What's Clearing and how does it work?


What's Clearing?


Clearing. The word can summon a lot of fear and confusion.

However, with A-level results day creeping closer and closer, it’s a good idea to understand exactly what it is so you’re prepared if you need to go through the process.

Whether you miss out on uni offers, change your mind about where to go, or left it too late to apply in the first place, here’s what you need to know about UCAS Clearing in 2019.


What is Clearing?

Put simply, Clearing is part of the UCAS application process, and a way for universities to fill leftover course spaces in time for the new academic year.


Who can apply for Clearing?

Anyone who has submitted a UCAS undergraduate application but has not been accepted by any of their chosen universities will automatically be entered into Clearing.

If you’ve just missed out on your first choice after getting your exam results, it’s still worth contacting the university to see if you can still get a place. Although there’s no guarantee you’ll get accepted, someone else might have decided to drop out, so it’s worth a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

3 other reasons you may be eligible for Clearing:

  • You applied after the deadline (30th June)
  • Your place is still not confirmed after exam results are published
  • You changed your mind about where and what you want to study at the last minute


What grades do you need for Clearing?

By now, you’re probably wondering about grades: how do Clearing grades work? Are they lower?

It varies from course to course, but Clearing does give you a chance to find courses with more flexible entry requirements.

Some courses may lower their prerequisites in order to fill up spaces, but this depends on demand. The best way to find out is to talk to the university directly. You can also get advice from an advisor at your school or college.

Generally speaking, if your exam results are close to what’s required and you're flexible on subject and location, you should be able to find a course that matches your interests without a problem.

To find out what ‘points’ you have from your exam results (and therefore what other courses you’ll be eligible for), check out this handy points calculator on the UCAS site.


When does Clearing start and end?

Every year, Clearing opens in July and runs until mid-September.

While you should take the time to consider your options and make an informed decision, try your best to move quickly throughout the Clearing process as spots can get snapped up fast.

The sooner you can confirm your place, the sooner you can apply for student accommodation too. University-owned halls work on a 'first-come, first-served' basis, and many of the popular private residences can get booked up in advance as well. The faster you act, the more options you will have when it comes to finding your perfect student pad.


Good luck on results day this August 15th! We really hope you get the uni offer you want, but remember that it’s not Game Over if you don’t get the grades.

And if you do secure a uni place through Clearing, we can help with finding your accommodation afterwards. We have all-inclusive rooms in 11 UK cities. Check them out here.