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Popular Academic Intakes in the UK: September, January, & May

Mar 14, 2024

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When we talk about the United Kingdom as a study destination, one thing that comes to our mind is its prestigious university with a rich history and world-class education. Every year hundreds and thousands of international students step into the country to pursue their higher education. However, one of the most important things for these global aspirants is to choose the right intake to enroll in their dream university. 

For a clear understanding, there are three intakes that are Fall (September), Summer (Winter), and Spring (Spring). The two major intakes attracting a huge influx of students are January and September. However, some universities are open to admissions during the May intake, for students who didn’t enroll in the first two intakes. And we are not done yet, this was just a glimpse, we are here to provide a comprehensive understanding. 

So, if you wish to convert your dream into reality to Study in UKlet us move ahead and understand the differences, benefits, and how to pick the best one for you. So, stay glued and don’t miss out on any point.

Table of Contents

  1. September or Fall Intake
  2. January or Winter Intake
  3. May or Spring Intake
  4. Summing Up

Three Majors Intakes in the UK: September, January, and May 

Stay vigilant regarding the UK intakes, ensuring alignment with your existing commitments and priorities before incorporating them into your schedule.

1. September or Fall Intake 

This is one of the most popular intakes among the three for international students. The reason behind this is the course options are in a plethora offered by the leading universities which enables students to choose their desired course. For a better understanding first, let us have a peek at the benefits of choosing September intake below. 

Top Benefits 

Here are some of the top benefits that will help you enroll in the September intake.

  • Better Course Availability: Many popular courses fill up quickly; enrolling in September increases the likelihood of securing a spot in the preferred program.
  • Abundance of Financial Aid:  Fall intakes boast a higher availability of scholarships and bursaries, offering students a prime chance to alleviate financial burdens. 
  • Earlier Graduation: This intake allows students to complete their programs sooner, enabling an earlier entry into the job market or further studies.
  • Strategic Preparation: Early enrollment allows for meticulous planning, preparation, and timely completion of entrance exams. 

September Intake Timeline 

IELTS PreparationJanuary, February, March, April
Take IELTS TestApril, May, June
Applications OpenSeptember, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June
Offer LettersJanuary, February, March, April, May, June
Apply for Student VisaJuly, August
Begin Your Voyage to the UKSeptember


2. January or Winter Intake

This intake in the UK is the second-best option if you miss the September intake to study bachelors or masters in UK and to pick your sought-after university. Though there are fewer choices available as compared to the previous one, you get the opportunity to prepare well for those who wish to commence their studies earlier.  

Top Benefits 

Let us explore the top benefits of enrolling in the January intake. 

  • Continuous Learning Opportunity: This allows students to progress seamlessly without a gap year, ensuring uninterrupted academic advancement.
  • Extended Application Preparation: With a delayed academic start, students gain additional time for meticulous application preparation and submission.
  • Enhanced Acceptance Rates: Fewer applications in winter make acceptance more achievable, providing students with a less competitive entry opportunity.
  • Strategic Planning Advantage: Less competition in winter facilitates strategic planning, allowing students to carefully prepare and submit applications with greater ease.

January Intake Timeline 

IELTS PreparationJune, July
Take IELTS TestJuly
Applications OpenJuly, August, September, October, November
Offer LettersAugust, September, October, November
Apply for Student VisaNovember, December
Begin Your Voyage to the UKJanuary


3. May or Spring Intake

This intake is becoming popular and is the best option for international students who have missed the September and January intakes. The choices of universities in the UK for International Students are fewer, however, one of the biggest advantages is that the competition is relatively less, giving a high prospect of acceptance. 

Top Benefits 

Since this is the last intake it has its own benefits, so let us look at them below. 

  • Tailored Academic Timing: It suits those finding January early, offering ample preparation time and an alternative entry opportunity.
  • Better Admission Chances: This intake presents much lower competition, favoring students with average profiles and enhancing admission probabilities.
  • Strategic Placement Advantage: Smaller May intake batches mean better post-graduation placement opportunities, with reduced competition during the hiring season.
  • Cost-Efficient Early Completion: Cost savings by completing studies earlier, allowing a head start in career initiation with minimized living expenses.

May Intake Timeline 

IELTS PreparationFebruary, March
Take IELTS TestMarch
Applications OpenMarch, April, May
Offer LettersJanuary, February, March, April
Apply for Student VisaMarch, April
Begin Your Voyage to the UKMay


Summing Up

As we all know there are umpteen reasons why study in UK but choosing the right intake for studying in this country is crucial, and understanding the timelines is essential for a smooth transition. The September intake offers a wide range of courses and benefits, while the January intake allows for continuous learning with reduced competition. The May intake provides tailored timing and better placement opportunities. 

We know you might still be a little confused about the dates and which university to choose and when, for that, we are always here for you at KC Overseas Education. Our UK experts ensure that your journey will be seamless toward your academic dreams.  So, with no more delays, reach out to us soon. Good luck! 

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