Consider what YOU really want.  Your firm choice should be the university and/or course which sparks the most excitement. If you’re not excited by the course, then when you’ve got a lot of work to do you’re unlikely to be able to stay motivated to do the work and will fall behind. You don’t get to choose between your choices on results day so listing an unconditional offer as a firm choice means you will be going to that university, unless you withdraw your application. 

Before committing to listing an unconditional offer as your firm choice, make sure you have made every effort to visit an applicant or open day to get a real feel for the learning environment and opportunities on offer from your chosen course/university.  


Think about… the University

  • Do you want to study there for 3 to 4 years+? 
  • Can you afford to live there for 3 to 4 years+?  
  • What are the living costs for accommodation in student halls?  
  • What are the rent prices like if you need to move out of student halls?  
  • What will commuting from your accommodation to your lectures be like?  
  • What are the facilities on campus like?  
  • Are there shops for food and essentials nearby?  
  • Is the social life suited to you?  
  • Does the university have the pastoral support you require? 

Think about… the course

  • Does the course contain the modules you are really passionate about or interested in?  
  • Can you envision yourself being engaged in lessons and motivated to attend?  
  • Would this course facilitate your future career? (Consider things like accreditation by professional bodies)
  • Are there any course field trips or placements available? Employability and practical skills perfectly complement theoretical knowledge to prepare you for the world of work!

Other things to consider…

  • You do not get an insurance choice if you put an unconditional offer as your firm choice. This means that you will go to that firm choice university.  
  • You may not be able to enter Clearing or Adjustment as you were ‘guaranteed’ a place.

Considering conditional offers  

Will you be able to achieve the grades set out in the conditions of your offer?  

If you don’t quite make the grades, you can sometimes still be accepted but it is not guaranteed and you should not rely on this. 

If you don’t get your place you can go through Clearing and Adjustment. 

If you choose a conditional offer as your firm choice, you will also get to choose an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you do not meet the terms of the offer/get accepted by your first choice. You DO NOT get to choose between a firm and an insurance on Results’ Day. 


Whilst unconditional offers do take the pressure off your exams, DO NOT LET YOUR STUDIES SLIDE! Your grades stay with you FOREVER as they will be on your CV for jobs, etc.  

If you let your grades drop, go to your unconditional choice and find out you don’t like it and drop out but want to go back to university in the future, you will need to reapply. With low achieved grades, you may not receive an offer.  

Don’t forget

There may be additional actions you might be required to gain an unconditional offer, such as list them as your firm choice, complete a DBS check, provide further proof of your qualifications, meet a financial/residential/medical requirement, etc. 

Keep a close eye on your emails and UCAS Track to receive relevant instruction from the universities.  

More information available from UCAS.