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New year, fresh start: Secondary intakes

Have you ever forgotten to do something meaningful and thought there would be no way of rectifying it? Or have you ever made a difficult decision that turned out to be wrong and wish you could turn back time? Well, when it comes to university, these things happen. Maybe you missed an application deadline or attended an institution that wasn’t all it was made out to be. Don’t fear. All can be rectified; it’s a new year, and you can have a fresh start with January intakes. But what are January intakes? How do they work? What are the benefits? We at Cybernews Academy are here to introduce you to your new academic journey starting in January.

What are secondary intakes?

Secondary intakes, known commonly as January intakes, are the second round of admissions that allow students already at university to change their institution, or those who haven’t already applied, to apply to university without missing out on the year. There are many reasons why students would choose to apply in January/February over the September/October intake. Students may have more time to refine their application to secure a place at their top university. Alternatively, January intakes could be your last chance to apply to your course of choice if you have previously missed the September intake.

Where in the world does secondary intake?

January or spring intakes happen worldwide, with some countries including the UK, the U.S., South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, and many European countries. However, these secondary intakes occur at different times. Some may appear in January, whereas others may occur in February.

What courses can I take in the secondary intake?

If you’re an aspiring computer science and information technology student, you will be pleased to know that many different degrees are available when applying in January. Many traditional computer science and information technology degrees will be available, with some added niche courses thrown in. But remember, what you want to study depends on what courses are on offer and where you wish to study, as each country will have a different method of organizing secondary intakes.

Teaching and learning in January

Although teaching styles and methodologies don’t tend to change too much as a result of secondary intakes, the way the course is organized will differ to compensate for lost time. Universities structure its January courses in a standard way that helps students get up to speed.

Block learning

The phenomenon of block learning is one of the best ways to help students get back on track and catch up with their peers. For example, Coventry University in the UK delivers learning in blocks, which typically last six weeks. Students will study a module or single topic within each block (at Coventry University, these blocks are worth 30 credits). Once each block is finished, you will produce coursework based on what you have been taught. This coursework will then be assessed, and you will continue to the next block if your coursework is satisfactory.

Why should I apply?

There are many reasons why students apply to university in January. It may be that they missed the initial deadline, were rejected, or just wanted to apply when there wasn’t as much competition. We at Cybernews Academy have outlined some benefits of applying in January instead of September.

Preparation time

With the January intake, you will have more time to prepare your application to give yourself the best chance of securing a place at your chosen university. This may be completing extracurricular activities, finishing projects, or gaining industry experience. For international students, this time could be spent honing their language skills by passing exams like the IELTS or any entrance examinations. This preparation period could also help you adjust to university life as you have more time to prepare yourself mentally and financially.

Class sizes

As fewer students apply in January, there is the potential for smaller class sizes. This could eliminate larger classes with stretched tutors who struggle to give you the attention you deserve during your years in higher education. You could receive personalized lessons from professors, cultivate deeper relationships with fellow students, and engage in concentrated discussions about industry problems. Smaller classes make you feel like your voice is heard while allowing others to confidently challenge your opinions.

Visa application process

If you are an international student, applying in January could make your application process more manageable. As fewer people are applying for university, there may be fewer people applying for visas. Therefore, there may be quicker processing times and higher acceptance rates.


You may find it easier to locate accommodation in January as fewer students will be applying to university, and those who have applied in September will have already settled in. With many students moving out of campus accommodation and private rentals, more options may be available in January.

Access to niche courses

Not all courses will participate in January intakes, so you must be careful when applying. However, an array of niche courses often require a January application. This means you can explore a range of exceptional degrees that may otherwise not be available in September.

Better chances of being accepted

With fewer competitors against you in January, you may be more likely to be accepted as there is a lower volume of applicants. As spots are limited, it may be the best option to apply in January as the probability of getting into a highly competitive program with fewer applicants applying is higher.

Transfer your credits

If you plan on changing universities, you can transfer your credits (and debts) over in the January term without losing your place in the year. This means you won’t have to start over again, and your progress isn’t lost.

The secondary intake process isn’t as complex as it may appear (I know, I thought it was, too). Really, January intakes are just a second coming, which allows you to take charge of your academic journey without feeling the pressure of applying when everyone else is. This time will enable you to get your documentation, information, and personal affairs in order before entering one of the most transformative moments in your life. By applying in January, you could capitalize on all the brilliant things this period offers. Fewer competitors, more accommodation options, less visa stress, smaller class size, and niche computing course options. All is not lost if you miss the deadline or decide to switch universities. In fact, more is to be gained if you choose to apply in January. This new year means a chance at a new academic journey. Be a part of the cohort of January 2024. What are you waiting for?