top of page

Decision time! Making your Firm and Insurance choices for UK Universities.

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

It’s that time of year again! By now you should have heard back from all 5 of your UCAS university choices and hopefully you will have a full house of offers! Now it is crunch time as you have to whittle it down to two; a Firm and an Insurance offer. In most cases you will have until May to make this decision but the sooner you make a choice the better, as you can then start engaging with your Firm offer regarding choices for accommodation etc.

First of all, let’s be clear what these offers mean.

Once you make a University your Firm offer, this is the university where you will go, assuming you meet the conditions of the offer. At this stage you have formed a legally binding contract with the university. If you change your mind later on you will have to ask the university to release you from this agreement.

Your Insurance offer is your back up plan. If for any reason you do not achieve the grades for your firm choice you will automatically default to your second choice. It therefore makes sense that this university has offered you lower grades than your firm offer. But, bear in mind, it still needs to be somewhere you would be happy to study for the next three or more years as there is a small chance you may end up studying there.

Need advice on making your selection – contact Carfax Education on +971 4 438 5276 or at to speak to our expert advisers.

So how do you go about selecting the final two universities?

There are various things to consider.

Grade Requirements:

When making your Firm choice you can err on the side of optimism but your insurance offer should be a safer bet. Although there will be no exams this year, the grades you are awarded will be considered the same as if you had taken the exams.

The Course:

Double check this is still the right course for you. You will have made this decision at least 6 months ago now. Review the reasons you picked these universities and make sure they are still sound. Check the courses out in detail so you are confident about what you are signing up for. Also check the contact hours - it may be less than you imagine.


Are you an exam person or better at course work? Check out how the different universities assess the courses across the degree and select a university that plays to your strengths.


You will have thought of this before but now is the time to re-evaluate if you are a city person or would you be happy in a campus environment ? They will be two very different experiences. Think about it carefully – look at the virtual tours- it is a big decision as you will be living there for the next few years.

Cost of Living:

One of the biggest stresses for students is managing their money. The cost of living varies hugely across the UK depending on where you live. Check accommodation costs, travel to University, how much it will cost to buy food and books etc. Whilst living in a big city maybe more expensive there might be more opportunities to find a part time job!

Most students love their time at university and settle happily wherever they go to study but it makes sense at this stage to review your options and work out what is going to be the best fit for you.

For help making this key decision contact Carfax Education on +971 4 438 5276 or at to speak to our Higher Education Counsellors.


bottom of page