential to submit the score. To study at a UK university, you need to take IELTS UKVI Academic.


About Author Arivarasi

Arivarasi is an experienced author with expertise in the study abroad industry and preparing test materials for exams like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, PTE, etc. She stays up-to-date with university and college requirements for international students which allows her to provide guidance on course selection, documents like SOP, LOR, and scholarship opportunities. She has written numerous articles on study abroad exams, destinations, universities & colleges requirements, admission procedures, and the entire process of studying abroad. Collaborating with industry experts and counselors, she crafts informative articles that make students take the right decisions.

More Articles Post by Arivarasi

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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