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Clearing Overview

What is Clearing?

Clearing is how universities fill any places they have left on their courses for their upcoming September intake.

When does Clearing open?

Clearing opens on the 5 July 2024 and closes for us on the 15 September 2024, however, our Business Courses close on the 21 September 2024. The final deadline everywhere else is the 17 October 2024.

What information will I need to have to hand when calling the Clearing hotline?

Students who are hoping to come through Clearing will need to have the following things to hand when they call the clearing hotline on 0808 3019834 or speak to us on Live Chat:

  • UCAS ID number
  • GCSE Grades (will require GCSE English Language grade C or 4 for all courses, and Maths grade C or 4 only for Business, Policing, or Criminology)
  • A-Level or equivalent results

If you’re not sure whether you have the grades for your chosen course, call us anyway so we can look into your personal circumstances and see if there’s anything we can do to help you.

Top tip – when getting your information ready, bullet point your personal statement so you can introduce yourself easily on the call.

Who can use Clearing?

You can use Clearing if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You’re applying for the first time after the 30 June 2024.
  • You didn't receive an offer when applying in the first UCAS cycle.
  • You received offers, but none that you wanted to accept.
  • You have exceeded your predicted grades and want to change your university or subject choice.
  • You've changed your mind and declined your firm offer.
  • You didn't meet the grades of your conditional offer. 

How much does the Clearing fee cost?

There is no additional cost for Clearing. From 2024, you pay a one-off application fee of £27.50.

Whilst you can only enter one Clearing choice at a time, if a university doesn’t confirm your place, you can add another.

Clearing Terms

What is self-release?

Self-release allows you to take yourself off your original UCAS choices and enter Clearing. Before, you had to contact your chosen university or college and wait to be released into Clearing, however applicants can now do this themselves.

What is a conditional offer?

A conditional offer is an offer from a university that is dependent on what grades you get. These offers show the conditions you’ll need to meet to confirm your place. For most people, this means waiting for Results Day in summer to see if your exam results meet the conditions.

What is confirmation?

Confirmation of university and college places usually happens students have gotten their summer results.

What is a firm choice vs an insurance choice?

A firm choice is another way to say your first choice – the place you most want to go to. If you accept a conditional offer and meet the conditions, you’ll have a confirmed place here.

An insurance choice is the choice you’d want if you didn't meet the conditions of your firm choice. If this is a conditional offer, you’d need to meet the conditions for your place to be confirmed.

What is UCAS Extra?

UCAS Extra is another chance for you to gain a place at university or college, between 23 February and 4 July. Signing on to Extra means that you can continue applying for courses in the next academic year, even if you’ve already used up your original five choices – as long as you applied through UCAS, and you’re not holding any offers or waiting for a decision on any of your initial five applications. If you still don’t have any offers when Extra closes, don’t panic because you can apply for a place at university through Clearing.

What is Clearing Plus?

Clearing Plus is only available if you’re unsuccessful with your application or are applying for the first time through Clearing. You’ll be able to ‘view your matches’ in your UCAS Hub.

What is an informal offer?

You might receive an informal offer over the phone from one of our advisors when you call to apply. Once you add this as your choice via UCAS and it has been processed, it becomes a confirmed offer.

What is deferral?

Deferral, or deferred entry, means applying for a course and then taking a year out before starting it.


Clearing Process

How do I go through Clearing?

It is so simple to go through Clearing. Just check out our Clearing guide for a step-by-step run through about the Clearing process from start to finish. You can only enter one Clearing choice at a time, but if a university doesn’t confirm your place, you can add another.

What can I do if I didn’t get the grades for the University? 

First of all, keep calm. If you didn't achieve the grades you were expecting, or didn’t meet the advertised grades on our website, call our Clearing hotline. One of our friendly advisors can review your final grades with you, discuss any course options available and any next steps.

Where can I find my Clearing number?

If you’re eligible for Clearing, your Clearing number will show under ‘application status’ in your application.

Can a friend, relative or teacher call the University for me?

Due to the Data Protection Act, if anyone else calls on your behalf, we can only give them general information about Clearing - we can’t discuss your application with them. However, don’t be nervous about calling us - we’re here to help you, and you can always have someone with you for support when you call us.

I planned to take a gap year, so I haven’t applied through UCAS. Can I apply now?

Absolutely, you will be able to apply through Clearing - just give us a call. You will then need to fill out a UCAS late application form which can be found on the UCAS Clearing website.

Can I go through Clearing if I haven't applied through UCAS?

Yes, you can still apply via Clearing if you didn't make an original application on UCAS. Call our Clearing hotline to apply.

Can I apply for deferred entry?

We usually advise that you apply via Clearing for the current year entry and then tell us that you are looking to defer - then we can go about arranging an alternative start date.

What happens if I accept an offer through Clearing but change my mind?

If you accept a Clearing offer but no longer wish to take that offer up, you can either self-release on the UCAS Hub, or get in contact directly with the university you hold the place with. They will then be able to release you back into Clearing so you have the flexibility to accept a new offer via the UCAS Hub.

How long does it take to find out if I’ve been accepted through Clearing?

With us, you will usually be told on the phone call that we have with you. You’ll then need to complete the rest of the process on the UCAS Hub.

Can international students apply through Clearing?

Yes, as long as you have already applied to universities through UCAS.

I need to have an English Language certificate, what are my options if I can’t sit the IELTS test?

If you can't sit an IELTS exam, there are alternative English Language exams available to you. You can use the to see what other qualifications we accept.

If you hold a Clearing offer with us, you may also be eligible to sit our internal English Language exam called the ULET. Further information can be found here

Please note, you will need to have taken an acceptable English Language exam and had your results back prior to the course start date.

I’m a mature student and I already have my results, when can I apply through Clearing?

You won’t need to wait for your exam results, so you can search and apply for courses as soon as Clearing opens in July.


Clearing at The University of Law

I really want to study with you but already have a place at another university. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply to us through Clearing once it opens.

You can change your first choice, but you’ll have to contact the university currently offering you a place before accepting any offer that we may make you.

How can I apply to you through Clearing?

Once you've received your results, call our Clearing hotline on 0808 3019834 and apply with one of our friendly advisors. On the call, they will review your achieved grades, discuss any course options available for you and talk you through the next steps.

If you meet the advertised grades for the course, you can also add us as a choice on your UCAS portal.

I can't get through on the hotline. What should I do?

Our phone lines can get busy but please keep trying. We've got lots of friendly advisors ready to take your call when you get through.

How long does it take to respond to a Clearing application?

We’ll likely give you an informal offer if you meet our requirements during the call we have with you, and we aim to process your Clearing application within 24 hours.

The Admissions team will need to verify your qualifications, so we might contact you and ask you to provide these if we didn’t get them directly from UCAS. We recommend that you get these to us at [email protected] as soon as possible so your place can be secured.

What will happen about funding my degree?

If you’ve already been approved to receive a loan from Student Finance, then you can still use that loan for your degree. However, you’ll need to let Student Finance know about the change of university. Read our Clearing Checklist to find out more about financing your degree.

Do you have halls of residence, and can I still apply?

We don’t have halls of residence at our campuses, but we have plenty of accommodation options available through our agreed agents. If you email our Accommodation Team they will be more than happy to help you.


If you have any other questions about Clearing, please get in touch on 0808 301 9846 and our team will be happy to help.