How does Clearing work?

How does Clearing work?

Clearing isn’t something you hear a lot about unless you need to use it–then it can seem rather daunting. But fear not, we’ve put together a guide to show you that, actually, it’s very simple.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is part of the UCAS application process. It gives applicants who don’t hold any offers the chance to find a university place. It also provides universities with the opportunity to fill any spaces they have left.

Who can use Clearing?

You can use Clearing if you:

  • Did not receive any offers after submitting your UCAS application.
  • Did not accept any of the offers you were made.
  • Did not meet the conditions of the offers you were made.
  • Applied late (after 30th June 2017). If you applied after this date, your application will automatically go into Clearing.

To be eligible for Clearing you must have paid the full £24 UCAS application fee. If you only paid £13 to make a single choice you will need to pay the remaining £11 through the UCAS website.

If you are eligible to use Clearing it will be clearly displayed when you log-in to UCAS Track where you will find your Clearing number (you only get one of those if you are eligible to use Clearing).

When does Clearing open?

Clearing is available from July to September each year.

If your exams don’t go to plan and you do not meet the conditions of your offers, you can access Clearing from results day.

The Clearing process

If you are eligible to use Clearing, here’s the process to follow:

  1. Log-in to UCAS Track to access your Clearing number. This will confirm that you are definitely in Clearing.
  2. Seek advice. Speak to a careers adviser about your options and what to do next. Students can contact CU Coventry, CU London and CU Scarborough anytime about Clearing, so pick up the phone right now if you like!
  3. Search for available courses via the Search tool on the UCAS website. Or look at university websites; our Clearing vacancies will be online at:
    CU Coventry –
    CU London –
    CU Scarborough –
  1. Contact universities direct to find out if they’ll accept you on the course and receive a verbal offer over the phone. You can’t add a Clearing choice in UCAS Track unless you have contacted the university.
  2. Add a Clearing choice in UCAS Track and wait to receive confirmation from the university.

Haven’t applied at all?

Don’t panic–you’re certainly not on your own. Many students don’t submit a UCAS application, then decide they would like to go to university after all.

Here at CU, we’re available throughout the summer to offer guidance to students who find themselves in this exact position. If you want to study with us, but haven’t submitted a UCAS application, please get in touch. We’ll support you through the entire process.

Hints & Tips

  • You might want to consider different subjects. You don’t have to stick with your original course choice in Clearing, you could apply for something different if you’ve had a change of heart since applying.
  • Do your research before contacting universities. Things can move very fast once you start speaking to universities, so make sure things are clear in your own head before getting in touch. Consider the course, the location and the lifestyle a university can offer you.
  • Be prepared when you phone the universities. The admissions staff you speak to will want to know about your grades and your interest in the subject. Make sure you have your Clearing number and UCAS personal ID to hand. It might be useful to write a few notes to prompt you whilst on the phone.
  • You can only make one Clearing choice at a time through UCAS Track.
  • If you want more than a verbal offer, you could ask the university to email you the details of the offer. Most will be happy to oblige.
  • Check the UCAS Search tool regularly for updates on available courses. It’s also worth looking at university websites–we keep an up-to-date list of our Clearing options on our websites:
    CU Coventry –
    CU London –
    CU Scarborough –

Visit UCAS’ Clearing website for more information and resources.