University clearing

What is clearing?

Clearing is a part of the UCAS application process that allows universities to fill spaces they have left for the new academic year, and for students to apply for places if they didn’t meet their offers i.e. if their final grades differ from the predicted grades.

When does clearing take place?

Typically from the beginning of July to the end of October (or the start of term).

Who can apply for clearing?

Those who:

  • Applied for universities but were not made any offers, or at least none that you wanted to accept
  • Didn’t meet the conditions of their offers i.e. got lower grades
  • Applied after the cut off date, around the end of June.

What happens next?

  • You’ll be able to see on your UCAS Track as to whether you are in Clearing or not
  • On your UCAS Track find your Clearing number, you’ll need this number when you speak to universities so they can access your UCAS application
  • Now you’ll need to find which course places are available, the most up to date list of vacancies will be available on most universities websites, and will include info such as what grades are needed and how to apply. Alternatively, UCAS will have a list of vacancies on their website, which is updated frequently
  • Don’t apply for a Clearing vacancy until you have spoken to the University, with Clearing you must contact the university directly and not UCAS, you are unlikely to be accepted if you don’t speak to hem about their Clearing course place
  • You don’t always have to apply for the same course you originally applied for, although be prepared to explain why you are changing your mind, universities will want to know
  • Once you’ve decided on the course, contacted the University directly, and applied you’ll either be offered a place, put on a reserve list, or declined. If you’re offered a place you will have a short amount of time (a day, or two) to process the application
  • To process the application you need to go onto your UCAS Track and add the university as a choice within the time frame. Only put the choice into Track if you have been given an offer, either verbal or written
  • After your chosen university has accepted your Clearing application, you will receive a letter confirming your place, and ta-dah you’ve made it
  • Don’t forget, the Clearing process moves a lot quicker than the original application process so don’t dilly dally about

For more info, head to the UCAS website, or the student room for a more detailed understanding.