University and Careers


Clearing is a popular UK system which exists for those candidates who:

  • have not made the grades for either their CF or CI place
  • have not received any offers
  • have declined any offers they have received
  • did not put in an application (perhaps because of low UCAS predicted grades) but have done better than expected and now wish to avoid taking a GAP year

In all cases the system tries to match candidates with existing un-filled places on suitable courses at university to start this September/October.

How to put in an application through Clearing:

a) If you were unsuccessful in gaining a place at your CF or CI; if you did not receive any offers; or if you declined all your offers:

1. Find out which universities have places available on courses that you like, with grade requirements that match your results (look at UCAS Clearing Search, newspapers, university websites)

2. Call the universities direct – have your results and UCAS ID ready

3. You can contact a number of different universities and may be informally offered several places

4. Decide which place you really want

5. Go onto Track to add your Clearing choice (from 3.00pm)

6. NB: You can only apply to one university through Clearing

7. Once you’ve done this your application is removed from the UCAS system – so other universities will not be able to see it

8. (When provisionally offered a place, you’ll be given a deadline for confirming your clearing choice in Track)

b) If you were successful in gaining a place at your CF or CI but have now changed your mind and would like to go to a different university, the process is the same, except that you’ll also need to:

Go onto Track to release yourself from your current offer, before adding your new Clearing choice on Track.

c) If you did not apply this year – but now wish to, the process is the same, except that you’ll also need to:

1. Register with UCAS, as an independent candidate and fill in an application on-line

2. To speed things up, you may be able to delay adding a personal statement and instead say something like “As agreed with XXX University, a full personal statement will be available later, on request.”

3. Pay and send so that Mrs Millar can attach the reference

4. You will now have your UCAS ID

5. Go onto Track to add your Clearing choice (from 3.00pm)

6. Universities may suggest instead that you make a direct application – which avoids the need to complete a UCAS application form – a request for a reference will be sent direct to Mrs Millar

In all cases, it is YOU,the candidate, not your parents, teachers or advisers who should make the calls.  At this stage universities do not want to hear from anybody else.

Any student who wishes to make a direct entry to the UCAS clearing system after receiving his/her results, must do so during the Post Results Clinic, and notify the HE team that a reference will be required. 

It's sensible to seek advice and to consult the information available to you so that you don’t make a false ‘jump’, just because there is urgency over Clearing.

If you need any further information about Clearing, the main UCAS web site offers a very thorough explanation of the process and detailed information is available in the Leaver's Booklet and at the Post Results Clinic.   In practice, the ‘bargain’ places at good universities are generally snapped up pretty quickly, so you do need to be determined and persistent. Success may involve you redialling many, many times. Keep your nerve!