The CATCH System
Accepting an offer
Declining an offer
Withdrawing your application
Changing your institution or course choice
Changing the information on your application
False statements or omissions
What happens if you are unsuccessful


If you have decided that you are eligible to apply for a course you may be interested to know what will happen to your application.

The CATCH System processes all applications from initial enquiry for course information through to placement of successful applicants. It consists of three phases: the enquiry phase; the application phase; the clearing pool phase.

In response to your letter CATCH sends out this application pack. Your enquiry will have been recorded on the CATCH System.

The application phase begins once CATCH receives your completed form and reference. If the reference is not received within 21 days from receipt of the form we will contact you.

We will check your form to ensure you have provided all the essential information. If there is any problem at this stage we will write to you.

CATCH sends a copy of the application to your first Higher Education Institution preference, assuming that you meet its entry criteria. The institution will then examine the form, decide whether to process it further, and may invite you to attend an interview. At this time the institution staff communicate directly with applicants, making any necessary arrangements and telling you the outcome. Successful applicants will liaise directly with the institution.

Candidates meeting the UKCC minimum requirements may sometimes be accepted by institutions on a conditional basis (eg awaiting results of exams). When this happens processing stops until the conditions are met. Applicants have the option to hold at this point or may withdraw from the institution and have their application sent to their next available choice. If you choose to withdraw and are unsuccessful at your other choices it may not be possible to be reconsidered by your first choice.

Should your application be unsuccessful at your first Higher Education Institution, CATCH will send your form to your next choice, if possible, until all your chosen institutions have had the opportunity to consider your form. If you are still unsuccessful, CATCH may invite you to enter the Clearing Pool.

Please note that from time to time institutions will not accept applications due to the large numbers received for certain courses. Applicants will be advised of this only when it affects their first choice. In this situation you can have your form held on file until your first choice is available or you can make an alternative first choice. CATCH can only guarantee that your application will be considered by one institution.

The Clearing Pool provides applicants with an opportunity to choose the remaining institutions (ie the institutions chosen should only be the ones which have not previously considered your application). CATCH may write to you to invite you to join the Clearing Pool where there is a possible match between your application and places still available at the time.



The offer of a place on a course is made by the Higher Education Institution directly to the applicant. The institution will inform CATCH when you have written to accept the offer.

Before you accept an offer of a place you should be aware that you will be expected to complete the course at that institution. A transfer to another institution is often not possible.



Should you decline the Higher Education Institution's offer of a place you should inform both the institution and CATCH and we will continue to process your application until such time as all options have been considered unless you inform us to the contrary.



Should you wish to withdraw your application at any stage, please inform CATCH immediately in writing. We will then inform any institution currently considering your application and/or those who have made you an offer that you have now withdrawn. It is important that you inform CATCH as soon as possible if you wish to withdraw so that your place may be offered to another applicant. If you wish to reapply and there has been no change of circumstances the institutions will not usually consider a second application within one year from the date that you withdrew.



It is important that you make the correct choice of Higher Education Institution and course before you submit your application as it may not be possible to change these once processing the form has commenced. If you decide that you wish to make a change to your form please write to CATCH immediately. CATCH will advise you if the change is possible.



It is important that you keep CATCH informed of any changes to the information submitted on your application form (eg additional educational qualifications, changes of address etc). Please write to CATCH with the new information and CATCH will amend your application form and notify the Higher Education Institution currently considering your form.


If CATCH or a Higher Education Institution has reason to believe that you or any other person has given false information, omitted any information requested in the instructions or the application form, has made misrepresentation therein or has omitted other material information, CATCH and/or the institution will take whatever steps considered necessary to establish whether the information given on your application form is correct.

CATCH and/or the institutions reserve the right at any stage to request that you provide further information relating to any aspect of your application form, eg proof of identification, status, academic qualifications etc.

If such information is not provided within the period stipulated by CATCH or the institutions, then CATCH reserves the right to withdraw your application from the CATCH System.

In pursuance of the prevention of fraud, CATCH reserves the right to disclose information shown on your application form to outside agencies, eg the Police, the Home Office, Local Authorities, Examining Boards, Department of Social Security, the Inland Revenue, the Student Awards Agency.

If any information on the application form changes after you have applied you are under a duty to disclose this to CATCH.



While CATCH makes every reasonable effort to process applications and convey decisions efficiently and accurately, it shall not be liable for loss or damage arising from any mistakes or delays which may occur, or for any decisions communicated to you in good faith on behalf of the Higher Education Institutions which may subsequently be amended, or for any amendment to the courses, or if an institution which has offered a place subsequently withdraws that offer for whatever reason.



CATCH only processes one application per person at a time. If you have been unsuccessful in your first attempt and your circumstances change, eg you have gained additional educational qualifications, we will ask you to submit a new form. If there has been no change of circumstances the institutions will not usually consider a second application within one year from the date all processing ended.

CATCH is never informed of the Higher Education Institution's reason for turning down an application. The decision to offer a place is at the discretion of the institution staff concerned. These staff are not required to give a reason and they are unlikely to enter into any discussion with you about their decision.

If you have an enquiry about your application we would prefer if you wrote to CATCH. If you need to telephone the number is:

Tel No: 0131 226 7999

Fax: 0131 226 2492