Clearing is how unis and colleges fill places they still have on courses - over 30,000 courses in fact. If you’re applying through Clearing, find out what to do, and how to apply.

Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. 

From 5 July – 21 October 2024, 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 your application

When does Clearing start and end?

Clearing is open from 5 July and closes on 21 October 2024.

Your Clearing matches

If you find yourself in Clearing, we'll match you to courses you may be interested in, using what we know about you from your application, and what universities and colleges are looking for.

If you’re unplaced or have started a new application, a button will appear in your application called ‘My matches’. This will take you to your top 50 course matches. You’ll then be able to tell universities and colleges you’re ‘interested’ in their courses. If they still have vacancies and you meet their entry requirements, they may call you.

Don’t worry, if you want to apply for something different, you can still find courses available in Clearing using our search tool.

More about your Clearing matches

How to apply through UCAS Clearing | A step-by-step guide

How to apply through UCAS Clearing: A step-by-step guide

We speak to university admissions manager, Sara, to get the inside scoop on how Clearing works. She gives invaluable advice on what to expect from the phone call, and what you should prepare in advance to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Watch now

  1. Ask for advice

    Talk to an adviser at your school, college, centre, or careers office – they can talk you through alternative courses/subjects. If you’re applying independently, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Clearing process here, on
  2. See what courses are available

    1. Use our search tool to find courses – it's the only official vacancy list, so it’s the most up-to-date. 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? What modules make up each year? What are the entry requirements?
  3. Contact any unis or colleges you're interested in

    1. Before you add a Clearing choice in your application, you need to contact the university/college and give them your Clearing number (you can find this in your application), and Personal ID, so they can look it up.
      • 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 – maybe from a variety of universities and colleges – then decide which one you want to accept.
      • Ask about accommodation options – are 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 your application

    1. 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.
      • This counts as you definitely accepting the offer, so if they confirm, it'll show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in your application.
      • 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.
      • If the university/college confirms your place, find your student accommodation and then make sure you get everything ready to start your studies.  

Thinking of applying directly through Clearing?

If you haven't already applied, you first need to register and make an application.

Unlike applying before Clearing, you’ll only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted your application.

We’ll send you a welcome email, with details of how to access your application, and your Clearing number.

UCAS Conservatoires

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.