What is

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, or those who have changed their mind about where or what they want to study a chance of finding a university place.

Everyone can use Clearing to find a place at university, including 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 already accepted an offer but have changed your mind about what or where you want to study.

Information for students who
applied 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.

If we do make you an offer and you decide to accept it, you can release yourself into Clearing which will withdraw you from any offers you’ve accepted from anywhere else.

The most important thing is - don’t panic!

The first thing to do is to log on to UCAS Hub and check the responses from your Firm and Insurance choices - some universities are flexible with “near miss” students, and might have accepted you anyway.

If you didn’t get either your firm or insurance choices, don’t worry. Hop onto the UCAS website to see which universities have places available through Clearing on courses you want to study.

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

Once you have your grades you can either apply online or call 012 5291 8240.

Clearing is perfect for those who have changed their mind about what course they want to do or where they want to study.

At UCA, we regularly hear from students looking to switch from a different degree to one in a creative subject.

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 one you like, give us a call.


Information for students
who haven't 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 to get your offer set up with UCAS.

Finding courses
in Clearing

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

We look at every Clearing applicant as an individual, and consider your application based on your experience, qualifications and personal attributes – and often by looking at your work. 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 for your degree the following year.

Alternatives include:

Four-year courses - Our four-year degree courses include an integrated foundation year at the start of the course, which enables you to develop your skills and portfolio before starting your degree course.

Definitely not! This is a common misconception. At UCA, we plan for some students to join us through Clearing when we allocate places, as we understand there are always last-minute changes in circumstance, and that people can have a change of heart.

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 university that’s best for you.


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.

See our Funding for Clearing page or our Fees & Finanace pages for full information.