UK Intakes 2024: September, January and May Intakes

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Over the years, the United Kingdom has gained immense popularity among Indian students who wish to pursue their education abroad. In 2023, the country witnessed a significant rise of 54% in the number of study visas issued. 

The UK offers two important intakes in January and September, attracting thousands of students yearly. Additionally, a few universities in the UK also provide a May intake, catering to students who missed the first two intakes.

When selecting the intake for pursuing education in the UK, several factors, like course options and scholarship availability, come into play. The UK intakes are classified into three categories.

The primary intake witnesses the highest number of students and is held in September. The second most preferred option is the secondary intake, which offers limited courses. The last intake, which has a few university and course options, is the least preferred among all UK intakes.

UK IntakesDurationApplications open
September Intake/Fall IntakeSeptember to DecemberDecember-July
January Intake/Winter IntakeJanuary to AprilSeptember-November
May Intake/Spring IntakeMay to AugustOctober-November

It’s essential to choose the best intake. Your intake affects study costs, course choices, scholarships and career opportunities. This blog is a comprehensive guide about UK intakes to help you make an informed decision.

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UK Intakes: September/Fall Intake

Over the years, the United Kingdom has gained immense popularity among Indian students who wish to pursue their education abroad. In 2023, the country witnessed a significant rise of 54% in the number of study visas issued. 

The UK offers two essential intakes in January and September, attracting thousands of students yearly. Additionally, a few universities in the UK also provide a May intake, catering to students who missed the first two intakes.

When selecting the intake for pursuing education in the UK, several factors, like course options and scholarship availability, come into play. The UK intakes are classified into three categories, namely,

  • September Intake
  • January Intake
  • May Intake

The primary intake witnesses the highest number of students and is held in September. The second most preferred option is the January Intake, which offers limited courses. May (last) intake has a few university and course options and is the least popular among all UK intakes.

UK IntakesDurationApplications open
Fall IntakeSeptember to DecemberDecember-July
Winter IntakeJanuary to AprilSeptember-November
Spring IntakeMay to AugustOctober-November

It’s essential to choose the most suitable intake for you as your intake affects study costs, course choices, scholarships and career opportunities. This blog is a comprehensive guide about UK intakes 2024-25 to help you make an informed decision.

UCAS Deadline

UCAS is the UK’s centralised university application system, responsible for processing applications to higher education courses in the UK. It is run by a non-profit organisation based in Cheltenham, England. The deadline for undergraduate courses through UCAS for the September/Fall Intake in 2024-25 is 31st January 2024.

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UK Intakes 2024: September, January and May Intakes

UK Intakes: September/Fall Intake

It’s no secret that the fall/autumn intake, also known as the September intake in the UK, is a crucial enrollment period for universities looking to attract scores of international student applications. 

A whopping 80% of all applicants prefer this intake. This preference is mainly due to the availability of a broader range of options, making it easier for students to pursue their desired courses at their dream universities.

  1. Usually, the application window for this intake begins in December and concludes in July.
  2. It is important to note that UCAS has set the application deadline for undergraduate courses to 31st January 2024.
  3. Also, for postgraduate or master’s courses, the application deadlines may vary.
  4. As a result, it’s recommended that applicants research and consult to determine the final application date for their desired course.

Benefits of UK Fall Intake:

International students prefer this UK Intake for several reasons. 

  • Fall intake is the most popular and primary intake in the UK, offering a full campus experience and access to university services from the start.
  • Students starting in the fall have a higher chance of securing on-campus housing and can gradually adjust to the cultural and academic environment before winter.
  • Fall intake allows students to take advantage of summer internships and provides ample time for visa processing, reducing the likelihood of last-minute complications.
  • It aligns with the academic year in the UK, which starts in September. 
  • Secondly, it provides ample time for students to settle in before the start of the academic year. 
  • One of the benefits of applying for this intake is that it gives students access to a more significant number of courses, as many courses are only available in the fall semester. 
  • Additionally, the weather during this period is generally better compared to the winter and spring semesters.
  • The fall intake offers the highest number of scholarships and bursaries, making it an excellent opportunity for students to reduce expenses.

Famous Universities for UK Fall Intake

Most of the renowned universities in the UK offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs during this UK Intake. Some examples of these universities include: 

Popular Courses for UK Fall Intake

The September intake, the primary start of the academic year, offers a wide range of courses in almost all UK universities. 

Let’s look at some popular courses in the UK Fall Intake:

CoursesAverage Tuition Fees
BSc in Computer ScienceINR 20,00,000- INR 30,00,000
BEng in EngineeringINR 27,00,000- INR 45,00,000
BA in Graphic DesignINR 16,00,000-INR 25,00,000
Full-time MBAINR 27,00,000- INR 38,00,000
MSc in Data ScienceINR 27,00,000-35,00,000

Timeline for the UK Fall Intake 2024

The admission timeline to UK universities offering September intake has already started. Let me provide you with a breakdown of the schedule.

Months Timeline
April to May 2023You can shortlist universities and gather relevant information, such as deadlines and requirements, by visiting university websites.
June to December 2023It’s important to get ready for standardised tests such as GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or IELTS based on the specific program requirements of the universities you have selected.
While you’re waiting, it would be good to start preparing your Statement of Purpose (SOP) for the UK. You should also begin collecting various documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. 
December 2023 to July 2024  The next step is to fill out and submit the application form for the selected universities. You must also send in the required documents per the university’s guidelines.
April 2024 to July 2024After submitting your applications, you must wait for the universities to respond. Once you receive the university offer letters, you can choose the one that meets your preference.
After finalising the university, you must apply for education loans and scholarships if required. 
June to August 2024Start applying for a UK Student Visa after receiving the offer letter.
August 2024Time to book your tickets!
Note: These figures are approximate and fluctuate based on currency exchange and university.

UK Intakes: January/Winter Intake

In the UK, the January or winter intake is considered a secondary admission option for students who missed the deadline for the primary September intake. While there are typically fewer universities and courses available during this intake, it provides an alternative opportunity for students who need more time to prepare or want to start their studies earlier.

  • The application window for the UK Fall Intake usually begins in September and concludes in November.
  • UCAS has set the application deadline for undergraduate courses to 31st January 2024.
  • For postgraduate or master’s courses, the application deadlines may vary.
  • Applicants must complete their application process well before the deadline to ensure a smooth and hasslefree admission process.

Benefits of UK Winter Intake

The winter intake is an excellent opportunity for students who missed the primary Fall intake application deadline. Here are some benefits of the winter intake:

  • Students can catch up on their classes without taking a gap year.
  • Since the academic year starts much later, students get more time to prepare their applications.
  • The number of applications is relatively fewer than the Fall intake, so getting accepted is comparatively easier.
  • The winter intake offers another chance for students who missed the application deadline in the primary fall intake.
  • It is less competitive, making it convenient for students to plan well and apply.

Famous Universities for UK Winter Intake

Many universities take both winter and fall Intake, and even other than that, you have plenty of options. Here is a list of UK universities offering a January intake:

  1. University of East Anglia
  2. University of Leeds
  3. University of South Wales
  4. University of Lincoln
  5. Oxford Brooks University 
  6. University of Sussex
  7. University of Bradford

Popular Courses for UK Winter Intake

The winter intake offers a range of popular courses for students who missed the primary Fall intake application deadline. 

CoursesAverage Tuition Fees
BA (Hons) in Business ManagementINR 14L to 40L
BA (Hons) Marketing ManagementINR 25L to 45L
MSc Marketing INR 19L to 30L
MSc Banking and Finance INR 32L to 45L
MSc Management INR 29 to 49L
Note: These figures are approximate and fluctuate based on currency exchange and university.

Additionally, the winter intake offers smaller class sizes, more personalised attention, and greater flexibility in scheduling, making it an attractive option for students who require a more tailored learning experience.

Timeline for the UK Winter Intake 2024

The admission timeline for UK universities offering January intake has already started. Let me provide you with a breakdown of the schedule.

Months Timeline
April to June 2023You can shortlist universities and gather relevant information, such as deadlines and requirements, by visiting university websites.
June to September 2023Preparing for standardised exams like GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS is crucial as per the program prerequisites of the colleges you intend to apply to.
While you’re waiting, start preparing your Statement of Purpose (SOP) for the UK. You should also begin collecting various documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. 
August to September 2023  The next important step for UK Intakes is to fill out and submit the application form for the selected universities. You must also send in the required documents per the university’s guidelines.
October to November 2023Make sure to reply to the emails before the deadline and participate in the selection process. Once you receive an offer from the universities, select the one you want to attend and accept their offer.
October to December 2023After finalising the university, you must apply for education loans and scholarships if required. 
Start applying for a UK Student Visa after receiving the offer letter.
December 2023 to January 2024Time to book your tickets!

UK Intakes: Spring/May Intake

In the UK, the May or Spring intake is not very popular among students as most prefer spring break. This has resulted in only a few universities offering limited degree options during this period. However, this also means that the competition is relatively less, giving applicants a higher chance of acceptance. 

  • Not all colleges and universities offer the May intake, so applying early is essential, preferably in January or February.
  • The April/May intake is less competitive than the September and January intakes.
  • UCAS has set the application deadline for undergraduate courses to 31st January 2024 for the September/Fall intake.
  • Application deadlines may vary for postgraduate or master’s courses.
  • Completing the application process well before the deadline is highly recommended to ensure a smooth and hassle-free admission process

Benefits of UK Spring Intake

The Spring intake is an opportunity for students who missed the other UK Intakes. Let’s look at some benefits of the Spring Intake:

  • Completing studies earlier in this intake can help students save money on living expenses and start their careers sooner.
  • You can enjoy your break during this period.
  • The May intake has minimal competition as fewer students apply, resulting in higher acceptance chances.
  • Smaller class sizes and more attention from faculties are benefits of the May intake due to the smaller number of applications.

Popular Universities for UK Spring Intake

Here is a list of UK universities offering a Spring intake:

Popular Courses for UK Spring Intakes

Here is the list of most popular courses for both Masters and Bachelors programs in UK Spring Intakes:

CoursesAverage Tuition Fees
BA in PsychologyINR 29L to 40L
BA in Business ManagementINR 12L to 20L
BA (Hons) Marketing ManagementINR 15L to 20L
MA Criminology and SociologyINR 18L to 25L
Full-Time MBAINR 25L to 40L
Note: These figures are approximate and fluctuate based on currency exchange and university.

Timeline for the UK Spring Intake 2024

  • The timeline for the UK Spring Intake 2024 will depend on the specific university and program you are applying to.
  • Applications for Spring intake in the UK usually open around September or October of the previous year.
  • The application submission deadline for Spring intake is typically in November or December.
  • Admissions decisions for Spring intake are usually made between January and February.
  • Students can expect to begin their studies in January or February of 2024 if accepted.
  • It’s important to check with your chosen university for their timeline and deadlines.

UK Intakes: Availability of Courses 

Since September is the main intake, it has the most course options. All the popular courses, including MBA, LLM, Engineering and Medical courses, are available for the September UK intake. 

January intake is the next best option, with 30% course availability. Though it is comparatively much less than the September intake, you still have many courses to choose from. 

May intake has fewer courses, but it can still be a good backup if you miss the first two intakes. However, be sure to check the course with your university before you prepare for this UK intake. 

Now, let’s look at the different UK Intakes and their availability of courses.

UK IntakesNature of the intake% of courses available 
September Intake/Fall IntakePrimary Intake90%
January Intake/Winter IntakeSecondary Intake30%
May Intake/Spring IntakeTertiary/Least preferred10%
Note: It is important to note that the percentages are approximate.

When to Apply for UK Intake 2024: A Timeline 

UK universities have strict deadlines for admissions. Your responsibility is to keep an eye on the dates and apply early. Remember, early applications have their advantages!

If you plan to apply to one of the UK intakes, our experts can give you a clear picture of what you should do next. So, book a free call with them if you haven’t already!

In the meantime, here’s an approximate timeline for applications. 

1 year beforeDo your research and choose a country
9-8 months beforeResearch and gather information about universities. Shortlist them based on your requirements, or let us do it for you! 
7-6 months beforeStart preparing your application. Take all the exams you need to.
Prepare your Letter of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose and gather all documents. 
5-3 months beforeReceive offers from universities, and take your time to make a decision. Apply for a student visa
2-1 month beforePaying your fees/deposit. Look for accommodation options.

Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Application

Do’s: 

  1. Start your research well in advance. Ensure that the university and course you pick match your interests and career goals.
  2. Start preparing for your application early. You’ll need time to gather all the documents and to prepare your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letter of Recommendation (LOR).
  3. Customise your personal statement according to the university you are applying to.
  4. Double-check your application and make sure your details are accurate. 
  5. Contact the university if you have any queries about the admission process.
  6. Apply early! 

Dont’s: 

  1. Don’t apply to too many universities. Shortlist universities after careful consideration. If you are in doubt, always consult experts. 
  2. Don’t plagiarise your personal statements and other documents. Ensure that all the information in your application is accurate. 
  3. Don’t hold yourself back from applying for scholarships. It can reduce a lot of your expenses. 
  4. Try not to panic about the deadlines. Create a to-do list every day to stay ahead of your schedule. 
  5. Don’t ignore the importance of the English Language. Your English proficiency test scores like IELTS, PTE and TOEFL, add much value to your overall profile. 

How to Choose the Suitable UK Intake 

Choosing the right intake is crucial for admission, and the right UK intake depends on your requirements. Ensure the UK intake you select allows you adequate time to prepare your application and take all the admission examinations. Never apply in a hurry! 

Here are some key points to keep in mind when considering the different intakes for studying in the UK:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the academic calendar in the UK and choose an intake that aligns with your academic and personal timeline.
  2. Check if the course you want to study is available in the intake you are considering.
  3. Remember the time it takes to process a student visa and apply well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.
  4. Consider any work opportunities that may be available during or after your studies.
  5. Take into account the climate in the UK during different seasons.
  6. Accommodation availability can vary depending on the intake, so plan accordingly.
  7. Be aware of scholarship and funding deadlines, which may differ depending on the intake.
  8. Consider the time you need for any pre-departure preparations.
  9. Check if the university offers orientation programs at the beginning of each intake.
  10. If you plan to work part-time during your studies, research the UK’s job market and peak hiring seasons.
  11. Look into any significant events around when you plan to start your studies.
  12. Consider any personal commitments or events that may influence your decision..

If you still need clarification about the UK intakes, LeapScholar has hundreds of experts to help you pursue your dream education abroad. Connect with us to start your journey. 

To sum up

Selecting the proper UK intake in 2024 is pivotal for a successful academic journey. September offers many courses with ample time for settling in, while January boasts lower competition and personalised attention. Despite being less favoured, May provides flexibility and access to summer opportunities. 

To choose wisely, consider course availability, personal preferences, and finances. Adhering to application deadlines and understanding UCAS requirements is crucial. This comprehensive guide equips students with insights into each intake, aiding them in making informed decisions for a fulfilling UK academic experience in 2024. Explore, plan, and embark on your educational adventure with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What is the primary intake in the UK?

    A. The primary intake in the UK is usually in September/October. This is when most universities start their academic year and welcome new students. Some universities may have additional intakes in January or May, but September/October intake is the most common. It’s best to check with the specific university or program for their available intake periods.

  • Q. Are MBA programs available in the May intake? 

    A. MBA programs are available in the May intake at some universities in the UK, but it varies by institution. While most MBA programs have a September/October intake, some universities offer additional intakes in January or May. It’s best to check with the specific university or program for their available intake periods.

  • Q. What is the application deadline for the September intake?

    A. The application deadline for the September intake varies depending on the level of study. For undergraduate programs, the deadline is usually between October and January, which is determined by UCAS. It is important to check with the specific institution and program to ensure you meet their application deadline. It is recommended to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of admission and to allow enough time for processing your application.

  • Q. Which intake is better among all UK intakes?

    A. September intake is typically the primary intake for UK universities and offers the most courses across all levels of study. However, if you missed the September deadline, January intake is an excellent alternative. It offers a reduced number of courses, but it provides students with an opportunity to start their studies early without taking a gap year.

  • Q. When can I apply for the fall 2024 intake in the UK?

    A. To expand on what you mentioned earlier, the fall application deadline typically ends in January for most universities in the UK. This means that students who wish to enrol in the fall intake must submit their applications by January to be considered for admission. The admission process occurs between February and August, and students receive their offers during this time. You can always apply for the next intake if you miss the fall application deadline.

  • Q. When to apply for January intake in the UK?

    A. For universities and colleges in the UK, the May intake is typically the least popular intake for international students. However, some institutions still offer programs with a May intake. The application process for the May intake usually opens between October and November, and it is important to check the specific deadlines with the institution you are interested in. Applying early can increase your chances of acceptance and give you enough time to prepare for your studies.

  • Q. When do applications open for May intake? 

    A. For universities and colleges in the UK, the May intake is typically the least popular intake for international students. However, some institutions still offer programs with a May intake. The application process for the May intake usually opens between October and November, and it is important to check the specific deadlines with the institution you are interested in. Applying early can increase your chances of acceptance and give you enough time to prepare for your studies.

  • Q. How many intakes are there in the UK?

    A. In the UK, there are typically three intakes for universities and colleges – Fall, Winter, and Spring. However, the number of intakes and the specific start dates may differ between institutions and programs. You must check with the institution you are interested in to confirm the available intakes and application deadlines.

  • Q. Do I need to provide English language proficiency test scores for the UK intakes?

    A. Yes, most universities in the UK require international students to demonstrate their English language proficiency through standardized tests such as IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum score requirements vary among institutions and programs. However, exemptions from English language tests may be granted if you have studied in an English-speaking country or if English is your first language.

  • Q. Can I apply for scholarships for UK intakes?

    A. In the UK, many universities and colleges offer local and international students scholarships. These scholarships help students cover their tuition fees and living expenses. The Fall intake, which usually starts in September, is the most popular scholarship intake. This is because universities and colleges have more funding available during this time, making it easier for students to secure financial assistance to pursue their studies. It is important to research the scholarships available and the eligibility requirements before applying to ensure you have the best chance of receiving funding.

  • Q. What is the September intake start date?

    A. This UK Intake typically begins in September, although the precise dates may differ. It is essential to confirm the specific deadlines with the institution and program you are interested in, particularly for undergraduate programs. To increase your chances of being accepted and to allow enough time for your application to be processed, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

  • Q. What are the entry requirements for UK intakes in 2024?

    A. The entry requirements for UK intakes in 2024 vary depending on the course and university you are applying to. Generally, undergraduate courses require a high school diploma or equivalent qualification, while postgraduate courses require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification.
    Additionally, international students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking tests such as IELTS or TOEFL.
    Some courses may also have specific subject requirements or work experience requirements. It’s important to check the specific entry requirements for your desired course and university before applying.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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