Going to Uni - Clearing & Clearing Plus

Clearing or Clearing Plus could be an option for you in August, use this information to find out more about Clearing.



  • Offers – positive responses from universities. You may not need an interview or to send a portfolio and then will just get an offer. Offers can be: Conditional, Unconditional or Unsuccessful see blog post ‘Replying to Your UCAS Offers’ for more information on types of offers. 
  • Results – the grades you get in GCSEs, BTEC, WJEC Diplomas and A-Levels (results are released in mid-August). Confirmation of an offer might depend on your results. 
  • Replies – Responses you make to the offers you receive. Wait until you have offers/responses from all your universities before you make replies regarding your ‘Firm and Insurance’ choices. See blog post ‘Replying to Your UCAS Offers’ 
  • Results Day – one day for Level 3 (A Level) exam results and another for Level 2 (GCSE). 


What to know about Clearing…

What Is It?

The Clearing process enables UCAS applicants without a place at university (for instance, as they were not offered a place after applying or did not meet the requirements of their offers on Results Day) to try to fill a vacancy on a course which still has places available. 

How Do I Apply?

The entire process is electronic, so your access to your application and TRACK is crucial. There are no letters or paper confirmation. You should think about courses/universities you would be interested in applying for through Clearing before Results Day so you are prepared should you need to go through Clearing, as it works on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

How It Works 

  • In Clearing you can informally discuss several courses/universities at the same time but you can only input ONE course on the Clearing area of TRACK at any time, i.e. you cannot officially apply for several places in Clearing at once. 
  • It is very unlikely a university will confirm a place through Clearing without you speaking to them directly. You should contact the university through their Clearing Helpline – details will be available on each university’s website. 

Discuss possibilities with subject staff and Destinations Department. Think hard about what you want – don’t just go for the first course you see. You might find a better course/university option a bit later in the day. 

Clearing: Step by step

  1. If you do not hold any conditional offers or university places you will automatically be entered for Clearing and given a Clearing Number.– If you decide you do not wish to go for the course you originally applied for, you can log in to UCAS TRACK and ‘release yourself into Clearing’ – you will lose any places you previously held, so make sure you are certain first. Look at what courses/unis are available in Clearing and even ring the university/universities to discuss whether they will make you an offer first! Speak to College staff about this!
  2. NOTE YOUR CLEARING NUMBER DOWN CAREFULLY. You cannot gain a place through Clearing without it.
  3. FIND CLEARING VACANCIES USING THE UCAS SEARCH TOOL AND SELECT ‘CLEARING’ AS A FILTER. You do not have to apply for the same subject in Clearing that was on your original form.
  4. It is essential that YOU (not a parent or College staff) contact a university you are interested in and discuss the course and your qualifications with an Admissions Tutor. If you meet their requirements, you will be offered a provisional place and given a date by which you must enter it on TRACK. IMPORTANT: It would be wise to ask for written confirmation of the provisional offer and the deadlines to be sent to you via email.
  5. Once offered a provisional place, you can enter that course on TRACK (usually from 3pm on Level 3 Results Day). If you decide you don’t like the sound of the course, you don’t enter it on TRACK and you can try negotiating with another institution.
  6. Universities will then process your Clearing application and, providing you had a provisional offer, should accept you. You should closely monitor UCAS TRACK. 

Direct Contact Service (Part of Clearing)

  • This UCAS service allows universities and colleges to make direct contact with unplaced applicants from 11am on Level 3 Results Day to discuss a place on a relevant course. 
  • The aim is to help applicants consider places they might otherwise have not been aware of, but the service is optional. If you sign up, you will also be able to go through Clearing in the ‘normal’ way described previously, if you wanted to. 
  • Universities contact you with courses which might suit your Level 3 course results or career path. If you wish to accept the offer, you just need to enter the choice through Clearing. The College will be here to support you through this process. 
  • It is important to remember you don’t have to accept any offers you receive and should consider all options before committing to a place. 

Make the most of the help on offer in College, on UCAS and on various social media sites. There will be College staff available to discuss all these issues. To organise a meeting, email: Destinations@stdavidscollege.ac.uk