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Clearing Tips

Be available on the day

If possible, do not be on holiday or at work, keep the day free to contact universities. Make sure that you have access to the information that you need and the use of a phone. You need to be available to speak to admissions tutors and make decisions yourself – your parents, teachers and friends cannot do it for you.

Find out if you are eligible for Clearing

You may not have got the grades or points score that you needed, but your Firm or Insurance choice university may still decide to accept you onto the course. Contact them first and do not just assume that you are in Clearing.

If they decide not to accept you, or if you are not holding offers at any institution, you are eligible to apply for a place through Clearing. Applicants making applications after 30th June are automatically entered into Clearing and are also eligible.

UCAS will notify you that you are eligible for Clearing through Track by adding an ‘Add a Clearing Choice’ button and a Clearing Number which starts with a C. Please have that number to hand when calling our Helpline.

If you are in Clearing, you must contact universities directly to enquire about available places on their courses and whether or not you meet their requirements.

Be prepared

Have your UCAS application number, Clearing number, course codes, your A Level results and relevant GCSE results to hand as the staff on the Helpline will ask for these. We will also need your contact details and e-mail address in order to send you your Clearing offer in writing.

Get advice

When you pick up your results, talk to your teachers, tutors or careers advisors at school or college and speak to staff from the universities, the current students, friends and family. They may be able to suggest courses and universities that you would never have considered.

Find out which courses have places available

Apply through Clearing

On results day the UCAS website and Daily Telegraph will have a list of courses with places available through Clearing. The UCAS vacancies list will be continually updated and the Daily Telegraph will publish an updated list daily, removing courses that are full, or adding courses which may initially have been full, but later have vacancies.

Prioritise what’s more important to you when selecting the course

Just like you did with your original choices, consider, for example, course content and structure, academic facilities, social life, distance from home, sports facilities and living costs. You may be relieved to be offered anything, but you still need to choose the right course at the right university for you.

You do not have to go for the same subject you initially applied for, but if you do go for something different, the university may still expect you to have specific A Level subjects. If your preferred choice of course is full, look at related alternatives, for example, for Medicine consider Medical Science or Biomedical Science.

Be patient

Universities have a lot of expert staff waiting to answer your call, but the phone lines can be busy. You may also have to wait to be put through to the relevant department, asked to call later, or the university may ring you back. Don’t worry, Clearing lasts for more than one day so you do have time to make up your mind and find a course.

Popular courses will fill up first. However, do not rush into a decision for this reason, you need to be sure that the course and university suit you.

Visit the University

Most universities, like Bangor University, will organise visit days for Clearing applicants which you should attend so that you can have a look around the university and area, collect more information about the course, speak to staff and students and decide whether or not you would be happy studying at that institution. Information about our Clearing Visit days can be found on this page.