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Clearing: An interview with Admission Advisor Letizia Belcastro

That time of year is creeping up on us and Clearing is just around the corner. To help you plan your application through Clearing, we caught up with Admission Advisor Letizia Belcastro to get her top tips to help you sail through the Clearing process.

By Cara Fielder. Published 17 June 2022. Last updated 4 January 2023.

Clearing primarily allows students who have not secured a place at their chosen universities to match with universities that have places available. It is also a chance to reassess your university options and discover new courses and opportunities after getting your results.

All undergraduate students can apply to university through Clearing. Most students apply through Clearing because they have not achieved the grades needed for the offers they are holding. However, anyone can apply to university through Clearing, even if they hold an offer with another university or have not applied in the first instance.

Students can contact us via our Clearing helpline (0808 3019834) as soon as they receive confirmation of their results. This will allow us to go through the Clearing form with them to see which courses we can offer. Students can call our Clearing line prior to results day, but we will not be able to issue an offer without results. But we will be able to give advice on how to proceed and answer any questions.

Applicants should have several things to hand when they call us - their UCAS ID number if they have one, and details of any qualifications. This includes any level 3 qualifications, such as A-levels, BTECs, WJECs, etc., along with GCSEs as we require a pass in GCSE English Language and/or Maths for our courses. If we have all this information, we will be able to give the best advice possible about available courses and hopefully make an on-the-spot offer.

Data protection rules mean we can’t take a Clearing application from anyone other than the applicant. There is no problem with students having someone with them for moral support though. We understand they might be nervous, but we are there to help. That’s our job.

Students should still call us if they don’t think their grades are good enough. We are here to help. Universities often drop their grade requirements during Clearing, so it is definitely worth getting in touch. We will look at all available options to see which courses we may be able to offer.

I have seen Clearing work out well for so many students. Results day can be difficult, and sometimes callers feel panicked and hopeless. That’s where we come in and are able to turn things around.

Clearing can be a daunting time for students - they may be upset as they may not have received the grades they anticipated, but Clearing can provide hope and new opportunities. It is a great feeling to know you have helped someone take that important step towards achieving their goals.

I remember talking to an applicant who had just received her grades and was very upset. She wasn’t sure which courses would be an option for her. After a few minutes of talking to her and outlining all the different courses she could choose from, she began to sound more relaxed and excited about her options. It felt great to know that we were able to help her transition from feeling really distressed to excited about her new course. This is the fun part about Clearing – knowing we have made someone’s day.

We have a dedicated Clearing helpline (0808 3019834) which is open for extended hours during A-level results week. This allows us to put you straight through to our knowledgeable and caring team who are on standby to give you the best possible advice and assistance. Our user-friendly process allows us to gather the information we need from you, so that, in most cases, we can give you an immediate decision.

My top tips for Clearing are:

  • Have your results to hand when calling so that we can discuss your options and help find the right course for you.
  • Be flexible – you may wish to consider courses which are different to those you previously applied for. Have a look at our website and see which courses interest you.
  • Make a note of any questions you would like to ask.
  • Most of all - don’t panic. Pick up the phone and give us a call - we are here to help you.


Learn more about applying to study with us through Clearing.