UK Intakes 2024: September, January and May Intakes



Updated On 02 November 2023


Read Time 11 minutes


International students seeking a top-notch education and a diverse cultural experience frequently choose the United Kingdom as their preferred location.


The UK universities offer several intakes throughout the year, easing the application process and enrolling at these top institutes. If you are also planning on studying in the UK, you must know about the upcoming intakes in the country to be best prepared. This time of the year is crucial for the students as applications are made this time, and intakes are open. It makes this time of utmost importance if you are planning to study in UK in any of the intakes.


This blog will provide insights on the upcoming intakes in UK and will offer many different insights relevant to the topic while answering some of your frequently asked questions. So, let’s sit back and enjoy the read to understand everything better.


A little About the Intakes in UK

The UK is a top choice for many, given the high quality of education, easy application process, top universities and several intakes. So, before we talk about other things, let’s look at all the intakes in UK.


There are three intakes in UK in general. First is the September intake, which is also the primary intake in the country.  September/October intake is the most popular intake for international students to study in UK.


Second is the January intake, the secondary intake in the UK and offers several selected courses. This alternative intake allows students to begin their studies in the middle of the academic year and still benefit from the same educational resources and support as those who start in September.


Third is the May intake, also referred to as the tertiary intake in the UK, and only a number of universities offer courses in this intake. It is not a very popular intake, and you must check the availability of your chosen program before planning and applying.


Let's look at the application duration and deadline associated with each intake.

Intake Name

Duration of the Intake

Application Timeline 

September Intake/Fall Intake

September to December


January Intake 

January to April


May Intake 

May to August


Note: The application timeline is tentative and might vary depending on the university and the program you’re applying to.


Why Study in any of the Intakes in UK?

The UK is a popular study-abroad destination, and the September intake is the major intake. Let’s look at why you should study in three intakes in UK.


Why Choose the September Intake in UK?

The September or the fall intake is the most popular intake in UK. The biggest reason you can choose this intake is the availability of all the courses. All the universities open admission to all their courses in this intake and have the most available resources.


No matter which university you wish to gain admission to, the September intake in UK has them all. Additionally, being the biggest intake also means you’ll have major opportunities on both personal and professional levels in the UK.


Why Choose the January Intake in UK?

While the September or Fall intake is the priority of students when planning to study in the UK. But sometimes, you might not get admission, reject your visa, or miss the deadline. In this case, the January intake is perfect as it serves as an alternative intake in the UK and offers many options.


The January intake in UK gives you enough time to choose the course that suits you the best. Check whether the course you wish to study is available in the January intake. Additionally, since the January intake in UK is not the primary intake, it gives you a better opportunity to get accepted to the university of your choice due to a lower competition rate. It is easy to stand out in this intake with a decent profile.


Why Choose the May Intake in UK?

While the majority of the students choose the September or the January intake, the May intake in UK can offer promising options if your program is offered in this intake in UK.


This intake provides ample time to take preparatory courses if you are offered a conditional offer letter and still need to meet any eligibility criteria. Again, because this intake is the tertiary intake, the accommodation options are cheaper than if you move to the UK in the fall intake or January intake.


As the expected course completion date is likely to place them in the market for newly trained and qualified hires at the right moment, students applying during the May intake in UK will likely gain equal benefits to those applying in September, if not more.


Top Universities to Study in UK

The UK is home to many of the top universities in the world, from the University of Cambridge to the University of London.


Let's look at what universities offer admission in all of these intakes in UK so that you can shortlist and apply accordingly.

  • University of Oxford

  • University of Cambridge

  • University College London

  • University of London

  • London Business School

  • University of the Arts London

  • University of Edinburg 

  • Cardiff University

  • Manchester Metropolitan University 

  • The University of Leeds 

  • Birbeck University of London 

  • Queens’s University Belfast

  • The City University of London 

  • Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Northumbria University 

  • The University of Birmingham 

  • Brunel University

  • The University of Stirling 

  • The University of Leeds 

  • The Queen Mary University of London 

  • Middlesex University

  • Aston University 

  • The University of Liverpool

  • University of Portsmouth 

  • Bedfordshire University

  • Wrexham Glyndwr University

  • Newcastle University

  • Sheffield Hallam University

  • The University of Liverpool 

  • The University of Lincoln 

  • University of South Wales

  • University of Central Lancashire 

  • University of Brighton 

  • University of Greenwich 

  • University of Derby 

  • University of Buckingham 

  • University of Strathclyde

  • University of Glasgow 

  • London Metropolitan University

  • Bournemouth University 

  • University of Kent 

  • University of Hertfordshire 

  • University of Aberdeen

  • Bangor University 

  • University of Bolton 

  • Keele University 

  • University of Leicester 


Top Courses to Study in UK

Some of the top courses in all of the intakes in UK 2024 for international students to choose from are listed below.

  • Business Administration 

  • Business Analytics 

  • Engineering 

  • Architecture 

  • Film Studies 

  • Medicine 

  • Economics 

  • Art Direction 

  • Journalism 

  • Publishing

  • Data Science 

  • Accounting 

  • Marketing 

  • Management Studies 

  • Computing 

  • Artificial Intelligence 

  • Civil Engineering 

  • Finance

  • Engineering Management

  • International Business Management 

  • Law

  • LLM Criminal Justice 

  • Criminology 

  • Design 

  • Biotechnology 

  • Linguistics and TESOL 


Timeline to Apply for the Intakes in UK 2024

Each intake is unique in its sense and offers various things to various people depending on their needs. Before applying, you should verify the deadlines for all the intakes in UK or the one you are aiming for. 

Timeline to Follow to Apply in Intakes in UK 

1 year prior to application dates

Start researching various countries and choose the one you wish to study in. 

9-10 months prior to the application date 

By this time, start researching universities and courses and shortlist them based on whichever suits your needs the best. 

6-8 months prior to the application date

Start preparations for your applications. Gather all the documents required to make the application. 

3-5 months prior 

By this time, you will hear back from the universities you applied to. Based on what decision you heard from the universities you applied to, choose the one you will join to study in UK. 

1-2 months prior. 

Pay the fees associated with your chosen program at the university and complete all the remaining requirements. Look for accommodation options and decide on that too. 

10-15 days prior to commencement of the program

Fly to the UK and flourish in your academic pursuits. 

To help you understand things better, we have provided the basic timeline for the January intake 2024. Check it out!  

Timeline for January Intake 2024 to Study in UK 


In this time period, you must start researching and shortlisting universities based on the course you wish to study. Also, carefully read all the eligibility criteria of the shortlisted universities. 


In this time period, you must prepare and appear for all the English language proficiency or any other entrance exam and fulfil the required score requirements. 

August -September 

By August and September, you must gather all the documents you must submit to the university at the time of application. You must also start applying to the shortlisted universities. 


Generally, universities send offer letters during this period. So, wait for the admission conditional or unconditional offer letter. Accept the one that aligns the best with your requirements. 

November -December 

If you require financial funding to study at the university you received an offer letter from, then in this period, you must start looking for a scholarship. You must also make accommodation arrangements and start all the necessary preparations for your departure. 


Fly to the UK and start your study abroad endeavour. 

Note: The above timeline is just an attempt to make you understand the sequence of events and how you should manage all the preparations. This may vary depending on you or your institute and other factors.


If you have already appeared for the English language proficiency tests, this process gets shortened. But you must adjust if you need additional time to prepare for language or any other exam.



To conclude, intakes in UK are the window to many opportunities and starting your academic journey to study in UK. The three intakes, September, January, and May, serve as the perfect options to apply to various programs in the UK. If you wish to study in UK in 2024, you must start preparing and apply within the set deadline. Plan accordingly and keep the university mentioned above on the list while applying for the intakes in UK. We wish you luck in all your future endeavours!



Q. Is there a January intake in UK universities?

A. Yes, many UK universities offer January intake to international students for various courses. You can check these universities mentioned above and get complete details on their official website.


Q. When should I apply for September intake in UK?

A. September intake applications for UK universities start between September to December. Deadlines vary according to the university and are mentioned on the website. You should prepare your documents before September and apply as soon as possible.


Q. Is the May intake in UK good?

A. The May intake in UK is a good option for students who missed the fall or winter intake. Many universities are offering a wide variety of courses for students to choose from. It is the perfect solution for not wanting to waste one more year waiting for the fall or winter intake and starting your studies in the UK. Additionally, the May intake is ideal for you if you wish to study in UK but require additional time to complete extracurricular activities or entrance exams.


Q. How to apply for the January 2023 intake in UK?

A. First, select the course and the university you wish to apply to. Then, check the eligibility criteria and list of prerequisites. You can apply through the university’s website or UCAS or seek help from our expert study abroad counsellors.


We hope you had an insightful read about the upcoming intakes in UK. If you would like to get a deeper insight into how to study in UK, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad journey.


Get help with the application process, SOPs and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011.

blog meet

Get the best study abroad guidance

blog meet

Get the best study abroad guidance

Book Your Online Counselling Session

Meridean overseas whatsappChat