Anyone thinking of starting university this September can apply now as Clearing opens today. Between 5 July and A level results day in 2018, 7,730 people had already used Clearing to secure a place on their chosen course.
Posted Fri 5 July 2019 - 00:01

Clearing is the recognised post-qualification application route for undergraduate courses. Last year, a record 17,520 people got their place after applying with their results in hand. In total in 2018, 66,770 people, including those who had applied earlier in the year, were accepted through Clearing.

Students are beginning to receive their exam results and final grades, depending on the qualifications they studied at school or college. Anyone with a confirmed place who has now decided they want to switch courses can use UCAS Track to release themselves into Clearing – previously they had to phone the university and wait to be released from their place. Typically, fewer than 2% of accepted applicants choose to change course after having their place confirmed.

If students holding a conditional place didn’t get the grades that they were initially hoping for to secure their firm (first) or insurance (second) choice, they can use, to find the latest, official information on other courses with places still available. Students without a place who sign up to UCAS’ direct contact service could also be phoned by universities offering a similar and suitable course.

Over 30,000 courses are being shown on the UCAS website as having vacancies as almost all universities and colleges continue to welcome applications from interested students. Some universities may make more places available once all applicants’ exam results are known in August. 

Applying directly into Clearing with results in hand is particularly popular with mature students. With almost 2% fewer 18 year olds in the UK population this year, it is expected that there will be many opportunities available.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive says, ‘Clearing is plan A for many people off to university this year who are choosing to apply with their results in hand. With thousands of opportunities available across the country, students who might have missed out on their first choice university have plenty of options to choose from too.

‘Students are in the driving seat, as UCAS has streamlined the process of using Clearing for those reconsidering their original choices. They’ll have more control throughout the Clearing process than ever, though it’s still important to ask teachers, parents, and universities for help and advice to make a fully informed decision.

‘The UCAS website has all the details students need about Clearing, as well as information about apprenticeship routes, which we know around a quarter of young applicants are thinking about in parallel to applying to start a degree.’

UCAS Press Office contact details

01242 545 469               


Notes for editors

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people, each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.

Key Clearing stats from 2018
  • 66,770 - total people accepted through Clearing.
    • Over 12% of the total 533,360 students accepted in 2018.
  • 49,250 - people placed through Clearing, after applying earlier in the year.
  • 17,520 – people placed after applying directly into Clearing  
  • UCAS surveys show 87% of applicants placed in Clearing said they were happy or extremely happy with the application process.
2018’s most popular subject groups in Clearing
  1. Business Studies: 9,210 acceptances in 2018
  2. Subjects allied to Medicine (primarily Nursing): 8,120
  3. Biological Sciences: 7,330
  4. Social Studies: 7,055
  5. Engineering:  4,530
Upcoming UCAS publications
  • Latest applicant statistics, as of 30 June, will be published on Thursday 11 July.
  • An analysis of unconditional offer making in the 2019 cycle will be published on Tuesday 30 July.
  • The first set of acceptance figures for the 2019 Cycle will be published on Tuesday 6 August, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results day.
  • Further acceptance statistics will be published on A level results day, Thursday 15 August, with daily updates until the end of August.
  • The 2019 UCAS End of Cycle Report will published in several chapters throughout November, December and January.

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