The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS /ˈjkæs/) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. It operates as an independent charity, funded by fees charged to applicants and to universities, plus advertising income, and was formed in 1992 through the merger of the former university admissions system UCCA and the former polytechnics admissions system PCAS.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
UCAS logo
Formation1992 (1992)
TypeNon-profit NGO
Higher-education application processing
  • Prestbury, Cheltenham,
    Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ
    United Kingdom
Region served
Chief Executive
Clare Marchant
Main organ
UCAS Board
£33 million (2011)

Services provided by UCAS include several online application portals, a number of search tools and free information and advice directed at various audiences, including students considering higher education, students with pending applications to higher education institutes, parents and legal guardians of applicants, school and further education college staff involved in helping students apply and providers of higher education (universities and HE colleges).

While UCAS is best known for its undergraduate application service (the main UCAS scheme), it also operates a number of other admissions services:

  • UCAS Conservatoires - application and search service for performing arts at a UK conservatoire
  • UCAS Teacher Training (UTT) – for postgraduate teacher training schemes
  • UCAS Postgraduate – application and search facility for some postgraduate courses