Clearing: Frequently asked questions

  • What is Clearing?

    Clearing is a part of the UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) university application process. It is a way for universities to fill spaces they’ve got left for the new academic year, and gives anyone who doesn’t hold an offer a chance of finding somewhere.

    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 – don’t panic!

    Next, log into UCAS Track as some universities are flexible with “near miss” students and might accept you anyway.

    If you didn’t get either your first or insurance choices, don’t worry. Hop onto the UCAS website to see which universities have gone into Clearing for the course you want to study.

    Then pick up the phone and speak to their admissions teams — they’re there to help.

  • I’ve changed my mind about what I want to study! What should I do?

    You won’t be the only person in this boat, and that’s why Clearing is a great process for you.

    It’s not just about helping those who haven’t got the grades they need, it’s about people who have a change of heart about their course choice, too.

    At UCA, we regularly hear from students looking to switch from a different degree to one in art and design.

    If you’re reconsidering your options, Clearing is an opportunity for you to investigate alternative courses and institutions.

    Check out our courses, and if you see the one you want to do, give us a call.

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

    UCAS will list all the courses in Clearing on their Clearing page and universities also give you loads of information on their websites. Remember, it’s not the whole university in Clearing, just individual courses, so look up the unis you’re interested in and see what they’ve got online.

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

    Definitely not! This is a common misconception. At UCA, we plan for Clearing places on our courses as we understand that there are always last minute changes in circumstances and that people can have a change of heart.

  • 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, call around, ask questions and make sure you’re picking the uni that’s best for you.

    UCAS has a little cooling-off period to give you the chance to do some research and make a decision, which is why you can’t select your chosen university as your Clearing choice until 3pm on A-Level results day.

    Take advantage of this, read up on the uni you’ve chosen, the local area it’s in and what other students are saying to make sure you’ve made the best possible decision.

  • What happens if I’ve applied for other universities through UCAS already?

    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.

    If we do make you an offer and you decide to accept it, you’ll have to withdraw any you’ve accepted from anywhere else.

  • How do I apply for a September 2019 start if I haven’t already applied through UCAS?

    If you haven’t already made an application through UCAS, you can still call us. If we’re able to make you an offer for one of our courses, we’ll explain what you’ll need to do next get your offer set up with UCAS.

  • 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’ve applied for a tuition fee loan, and if you decide to apply for a maintenance loan to help with living costs you’ll usually receive this money a few weeks after term starts.

    Find out more about funding a degree on our blog.

  • Are the entry requirements the same even though I’m applying late?

    We look at every Clearing applicant as an individual, based on your experience, qualifications and personal attributes. This is why the phone call you make to us is so important – it’s your opportunity to tell us about you, and why you want to study the course.

    The qualifications and grades you’ll need will depend on the course that you’re interested in and the number of places available.

    If it turns out you aren’t quite ready to study a standard three-year degree course, we’ll have a chat with you about your options, and can usually offer an alternative 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.