A Guide to Clearing 2020

A handy guide to help you understand how to apply for university through Clearing.

UCAS Clearing 2020: how does it work?

If you haven’t got a place at university following the UCAS application deadline, or have missed your grades on Results Day, there is no need to panic! 

The UCAS Clearing system is open, giving prospective students the chance to find places on university courses that still have vacancies. 


What is Clearing?

UCAS Clearing lets you apply for courses that still have places available. So, if you haven’t received any offers, rejected your offers or missed the conditions of your offers, this is a great opportunity to get a university place. 

When does Clearing open? 

Clearing opens on July 6th but will officially start on A-Level Results Day (13th August) and will remain open until 20th October. The earlier you get there, the faster you can plan your future and the more choice you will have! As soon as you get those results, get on the phone and start calling. And remember, there are also alternatives to Clearing.

How does Clearing work? 

You’ll know you’re in Clearing if your ‘Track’ status says “You are in Clearing” or “Clearing has started”. If your Track doesn’t say this, your application may still be under consideration by the university, even if you have missed your grades. Get in touch with them to see what your current status is. 

How do I apply? 

It’s really easy. UCAS has the official Clearing list online, and The Telegraph newspaper shows it too. Once you’ve made a shortlist of which courses you’re interested in, you should call up the individual universities. Give them your Clearing number (located on the welcome and choices pages in Track), and your Personal ID number, which will let them see your application online. We recommend you also consider different subjects - you don't have to stick with your original idea. 

What happens when I call? 

You will most likely speak to a member of the Clearing team, who will talk to you about your results and the course you want to take. If you meet the entry requirements you will then speak to the course administrator who will ask you a few questions about you and why you want to do the course. It’s like a mini-interview, so make sure that you research the university and course beforehand.

The course administrator may then make you a verbal offer – it normally stands for 24 hours, so take your time to consider and weigh up your options. 

What should I do when I have my offer? 

Once you've had confirmation from the university that they're happy to offer you a place and you are 100% sure you want to accept it, add your Clearing choice on Track. This is only possible from 3pm on Results Day, so you will have time to think about it. You are only able to add one course, but if the university doesn't confirm your place, you'll be able to add another. 

Anything else? 

Don’t rush into a decision; after all you will be studying a degree for three or four years! If you don’t find that Clearing worked for you, don’t worry, some online universities (including Arden) have as many as four intakes a year, so you can soon start your journey towards a degree!