Does the waiting list operate on a first come first served basis?
No, the first waiting list is not first-come-first-served. We wait until the deadline to review the applications according to the following requirements. However, when the second waiting list opens at the end of September applying early does give you a better chance of being accepted whilst still meeting the requirements specified above against all other applicants on the waiting list at that time.
If you have applied on the first waiting list and was unsuccessful, please see this question.