Clearing 2013: a quick guide

Clearing 2013

By theunipod community,

What is UCAS Clearing?

The UCAS Clearing process is a system used by UK universities and colleges who want to fill vacancies on their courses. Available between July and September, Clearing is a great opportunity to find yourself a university course if you originally received no offers or applied to university after June 30th. If you fall into one of these categories, you can apply through Clearing to one of the available university courses.

If you fail to meet your grades or to receive any offers on A-level results day, you can apply through Clearing from 15th August. For Scottish students it’s the 7h August. If you are not waiting for exam results, you can use Clearing from mid-July.

How to apply through Clearing

If you are in Clearing, you will receive a Clearing number and a status in UCAS Track that states: 'You are in Clearing'. Track is an online system where you can follow your application process and find out whether your offers have been confirmed or rejected.

During Clearing you do not need to contact UCAS to request entry into Clearing. In your Track profile you will see an 'add Clearing choice' icon in your Track 'choices' screen. You can use this to apply through Clearing for any vacant university courses. If you originally decided to apply for only one course you will have to pay an extra £11 in order for you to apply for several courses.

Where to find information

You can view Clearing vacancies for university courses on and on the Telegraph website.

To discuss vacancies and find out more information, contact universities directly. Ring up the universities, provide them with your Clearing number and Personal ID. Be direct, and ask if they would accept your application for your chosen course and the grades you have achieved. Try and get as many informal offers from a variety of different universities so that you know what your options are before rushing into a decision.

If you are offered a place via Clearing and accept, the provider and course details must be entered in your Track. Your details are then received by the Clearing choice, where a final decision is made by the university to accept or reject your application. If an unsuccessful verdict is received, you are then able to select another course choice which will be entered for consideration.
If for unknown reasons you cannot access Track, then contact UCAS on 0871 468 0 468.

What to do if your results are better than expected

UCAS Adjustment concerns applicants who have met and exceeded the requirements of their conditional firm offer. It enables applicants to search for a new course while still retaining any confirmed places.

In order to be considered for Adjustment, you must have paid your full application fee and have a confirmed offer.

If you fail to find a new university that appeals to you, you still keep your original firm choice. For further information about the UCAS Adjustment process, check out for Adjustment examples and a detailed overview of the process.

UCAS Extra

Extra allows undergraduate applicants to add and apply to additional courses before results day. If you have been unsuccessful with your initial five choices, this is an excellent opportunity to add an extra course to your application.

You can apply for another course which has vacancies between the end of February and the end of June. By using 'Course Search' you can see which courses have a vacancies (they will have an 'X ' displayed next to them), allowing you to contact the universities to see if you can apply. Also, make sure you explore the course profiles so that you’re aware of any specific course requirements.

Once you have chosen a course, apply via Track. Be aware that if you receive an offer on Extra and accept it, you are committed to that course. However, if you reject an offer, you can continue searching for alternative courses on Extra until you find one that suits you.

Planning ahead

When applying to university it’s key to be well prepared and plan ahead. Think about the options of courses or universities, even after you have applied, just in case you have to use UCAS Extra or need to enter Clearing. Our course search allows you to start planning ahead and search for factors at your chosen universities and courses you may not have considered.
It’s also important to speak to your careers advisers before results day to ensure you have considered all your options and don't face any last minute panics.

You can find further information and advice on planning ahead for Clearing here.

And our full in-depth guide to Clearing leaves no questions unanswered.