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 6 July – 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 paid the multiple choice application fee of £25
  • you’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in Track

New for 2020 – Clearing Plus

If you find yourself in Clearing this year, we'll personally 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 in a student.

If you’re unplaced or have started a new application, a button will appear in Track – ‘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.

What is Clearing Plus?

Five things you need to know

The magic of matching

How do I apply using Clearing?

  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 ucas.com.
  2. See what courses are available
    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. Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in
    Before you add a Clearing choice in Track, you need to 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.

Where is my Clearing number?

Emma from UCAS explains where to find your Clearing number.

How does Clearing work?

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 Track, and 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 from UCAS goes through some reasons why Track might not have changed, even though you've had your exam results.

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.

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 stressYoung Minds has advice for young people who are dealing with disappointing exam results

Student Space is a new online hub from Student Minds. Here you can find support for mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a range of information, access to dedicated support services (phone or text), details of the support available at your university, and tools to help you manage the challenges of student life. Visit the Student Space website

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know what your options are, talk to someone at your school or college if possible. If you need help with understanding the Clearing process, call UCAS on 0371 468 0468 and we’ll talk you through it and answer any questions you have. Alternatively, call the Exam Results Helpline on 0800 100 900 to talk through your options.

Don’t forget you can reach out to your university or college if you need help with your application or your transition to higher education. They will be able to tell you more about the support available, and ensure you have the help you need.