What is Clearing and how does it work?

What is Clearing?

Clearing offers you a chance to find a full time undergraduate course to start this September. Over 60,000 students found their university place through Clearing in 2018, so you wouldn’t be alone in exploring your options.

When does Clearing open?

Clearing opens from the beginning of July each year. If you have your exam results you can apply straight away, however you might need to wait until A Level or GCSE Results Day in August to be able to apply. We advise you to research your course options early though so that you are prepared when A Level Results Day arrives.


When does Clearing end?

Clearing usually closes around the end of September or when the courses in Clearing are full.


How does Clearing work?

A university will publish a list of the courses which have places available to start in the coming September. Here's a list of the courses we have available and the points you need to apply. As soon as you have your exam results, you can apply for the course either online (from now until mid August) or by calling the university's Clearing hotline which opens on A Level Results Day (Thursday 15 August). Our hotline number is 0121 331 6777.

If you have the required exam results for the course, you can be made an offer in Clearing. Once you have been made an offer, you will receive an email from the university which explains what you need to do next to accept your offer and make arrangements for student finance or accommodation if you need it.

Get your free guide to Clearing

Get prepared ahead of results day with advice from our students.

When do A Level Results come out?

A Level exam results come out on Thursday 15 August 2019. You will usually have to go into your school or college to collect your grades – exact times and details will vary. Before your school opens you can usually log on to UCAS Track to find out whether your status has changed and if you have met your offer, however this won’t give you any details about how many UCAS tariff points you have. If you call a University Clearing hotline, you will need to have your grades in order to get an offer for a place however you can call us before and we’ll be happy to advise you on your potential options.


Who can apply in Clearing?

There are many reasons why you might want to apply for university in Clearing. Take our quiz to see if it might be a good option for you.

  • Your exam results are worse than you expected
  • You decide to apply at the last minute
  • You change your mind about the course you’ve already applied for
  • Your exam results are better than you expected – this is known as Adjustment.

How do I apply through Clearing?

1) Check which courses are available

Not all university courses have places in Clearing as they may already be full for this September. Here's a list of the courses we have available and the points you need to apply. Once you've found a course that you’re interested in, you'll need to check that you have the UCAS tariff points stated and any other specific entry requirements for the course. Sometimes the UCAS tariff points for Clearing are different to the main UCAS entry requirements. Take a look at our Clearing courses.

2) Apply

You will need to have your exam results before you can apply. If you already have your results, you can apply online now - you don't need to wait. You'll be able to find the link to our online application form from the 'how to apply' tab on the relevant course page you're interested in.

Our Clearing hotline will then open from 6am on Thursday 15 August - the number you need is 0121 331 6777. You can also apply on social media by messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

If you haven’t got your exam results yet, it’s never too early to do your research. Ask your questions to our expert course advisors.


What time does UCAS Track update on results day?

UCAS Track updates at 8am on A Level Results Day (Thursday 15 August). Some people think that it updates at midnight or early in the morning, but unfortunately this is a myth. You also won't be able to see your results or grades, it will just show you the status of your existing university offers.


Other FAQs

For more frequently asked questions, you can visit our dedicated FAQs page where we've tried to answer any question that could come up during Clearing and your application journey!

What is UCAS Extra?

UCAS Extra is a great way to apply to additional universities or different subjects after the initial UCAS deadline date of 15 January has passed. UCAS Extra is open from 25 February to 30 June but you'll need to make sure you're eligible! You can only apply to UCAS Extra if you have either received no offers from your original five choices or if you have changed your mind about the course/subject you wish to study and intend to decline all offers/choices you haveFind out more about UCAS Extra.

How do I find courses with places available in Clearing?

Here's a list of the courses we have available and the points you need to apply. You can also sign up to receive email notifications when more detail about our Clearing courses is available and the UCAS points you will need to apply as this can sometimes change throughout the Clearing period.

When can I apply through Clearing?

You can apply as soon as you have your exam results. If you are a BTEC student or did your exams last year or before, you can apply online from the beginning of July. If you’re waiting for A Level Results, call our Clearing hotline (0121 331 6777) or contact us on social media from Thursday 15 August.

Which universities have Clearing places?

Most universities offer Clearing to some extent, however the number of places and the variety of courses available will vary. We usually have a wide variety of courses available. Sign up to receive notifications when more details on our Clearing courses is available.

What happens after you get an offer?

If we are able to offer you a place, you’ll receive an email telling you what to do next to accept it. You’ll also get some more information with details of the important things you need to do before joining us in September – like online enrolment, accommodation and student finance.

Is it possible to apply through Clearing with an offer from another university?

Yes it is possible, but you will need to self-release first through UCAS. This process allows any applicant who already holds a place at university to release themselves into Clearing in order to apply elsewhere.

If a course is currently full, will places become available in Clearing later on?

If the course you’re interested in isn’t in Clearing at the moment, keep checking our course vacancy listing as sometimes things can change and a course that's not available now may become available later. Our Clearing course listing will be updated regularly from early July onwards, so you can check this as often as you like to keep up to speed with what’s available. See details of courses that are available.

How will I know which course is right for me?

Our Pre-entry Enquiries Team are here to help if you're not sure about which course would be right for you. Get in touch online or call to speak with an adviser on 0121 331 5595.

What should I do about Student Finance if I accept a place through Clearing?

If you’ve already applied for student finance but decided to change your course or university through Clearing or Adjustment, you need to let Student Finance know as soon as possible - you can do this through your online Student Finance account. If you haven’t yet applied for student finance and you need student loan funding, you should apply online as soon as possible. See details of how to apply.

My grades are lower than the grades required for the course I'm interested in. Can I still apply?

In general, if you have the potential to achieve grades that are higher than you have been predicted, we would certainly encourage you to make an application to us as we appreciate that predicted grades are not necessarily an absolute indication of what an applicant’s final grades will be. Admissions tutors may be prepared to consider predicted grades which are slightly below the minimum grades we typically look for in certain cases, so consider how you can demonstrate your other strengths within your application. All applications are considered on an individual basis.

Will you accept my qualifications?

You're welcome to contact us to see whether we may be able to consider you for a place with the qualifications/ grades you have or whether there might be other options you could consider, such as foundation year, HND or foundation degree courses. More details on the tariff points required is available on our course pages.

Can I apply for deferred entry through Clearing?

Unfortunately it's not possible to apply for deferred entry through Clearing for our courses. The courses we recruit to during Clearing typically start this September (or the following January for some of our nursing courses).

Can I apply for a part time or postgraduate course through Clearing?

Clearing is only for full time undergraduate course applications. We have places available on our part time and postgraduate courses to start this Autumn – you’ll just need to apply online for these options. You’ll find the links from each course page.

Can international students apply through Clearing?

Yes! If you’re an international student who is looking to start a course with us this September, you may be able to get a place through Clearing.

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Looking for an undergraduate course to start this September? We have places available in a range of subjects.

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