Deferring an entry to university

What does deferring mean?

Deferring is when you have submitted your application to attend university, and your application(s) have been approved at which point the majority of universities will allow you to accept an offer but defer your entry onto the course for a year. The majority of students that defer typically because they want to take a gap year to travel, or would prefer to work for a year, although it can be any number of reasons.

Typically universities allow those who have confirmed places to defer for a year but if you’d like to enquire about taking more than one year it’s best to call up your university directly and ask your options as each university will have a different policy.

Most universities allow students to defer their entry, but not all, and not all courses do, medicine for example is typically a tough one. 

Always call up the university you plan to accept and defer before doing so, ideally before applying if you know you want to take a gap year, and check they offer deferred entry and check the conditions. 

How to defer?

You can either request to defer entry in your initial application, if you’re doing this make sure you explain in your personal statement that you submit alongside your application exactly why you’re planning to defer your entry and where you’ll be going/what you’ll be doing. Alternatively, you can request to defer once you have confirmed offers from your chosen universities.

Once you’ve deferred you can’t revert back so make sure you think carefully about what you’d like to do.

For more info on how to defer your place, or to answer any more questions head to the UCAS page, or here for opinions.