How to Defer Admission in UK

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how to defer admission in uk

The last 2 years witnessed a huge number of international students deferring admissions in the UK. As per the latest figures by UCAS, the universities have seen a 21% increase in the number of 18-year-olds from the UK deferring their degrees. But what does it mean to defer admissions and what is the procedure for deferring? In this blog, we will tackle all your queries on how to defer admission in UK. Let’s get started.

What is Deferred Entry?

Deferring simply means postponing. A deferred entry means you apply for a degree and then take a year off before starting it. This can be planned if you want to take a gap year or you have changed your mind while applying. You may choose to “defer” your degree program when applying, but you must contact the university or college before ensuring that a deferred application is gladly accepted. In most cases, you are only allowed to defer your entry by only one year and it depends on the university if they approve or reject your application. 

Note: Some educational institutions directly contact students if they like to postpone their listings. Remember, if you have met the terms of your offer, you do not have to agree and you are fully eligible to participate this year.

Must Read: What are the requirements to study in UK?

How to Defer Admission in UK [Application Process]

Deferring admission in the UK is a long process. We have provided a step-by-step process on how to defer your admission in UK, as per UCAS admission service guidelines: 

  1. Deferring application after you have applied: In this step, if you have applied for 2024 and now want to defer, it will certainly depend on the chosen university to accept it gladly. To be sure, contact the university and explain your valid reasons for deferring the application. This is because some universities only accept the application for some courses. 
  1. Deferring application after being offered a spot: If you have been offered a place for 2024 and now want to defer it, it will again depend on the chosen university to approve it. It is considered a late deferral and you may be asked to apply again. Be sure of the decision you have taken at this point because it will be contemplated as a final decision. 
  1. Deferring the place: If you have decided to defer a place and change your mind due to some reason, connect with the university. It’s a very complicated process and will certainly depend on the places available on the course. 
  1. Applying through clearing: You can apply for the current year (2024) if you are applying through the clearing. Candidates holding a deferred place and want to apply for the current year through clearing, can tap on ‘decline my place’ and fill up the new application through the clearing process. Make sure to inform the university in the first place that you won’t any longer keep the deferred place. 
  1. Accepting a Deferred Entry place for the next year (2025): You cannot apply for the application again if you have accepted a deferred entry place for 2025. You should completely withdraw your existing application. 

Points To Remember for a UK Deferred Entry

Deferment should be a carefully considered decision. There are various aspects to take heed of before deferring your application or postponing the registration.

Good Reasons for Deferral 

You should have a definite reason to select for deferred admission. The reasons could be a long-term illness, delay in visa approval, or any military or humanitarian service. One of the invalid reasons that may reject your deferred application is ‘lack of funds’. This is not any reason you could state while applying for deferred admission. It may sound suspicious because if you have secured a place and claim that your funds are all over, it could land you in big trouble. 

Deadline and Additional Fees

Make sure to fill out the application on time and that it reaches the university well before the deadline. They have a cut-off date which is usually three to five weeks before the session begins. In addition, some universities approve deferment applications without any additional fees, however, some other universities may charge $50 as a deferral fee. 

Duration of Deferment

This depends on the university for a permitted duration of deferment. For instance, if you are unable to join the classes in the September intake, you can put a request on deferment classes starting in the next intake i.e. January of the following year. 

Test Scores Validity

It is also one of the important factors in deciding your approval of the deferred application. Certainly, you don’t have to worry in this case because English proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL have validity for 2 years whereas some other competitive exams hold a validity of 2 to 4 years. Deferred admission is usually for only 1 year which makes it easier for you. 

Effect on Scholarships

The offer of scholarships for deferred students is the responsibility of the university and the awarding body. Therefore, make sure you contact them before applying for an extension.

Must Read: Affordable Universities 1.5 Hours Away from London

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Documents Required for Deferred Admission

Ensure that the deferred application is completed in all aspects and be aware of the documents required to submit along with it. Contact the admission committee of the university and start working on the necessary documents. In some cases, students are asked to submit an enrollment deposit that ranges between $150 – $250. [INR 11,122 to 18,531]

Approval of Deferment

Approval of deferred application states that you are allowed a delay or defer enrollment for a year or a semester. Additionally, you are required to retake the course-specific entrance tests as asked by the university department. 

Refusal of Deferment

There are various reasons for the rejected deferred admission. It includes some universities that may not provide deferred admissions, requesting deferred admission in two universities at the same time and submission of late fees. Also, for some subjects such as medicine, the university may not accept the extension. 

Also Read: How to Pursue MPhil in UK?

Pros and Cons of UK Deferred Entry


  • It allows you to have real-world experience, for example, getting work experience, or doing internships. Also, it becomes possible to work full-time or go travelling. 
  • Deferred entry to the UK can make a university place before starting your job and you don’t have to worry about the time off. 
  • Additionally, if you do not get the grades you expect and thus do not get a place on your chosen course, you have the option to rethink your career options or re-sit the exams and still go to university in the scheduled year.


  • Delayed entry means you will enter the job market and receive a salary in a year. If your chosen course is long, you may want to consider it. You may need time to return to serious studies, but most students will soon catch up and start learning again.

Also Read: Best Student Cities in UK


What are the reasons I might defer my admission in the UK?

Considering a gap year or needing some extra time to prepare? There are various valid reasons why you might want to defer your UK university admission. Here are a few common ones:

1. Taking time for travel, volunteering, internships, or personal development experiences before diving into academic life.
2. If you feel your current grades aren’t strong enough, deferring can help you improve them and increase your chances of success.
3. Unexpected circumstances might require you to delay studies to solidify your finances.
4. Medical reasons may necessitate deferring your admission for recovery or treatment.
5. If your course or university choice no longer feels right, deferring allows you to re-evaluate your options.

How do I actually defer my admission in the UK?

The process for deferring your UK admission depends on whether you’ve already received an offer or not.

1. Before receiving an offer:

UCAS application – When applying through UCAS, you can select a “deferred” start date. However, it’s always best to contact the university beforehand to confirm they accept deferred applications for your chosen course.

Direct application – If applying directly to the university, check their website or contact the admissions office for their deferral procedures.

2. After receiving an offer:

Contact the university: Reach out to the admissions office or department directly to discuss your deferral request. Provide a clear explanation for your reasons and any supporting documents (e.g., doctor’s note).

Formal request: Depending on the university, you may need to submit a formal deferral request form.

What are the potential downsides of deferring my admission?

While deferring can be beneficial, it’s important to consider the potential downsides:

1. Maintaining motivation and structure during a gap year can be challenging. Plan your activities well and stay connected to academic resources.
2. Deferring means graduating a year later, which may affect your future career plans or financial aid eligibility.
3. There’s no guarantee your deferral request will be approved, especially for competitive courses.
4. Deferring might cause you to miss out on valuable university experiences like clubs, societies, or early career events.

Hopefully, this blog on how to defer admission in the UK answered all your questions about deferred entry! Confused about your study abroad plans? You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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