A Guide To Clearing

Posted 10 Aug 2020

Results day is approaching and we know it can be a stressful time for many students that need to go through clearing. We'd like to reassure you that it doesn't need to be a daunting experience and below we have compiled how it works, when to apply and how you can take advantage. 

It's also good to bear in mind, Clearing can be useful if you've changed your mind about the course you originally applied for and want to swap for a different one. 


What is Clearing and how does it work?

The UCAS Clearing period is a second chance at getting a place at university, by pairing students that want a university place to universities with unfilled spaces. Students are able to use Clearing if you:

  • Didn’t get into your firm or insurance choices.
  • Didn’t receive any offers when you first applied for university.
  • Were unsure about university during the first round of applications and didn’t apply, so are applying for university after 30th June.
  • Changed your mind and don't want the places you've been offered (you can self-release into Clearing).
  • Got better grades than predicted (you may be able to get a place on a different course at a university that asks for higher grades).


When does clearing start?

The Clearing period starts on 6th July through to 20th October. Those students that haven't met the entry grade requirements for their chosen university courses, or haven't received an offer from a university, will automatically be entered into Clearing. 

Students with late applications (after 30th June) can also apply in this way. However, you can't apply through Clearing until you've had your exam results. 

If you decide to self-release into Clearing e.g. want to swap your choice, you can do this via UCAS Track from 6th July 2020. This will allow you to apply to a different institution. 


How to apply through clearing?

  1. Pull together a list of possible UCAS Clearing courses and universities you’re interested in. This will help you to prioritize which you want to apply for once the Clearing listings have been published (you'll find these on the UCAS or university websites).
  2. Ensure you are available on results day, so you can apply as soon as you have your results.
  3. Regularly check UCAS Track – if you become eligible, an ‘add Clearing choice’ option will appear on your UCAS Track choices screen.
  4. Consider alternative courses e.g. maximise your choice by considering a joint course with another subject instead of a single subject option.
  5. Red brick and higher ranked universities can be filled quickly, so phone possible universities as soon as the vacancies become available.
  6. Make sure you have your UCAS Clearing number at hand for any phone calls.
  7. Don't give up – if you’re not having much luck on the phone, try sending an email too!
  8. Don’t forget you only have one Clearing choice at a time


If you need any additional clearing support, please visit UCAS. Alternatively, if you've secured your place at university and are looking for student accommodation, find out what true Student Living has to offer.

Posted 10 Aug 2020