StudyLink logoHome
Students on a university campus

How do I apply for a university course?

Two students working on a laptop

When you have found the university and course that you would like to apply to, you may be wondering how to navigate the application process. We have put together this article to help you make your application.

Before you start your application

Before you begin the application process, you should first ensure that you meet the academic criteria to apply for your chosen course. Requirements can vary between course, and international equivalents of domestic entry requirements will usually be provided so you know how your qualifications compare. If you don’t meet academic entry requirements, you may want to consider applying for a pathway programme, which will help you get to the academic levels required.

You should also check if their are any language requirements to be met. For example, if you course is to be taught in English, their may be a required IELTS level. If you do not yet meet language requirements, you may be able to enrol on a language course at your chosen institution.

You should make sure you are aware of the tuition fees required for the course, as well as the overall costs of studying and living in the country.

Finally, you should make sure that you are ready for any key dates and deadlines of the application process. As an international student, you may have to factor in time for applying for a student visa and securing accommodation. Look for course application deadlines and try to give yourself as much time as possible.

Make sure you have the correct documentation for your application

The required documentation to apply for a course will vary between country and university, but in general it is a good idea to have the following documentation at hand before you apply:

  • Details of and scanned copies of your academic qualifications
  • Your passport
  • A personal statement outlining why you wish to apply for the course you have selected
  • References that support your application
  • Documentation of your language ability if required
  • Your education agent details, if using one

How to make your course application

Depending on the university you are applying to, there are two common ways in which you can submit your application to university:

  • Directly to the university online. Most universities have an online application system that you can sign up to. You will be asked to complete text fields covering particulars such as personal statements and references. You will also be able to add scans of personal statements and any relevant documentation required.
  • Through an education agent. If you feel like you require additional assistance during the application process, you can enlist the help of an education agent. Your university will usually be able to supply an approved list of agents that they work with.

Scholarship applications

If you are applying for a scholarship at your university, you are likely required to submit a separate application to your course application, check this with your university.

If you have been offered financial assistance from a third party, they might require proof of an offer of study. There is likely a deadline for this, so make sure you submit your course application with enough time to allow for this.

Related topics

Search for courses now

International study advice

Read our key advice article to help you make the best decision for your education and start your International study adventure.

Person holding a compass
How to choose the ideal study destination for you

In this article we look at how to approach choosing where in the world you would like to study.

World map on a blackboard
Deciding to study abroad: The first steps

Read StudyLink's suggestions on your first steps when deciding where to study abroad, with helpful tips to make your decision easier.

Students reading a book
English Language Testing for International Students

Find out more about English language tests, your options and what is required as an overseas student.

Lady holding bank notes
How much does it really cost to study abroad in 2024? take a detailed look into the costs of studying abroad and all the aspects that you should budget for when embarking on your studies.

A visa document
10 Common Student Visa Question

We answer 10 common questions about applying for a student visa to help make your visa application quick and easy.

A visa document and a world map
International Study Visas

Find out more about international student visas for studying abroad, as well as how, where and when to apply for yours.

A piggy bank with coins
Funding and Scholarships for International Students

Find out more about funding and scholarships for international students, and what financial assistance might be available to you.

Person selecting a book from a shelf
How to choose the right course for you

How to choose a course that fits you? Check our top tips on choosing which course is best for you to help you make an informed decision.

See more international study advice

Sign up to

Sign up to, the home of quality study abroad advice.

Sign up now
Students with books and test tubes
Search for courses