UCAS Prepare To Help Thousands Of Students To Find University Places
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What Is UCAS Clearing And How Does It Work?

Caitlin Hart August 6, 2022

Didn’t get the grades you needed? Weren’t offered a place at your top 5 universities? Or decided to apply for uni last minute? Whichever situation you are in, clearing is here to help you get to university.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is used by universities and colleges to fill any spaces they have remaining on their courses. It runs from July 5 to October 30 and can be accessed through UCAS. Students in many different situations can use clearing to get into university within this time and it works differently depending on your situation.

Didn’t Get Into Your Firm or Insurance Choice

If you did not achieve the grades for your firm or insurance choice you automatically enter clearing. If this is the case, you need to find courses or universities with places available.

A great way to do this is to use a clearing course search tool, such as this one. When you have found one that you are interested in, you can call their clearing hotline and provide your details. Typically they will let you know if they have a place for you immediately, or very soon after calling. Clearing hotlines normally open at 8 am on results day.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Didn’t Receive Any Offers

If you did not receive any offers from your five choices, you may be able to use UCAS Extra. This is a similar service to clearing but is open before July 5th. It allows candidates who have not received an offer to add an additional course to their application. Research into which courses still have places left and select one of these. If you do not hear back within 21 days or are unsuccessful with gaining a place on your additional course, you will be able to select another course through Extra. Extra is open until July 5, if you do not have a place by then you will enter Clearing.

Want to Decline Your Firm Place

If you have received a firm place but no longer want to attend, you can reject it and enter Clearing. You must use the ‘decline my place’ button on UCAS Track. You will then follow the same steps as somebody who did not meet the entry requirements for their firm or insurance choice. Be aware that declining your place means that it is likely it will be given to somebody else and you will not be able to get it back if you change your mind.

Apply After June 30

While the end of January is the deadline for UCAS applications, any submitted up until June 30 could still be considered. The difference is that all applications must be considered equally up until the January deadline, but after this, it can be a first come, first served basis until June 30.

If you decide you would like to apply after June 30, you will automatically enter Clearing on results day. Be sure to do your research before the date and remember you must pay the UCAS application fee.

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My name is Caitlin and I’m a third year journalism student at the University of Sheffield. I’m the Lifestyle Editor for Liberty Belle Magazine and love writing about lifestyle, politics and entertainment.