Clearing advice:
Securing your place at university

Clearing is a process that takes place from July to September each year, giving students who haven’t yet found their place at university the chance to find a course.

12 Jun 2017

We’ve put together a little FAQ with the help of our Head of Admissions at UCA, Sarah Simms, to make sure you have all the information you need in case you are planning to go through the Clearing process.

You can use Clearing to find a place at university if:

  • You didn’t receive any offers
  • You declined any offers you did receive
  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • You applied after 30 June
  • You’ve changed your mind about what you want to study.

If I don’t get the grades I need for my first choice, what should I do?

Firstly, check UCAS Track as your university may be flexible with “near miss” students and accept you onto the course. If you did not get either your first or insurance choices, check on the UCAS website to see which universities have gone into clearing for the course you are interested in. Call and speak to their admissions teams — they’re there to help.

I’ve changed my mind about my course choice, what should I do?

Clearing isn’t just about helping those who haven’t got the grades they need, it’s about those having a change of heart about their course choice, too. At UCA we regularly hear from students who are looking to switch from a different degree to one in art and design. If you are reconsidering your options, Clearing is an opportunity for you to investigate alternative courses and institutions.

How do I go about finding which universities have courses in Clearing?

There will be lists of courses with vacancies published on the UCAS Clearing page and universities will also give you plenty of information on their websites. Remember it’s not the whole university in Clearing, just individual courses.

If a course is in clearing does this mean that it’s not a popular course?

Definitely not. This is a common misconception — universities have varying targets for their courses and use Clearing as a way to recruit high calibre students. At UCA we build in Clearing places to our courses as we understand that there are always last-minute changes in circumstances.

Will places fill up quickly, do I need to grab the first offer I get?

You definitely don’t need to accept the first offer you get. Do your research and call around, ask questions and carefully consider your options. UCAS build in a period to allow students to reflect and make a decision which is why you can’t select your chosen university as your Clearing choice until 3 pm on A-Level results day. Take advantage of this to ensure you’ve made the best possible decision.

Questions about UCA’s Clearing process

What happens if you’ve applied for other universities through UCAS?

If you’ve already applied through UCAS and have an offer of a place, you can still call us to see whether we can make you an offer for one of our courses, but you would need to withdraw any offers you’ve been made before you can accept an offer from us.

Is it too late to apply for a student loan?

You’re not too late to apply for a student loan, in fact, you can do this even after your course has started. You won’t be expected to pay any tuition fees if you have applied for a tuition fee loan and if you decide to apply for a maintenance loan to help with living costs you will usually receive this money a few weeks after the start of term.

Are the entry requirements the same even though you’re applying late?

We look at every Clearing applicant individually based on your experience, qualifications and personal attributes, so the qualifications and grades that you need will vary depending on the course that you’re interested in and the number of places available.

If your qualifications and experience mean that you aren’t quite ready to study a standard three-year degree course, we can usually often offer an alternative course which will prepare you to study the three-year degree course next year:

  • Four-year courses: Our four-year degree courses include an additional year at the start of the course which enables you to develop your skills before starting the three-year course.
  • Further Education courses: Our further education courses are one or two years long which prepare you to study a degree.

For more information visit our website or call the admissions team on 0800 068 0088 or 01252 892722.