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Gap years

Ideas for what you could do if you take a year out.

Taking a year out after school or college can be a great experience. There are many things you can do including:

  • travel
  • learn a new skill
  • teach English as a foreign language
  • study overseas
  • work 
  • volunteer in the UK or overseas.

Why take a gap year?

You can do anything in your gap year; it is time for you to explore and discover more about yourself. A gap year can be great for your CV; employers appreciate the experiences you gain, such as managing your time and setting and achieving personal goals. 

Deferring entry to higher education

If you do opt for a gap year, there are two ways you can approach your university application:

  • Apply as normal, in Year 13, before you do your exams, indicating on the UCAS form that you are applying for 'deferred entry'. This is usually the best option as you are available for interviews and have the support of your teachers and school to help you with your application.
  • Sit your exams, wait for the results and then submit your UCAS application. This option could be more difficult if you have decided to spend your gap year abroad - completing the UCAS form and attending university interviews at short notice will not be easy if you are abroad.

You should make clear in your personal statement the reasons for deferring your entry. If you are offered a place you can then defer it. 

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Last updated:
20 December 2021
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