Clearing: finding a place at university
Every year, many students miss the grades for their conditional offer and find themselves without a university or college place.
If this happens to you, don't worry. You may still be able to secure a higher education place through clearing. Clearing is a process that operates between mid July and September.
Achieved your expected results
If you've only just missed your grades, contact the university or college that offered you the conditional place. There may still be opportunities on your preferred course. If the course is not full, there may be room for negotiation regarding your grades. If the university or college that gave you a conditional offer still cannot offer you a place, then you can turn to the clearing system.
If you have not received any offers, your offers have not been confirmed or you have declined the courses on your UCAS form, you may be able to take part in Clearing. You will need to check your online UCAS application form using 'Track' to see if you are eligible for Clearing as UCAS will not contact you to advise this. If you are eligible for Clearing an 'Add Clearing choice' button will appear on your Track 'choices' screen which you can use to apply for a course.
If you have difficulties accessing the UCAS website to review your application form, or have any questions about the clearing process, you can contact the UCAS Customer Service team on 0871 468 0468. See the 'Further information' section below for more details.
Better grades than expected?
UCAS have introduced the Adjustment process for students who receive better grades than they expected. It provides an opportunity for you to consider what and where you would like to study. You can find out more about the Adjustment Process and whether you are eligible on the UCAS website. The adjustment process is available from 16th August (A-Level results day) to 31st August.
Finding a course through clearing
Follow the advice below to take you through the process.
Talk through your ideas and options with a careers adviser or Connexions adviser at your school, college or local careers office. They can help you decide which courses and subjects would be most suitable for you. You don't have to stick to the subject choices you made originally - there may be other areas which might suit you better.
Look at the course vacancies available
Course vacancies throughout the UK are published on the UCAS website and in The Telegraph newspaper after the A level results have been published. The lists are updated continually, but not all universities, colleges and courses have vacancies in Clearing, and some vacancies fill up quickly! Unfortunately there is no guarantee that places will be available on any particular course but things change and a course that appears full may have vacancies later. Keep checking the vacancy list to see the latest information.
Look through the details and record the names of the courses you're interested in. Check that you meet the minimum requirements of the courses. These will be listed in the vacancy information. Think of all the questions you have about the course and why you are interested in the course. Make a list of what qualities you will bring to the course. You need this information for the next step - contacting the admissions tutor for the course.
Contact universities and colleges that interest you
Accepting an offer through clearing
Adding a clearing choice
If a university or college provisionally offers you a place in Clearing, they will give you a date by which you must enter their course details on the UCAS 'Track' system. If you want to be formally considered, you need to select the 'Add Clearing choice' button and enter the course details. You can only enter details for one choice so only enter a Clearing choice if the university or college has provisionally offered you a place on the course and you want to accept it.
Confirming your place
Find out more about clearing at Gov.uk university clearing through UCAS page or through the UCAS website. If you have difficulties accessing the UCAS website to complete your application form, or have any questions about the clearing process, you can contact the UCAS Customer Service team on 0871 468 0468, Monday to Friday, 08:30-18:00 (UK time) and calls from UK BT landline will cost no more than 9p per minute. Calls from mobiles and other networks may vary.