Find a university course with Clearing

Every year thousands of students find university places through UCAS Clearing

Every year thousands of students find university places through UCAS Clearing - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you want to go to university but don’t have an offer, Clearing could help you.

Thousands of students find university places through UCAS Clearing and go onto a fulfilling degree course every year, but you may not know what the Clearing process is. Here are some common queries about the process.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It can help prospective students find another course, and you can use Clearing if you weren't made any offers, you declined them, or you didn't meet the conditions. You can even used the process if you applied late, after June 30.

When does Clearing start?

You will need to wait for your exams results before you can apply to university through Clearing. The Clearing process starts on July 1 and continues up until October 22.

What if I don't get the results I need?

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You can use Clearing from results day - Thursday August 15 - if you had a conditional offer, but your exam results didn't go to plan. Your results may not have been what you were expecting, but if they are reasonable, and you're willing to try a different subject or location, it's highly likely you'll find another course.

Where will Clearing vacancies be listed?

Website will list Clearing vacancies, which will updated regularly by universities and colleges. It is always worth checking back later, if you don't find the course you want straight away. Vacancies are usually published on the university's own website as well, and the Daily Telegraph publishes a full list of all Clearing vacancies on A-level results day, and offers a Clearing mobile app.

How do I find out about courses that appeal to me?

It's a good idea to be flexible and not stick to your original plan.

You can identify potential courses and contact the provider directly to see if they will offer you a place directly. Remember, universities are unlikely to accept you if haven't spoken to them first. Some universities, like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and UCL don't usually enter Clearing because there is a lot of competition to attend, however there might be a spattering of courses from these institutions on Clearing.

What do I do if I've found a Clearing course I like?

When you've found a Clearing course you like, contact the university's Clearing contact number, where the admissions tutor will chat to you about your grades and subject interest. You may be offered a place straight away, or you could be put on a reserve list or be turned down. It is common for a university to say that an offer is only valid for a certain amount of time. This means you'll need to add the institution as a choice on UCAS Track during this period for the offer to be upheld by the university. If you receive a verbal offer then ask for written confirmation on email and the agreed time conditions.

You can talk to as many universities as you like, but you can only make one Clearing choice at a time via UCAS Track, and you can only enter a choice after 5pm on results day.

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