Tips for choosing your firm and insurance undergraduate choices on UCAS

So, you’ve received an offer to study at university in the UK. Congratulations! Problem is, you are receiving more and more, and now it’s pretty difficult to decide where to go.

Arguably, making the final firm and conditional choice is one of the most difficult stages of the entire process. Luckily this article will break things down step-by-step and make that all-important choice slightly more easy for you. Our experienced UKEC Malaysia counsellors can provide more detailed guidance on this as well.


Firstly – what is a firm choice?

Firstly, it is best to know the definitions of firm choice and insurance choice. Your firm choice is your first choice, and this is the university you definitely want to attend – all being well with your exam results. Remember, once you choose this course as your firm choice you are making a formal commitment to attend this university or college, which will affect the next 3 years of your university career.

What is an insurance choice?

An insurance choice is a back-up choice to a conditional firm acceptance. Since it is a back-up, it is best to go for something with lower offer conditions. This means you’ll only attend your insurance choice course if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm. Of course, make sure that you are happy with this choice as well.

Top tips: For making your firm and insurance choices:

  1. Review-review-review:

Re-familiarise yourself with the course descriptions and modules. Are they what you want to study? Have a browse through the student satisfaction scores, graduate employment stats, Google the location and type of university. Is it where you want to study? Will you be happy? Once you have received your last decision back from the universities you’ve applied to, you will have a few weeks before replying to your offers – so don’t rush it. Hungry for more detailed information? Our UKEC Malaysia counsellors can also provide you with more detailed information about the universities, and we also have direct feedback and contact with Admissions Tutors back in the UK.

  1. Choosing a firm:

Be realistic. Be honest with yourself – can you meet the requirements of the offer? Is the offer flexible? In theory, even though the course requirements appear to be set in stone, universities will still accept “near-miss” applicants. Ask our UKEC Malaysia counsellors for more advice on choosing a firm.

  1. Choosing an insurance:

Your insurance choice is a back-up option. Meaning, it does not make any sense to pick an insurance choice with higher entry requirements than your firm choice. Also, make sure that you would be happy to go there! An insurance choice is also a commitment to that university.


Choosing a firm and insurance university choice is probably one of the most important choices you’ll make in your educational career. Key things to remember:

  • You will only attend your insurance choice course if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm choice, but do meet the conditions of your insurance.
  • You can’t switch between firm and insurance once you get your results. No ifs, no buts. So, make sure you’re happy with your firm and insurance before you confirm!
  • You must decline all other offers, so make sure that you are absolutely sure that you want to attend those universities.

How can UKEC Malaysia help in this process?

With 7 offices in the UK, and over 15 years of experience, we have experience and location-advantage. We provide free consultation services for students, (which includes visa, accommodation, and much more) even after you’ve submitted your application. We can communicate with universities swiftly and get feedback on your application status. While Malaysia sleeps, UK is awake again, meaning we can work around the clock to deal with your enquiries. Making a firm and insurance choice is an incredibly important decision for a student, and that’s why UKEC Malaysia is here to help. Book an appointment with one of our counsellors, bring along your UCAS application summary and we can help you deal with any application enquiries and provide tailored advice.

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