Analysis of UCAS data: acceptances of undergraduate offers in Business & Administrative Studies

The Chartered ABS has produced its first ever analysis of the UCAS end of cycle data based on applicant acceptances of offers for full-time undergraduate programmes in the subject of ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ over the period of 2018 to 2020. This benchmarking analysis presents data on the average change in applicant acceptances over the last year and the proportion of institutions seeing rises or falls. The report also contains data on acceptances by institution incorporation type and affiliation, institution region/nation and applicant domicile. The report offers an indication of the likely change in enrolments in UK business schools for the forthcoming academic year of 2021/22. Some of the key findings from the report are below:

Total acceptances

In ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ total acceptances increased by 5% year-on-year which is the same as the average across all subject areas. For acceptances of UK domiciled applicants in 2020, the rate of annual growth in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ was 2%, which is below the 5% average increase for all subject areas, but for non-EU applicants, acceptances grew by 23% which is ahead of the 17% growth for all subjects. Acceptances of EU applicants fell by 3% year-on-year compared to growth of 1% for all subjects.

Acceptances by institution type

Of all the universities offering undergraduate courses in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ through UCAS, 57% reported an increase in acceptances for the 2020 cycle. Three-quarters of the pre-92 institutions saw an increase in total acceptances for the 2020 cycle as did 42% of the post-92s. For the pre-92 institutions there was on average a 24% increase in acceptances compared to the 2019 cycle and for the post-92s institutions there was on average an 8% increase.

Acceptances by nation of institution

For the 2020 cycle total accepted offers for ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ programmes in England increased by 5% year-on-year, and 58% of English institutions saw a higher number of accepted offers than in 2019. Institutions in Scotland saw acceptances increase by 4% but they are very marginally below the level seen in 2018. The number of acceptances of offers made by institutions in Wales has fallen in each of the last two years.

Acceptances by applicant domicile and institution

For UK domiciled applicants, 60% of institutions saw increased acceptances in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ for the 2020 cycle compared to 2019 and one-third of institutions recorded increased acceptances for EU applicants. For non-EU applicants, the proportion of institutions seeing increased acceptances declined from 57% for the 2019 cycle to 51% for 2020, despite an overall year-on-year increase of 23% in total acceptances for this domicile.

If you have any questions about the report and how it might be useful for your business school please email Ramin Bokaian (

Read the full report here.