Gap years are an extremely popular alternative to entering university straight from school, in 2020 29,360 students deferred their university places for a year. Taking a gap year is a fantastic way to get real world experience, travel, gain valuable work experience, learn new skills, and decide on your next steps.
You can choose to defer your course for a year whilst applying, or after you’ve received your results the summer before you’re due to start studying. If you decide you’d like to take a gap year and defer your course after accepting a place at university you will need to contact the university directly.
How do you defer your place after you’ve accepted it?
Not all universities and courses allow students to defer their places so it’s really important you check directly with your university to see what the situation is. The university might not be running the course the following year or may have changed the syllabus. The university will ask you why you’d like to defer your place, and will consider your application, there is no guarantee that they will accept your deferral.
If you’re sure you want to take a gap year and your university does not accept your deferral request you will need to reapply in the following UCAS admissions cycle. There’s also no guarantee that the same university will award you a place the following year.
Can you defer your university place through Clearing?
If you gain a university place through Clearing you will not be able to then defer that place for one year. Clearing is just for students looking to begin their studies the same year but missed their original choice, changed their mind, or are submitting a late application. If you choose to defer, you will have to give up that place, and reapply in the UCAS admissions cycle, or wait until the following year’s Clearing. It’s recommended that you apply during the admissions cycle, as there’s no guarantee that universities will have places on their courses during Clearing the following year?
How many times can you defer your course?
Universities usually let you defer for one year only, but they sometimes may let you defer more than once depending on your circumstances. This will depend on the availability of the course and the institution, speak directly with your university to find out more.
Not sure how to spend your gap year? Read this