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.
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 do I apply through Clearing?
Emma from UCAS explains how you can 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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In Clearing you can see which courses have places remaining. You can use Clearing if you:

  • apply after 30 June
  • didn't receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • didn't meet the conditions of your offers 

Alternatively look at something different like a gap year or employment

Use our Clearing service to find a new course

  • It's available July to September each year.
  • If you already have your exam results but you have no offers, you can use Clearing from July.
  • If you had conditional offers but your exam results didn't go to plan, you can use Clearing from results day, when Clearing vacancies will be listed in our search tool.
  • Clearing vacancies are updated regularly by universities and colleges. If you don't find the course you're looking for straight away, try again later.

If your exam results are reasonable and you're flexible on subject/location, there's still a good chance you'll find another course.

How does Clearing work?

The idea is you identify courses (with vacancies) that interest you and contact the course providers directly to see if they will offer you a place.
  • If you're applying after 30 June, you still need to register and make an application. In Clearing you need to complete all the application as normal, including your personal statement, but you can't add course choices. When you submit your application you receive a welcome email to access the Track service where you'll find your Clearing Number. You then follow the steps below – ask for advice, search for vacancies in our search tool, and contact unis and colleges to try to find a place. 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'.
  • 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 £13, you'll have to pay an additional £11 to enable you to apply for multiple courses.

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

We have the official vacancy list online.

  • Consider different subjects – you don't have to stick with your original idea.
  • The online list is updated regularly – you might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you're looking for – some might be full, but some might get vacancies later on, so keep checking back.

3. Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in

Give them your UCAS Clearing number (located on the welcome and choices pages in Track), and your Personal ID number which will let them see your application online.

  • 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.
  • Take a look around – 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.

4. Add a Clearing choice in Track

Please only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college to do this.

  • 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 the choices page of Track and we'll send you a Confirmation letter. 
  • 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.

Direct contact service 

This is an optional service, designed to help you find a university or college place, if you find yourself without one. If you sign up, universities and colleges can contact you during most of Clearing, from 5 July to mid-September, if they have places on courses that might be suitable for you.

Find out more about our direct contact service

Clearing FAQs 


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