If you’re applying through Clearing, find out what to do, and how to apply.
Relevant to
How to use Clearing
This guide explains how you can use Clearing to find a course at university or college if you don't have a place.
How to use Clearing
Make an application through the Clearing process.
Where is my Clearing number?
Emma from UCAS explains where to find your Clearing number.
Why can't I add a Clearing choice in Track?
Emma from UCAS explains why you might not be able to add a Clearing choice in Track.
I've had my exam results - why hasn't Track updated?
Emma goes through some reasons why Track might not change, even though you've had your exam results.
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From 6 July to 20 October, you can apply for a course using Clearing if you’re not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places.

You can use Clearing if:

  • you’re applying after 30 June
  • you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • you’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in Track

How does Clearing work?

Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course. You find courses (with vacancies) that interest you, and contact universities or colleges directly, to see if they will offer you a place.

  • If you haven't already applied, you need to register and make an application, but you’ll only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted it. We’ll send you a welcome email, with details of how to access Track, and your Clearing number. We’ll also tell you the steps you need to follow – ask for advice, search for vacancies in our search tool, then contact unis and colleges to try to find a place – see below for more details. Once you have permission from a uni you want to go to, you can add the course in Track.
  • You'll know you're in Clearing if your Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started. Or, you follow the on screen prompts to decline your firm place, and your Track status then says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.
  • If Track doesn't say either of these yet, it might just be waiting for your results to update. Get in touch with the universities/colleges if it's taking a while – they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.
  • If you originally only applied for one course for the reduced fee of £20, you'll have to pay an additional £5 to apply through Clearing. For 2021 entry, the additional cost will be £6.

UCAS Conservatoires do not use Clearing to fill vacancies. If you're looking for a place at a conservatoire, please search for available courses in our search tool. You'll also need to check with the conservatoire if they're still accepting applications, before you apply.       

  1. Ask for Clearing advice
    Talk to an adviser at your school, college, centre, or careers office – they can talk you through alternative courses/subjects.
  2. See what courses are available
    Use our search tool to find courses – it's the only official vacancy list. If you can't find the course you're looking for:
    • consider different subjects – you don't have to stick with your original idea. You could also look at joint honours courses, so you can study a mix of subjects
    • keep checking – unis update their course information regularly. You might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you were looking for – some might be full, but some might get vacancies later on
    • check the course details – how is it structured each year? 
  3. Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in
    Before you add a Clearing choice in Track, call the uni and give them your Clearing number (you can find this in Track), and Personal ID, so they can look up your application.
    • Ask if they'd accept you – they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.
    • Get informal offers over the phone – maybe from a variety of universities and colleges – then decide which one you want to accept.
    • Ask about accommodation options – is there any on-campus?
    • Take a look around the campus – if you have the time, it's the best way to see what a university/college is like – most will be happy to meet you and show you around. Alternatively, see if they have a virtual tour or a virtual open day.
  4. Add your Clearing choice in Track
    Only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college.
  • Click 'Add Clearing choice', and fill in the course details by the date the university/college gave you on the phone.
  • This counts as you definitely accepting the offer, so if they confirm, it'll show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in Track. 
  • You can only add one choice at a time, but if the university/college doesn't confirm your place, you'll be able to add another.

Got a question?

You might find the answer in our Clearing FAQs.

Looking after your wellbeing

If you would like help with looking after your wellbeing during Clearing, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has some practical advice and tips to manage anxiety and stress.

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