UCAS Clearing 2024: Landing Your Dream Course In The UK

UCAS clearing

Clearing is upon us! Don’t know what Clearing is? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Clearing. This includes answering questions like What is clearing, Which are the top universities for Clearing, How to register for clearing, What is Clearing Plus, and much more! Discover answers to all your queries in this informative blog. 

Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It is a service provided by UCAS that enables universities to fill remaining seats in their courses while offering students who haven’t received any offers a second opportunity to pursue their higher education goals. In 2023, a record number of 18-year-olds – 38,140 received admission through clearing. 

Clearing Timeline 2024: Key Dates

5 July 2024Clearing Opens:
Many people assume that Clearing begins on the day British students receive their A Level results, but it actually starts much earlier. Initial course vacancies have already been posted in July. Nonetheless, the bulk of available spots will open up on or after A-Level results day. 
15 August 2024A Level Results Day:
This is the day when UK students anxiously anticipate their final school grades. It’s also when Clearing vacancies get updated. If your results aren’t what you expected, don’t worry. This might be the perfect time to explore Clearing.
21 October 2024Clearing closes for 2024 entry:
This is the final date for applying to courses and universities through Clearing. However, spaces tend to fill up quickly, often long before the deadline. So, don’t wait until the last minute! By then, many courses may already be full.

What Is Clearing?

Clearing is an opportunity for students to secure a place on an undergraduate course at a UK university if their initial application is unsuccessful, they decline the offers received, or they apply late in the year.

It serves to fill remaining course vacancies that have not been taken through the regular application cycle, with thousands of students securing university places through Clearing annually.

Clearing opens in July and is available exclusively for undergraduate courses, not postgraduate programmes. Most students begin the Clearing process on or shortly after A Level results day in the UK, which falls on August 15, 2024. Practically, this involves checking the UCAS database and/or contacting universities directly to inquire about available places and potentially secure a spot on a course. Spaces tend to fill up rapidly, so marking this date in your calendar and promptly reaching out to universities may be advisable.

Clearing is a system facilitated by UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), which handles undergraduate applications for UK universities. Applying for a Bachelor’s degree in the United Kingdom essentially requires going through UCAS, regardless of whether you are a domestic or international student.

You can utilise Clearing if:

  • You’re applying for undergraduate courses – typically Bachelor’s programmes or undergraduate Master’s – at universities in the UK. 
  • You’ve already applied, but your final grades turn out to be higher or lower than expected;
  • You missed the June 30th application deadline and wish to make a late application;
  • You did not receive any offers from universities or cannot/do not want to accept the offers you have;
  • You’ve paid the £27.50 application fee (or £4.50 if you’ve previously paid the £22.50 reduced fee) and declined your firm place.

When Does Clearing 2024 Open?

The service is available from July to October each year, meaning that for 2024/25, if you already have your grades but aren’t holding an offer from a university, you can use the Clearing service straight away from Friday 5 July 2024.

However, if you had conditional offers but your grades didn’t meet the requirements, you can enter Clearing from A-level results day onwards (Clearing choices can be added from 3 pm on the day).

Clearing vacancies are displayed in UCAS’s search tool, with the majority added from results day. You can phone the university hotline numbers from Tuesday morning to late afternoon on this day. As opening times may vary, it’s advisable to check with the individual university for details.

Applications will be accepted until Monday 21 October 2024, with this being the last date to add your choices, and for universities to make their final decisions.

Which Are The Top 2024 Universities For Clearing?

The following is the list of the top UK Universities that are open for Clearing in 2024:

  1. University of Bath
  2. University of Warwick
  3. Loughborough University
  4. University of Glasgow
  5. The University of Edinburgh
  6. University of Aberdeen
  7. Lancaster University
  8. University of Exeter
  9. University of Southampton
  10. University of Strathclyde
  11. University of the Arts London (UAL)
  12. University of Leeds
  13. University of York
  14. Aston University

How Does Clearing For Universities Work?

Need a place at uni? Clearing 2024 can make that happen. Through Clearing, you can apply for a course if you’re not already holding an offer from universities for Clearing and the course still has places.

You are eligible to use Clearing 2024 if you meet the following criteria – 

  • While some universities like Oxford and Cambridge don’t participate, the UCAS Clearing website typically lists over 30,000 course vacancies through its search tool. This list is regularly updated until mid-September.
  • It’s your responsibility to identify courses of interest that still have available spaces. Contact the relevant universities directly to confirm if they’ll offer you a place.
  • You can even apply for courses in subjects you hadn’t originally applied for, and to universities that may have previously rejected you earlier in the year.
  • As you search for new courses and consider your options, seek guidance on how to choose the right degree and compare universities.
  • Trained advisers are available on university hotlines to guide you through the process. You’ll need your UCAS personal ID when calling universities.
  • Before adding a course to UCAS Hub, you must gain permission from the university.
  • Once a verbal offer is made, added to UCAS Hub, and confirmed by the university, your place is guaranteed.

What Are Clearing Matches?

As well as searching for suitable courses through the UCAS search facility, you can also take advantage of its Clearing matches tool. This has been designed to match you with your ideal course using information from your application and what universities are looking for in candidates. If you haven’t got a place at university or have started a new application, you’ll see a ‘View your matches’ button in UCAS Hub. This takes you to your top 50 course matches. From the list, you can approach universities offering courses you’re interested in. They may then contact you if they still have vacancies and you meet their entry requirements.

What Is Clearing Plus?

Clearing Plus is a new tool that was introduced in 2022. The intent behind Clearing Plus is to speed things up. Clearing Plus takes what it knows about you and what it knows about the types of students universities are looking for and suggests some courses you might like. If you happen to like a particular course, the university or college can contact you. And don’t worry, you can still browse courses in Clearing using the search tool.

PS. There are restrictions on applying to universities for Clearing via Clearing Plus. If you’re unsuccessful with your application or are applying for the first time for a place in Clearing, then only will you be able to use Clearing Plus.

How Do I Secure Student Finance After Clearing?

If you accept an offer through Clearing, you need to make sure you get your student loan. The process for finance will be different – depending on whether you applied for university in the initial application phase, or whether you’re using Clearing for your first application.

If you’ve already applied for funding but have changed your course or the university you’re attending, you’ll need to let Student Finance know. It’s easy to update your details but you should do this as soon as possible, as it may affect the amount you receive. Follow the steps below to update your Student Finance application:

  • Log into your account at GOV.UK – Student finance login
  • Go to ‘Your Account’
  • Select ‘Change your Application’
  • Then select ‘University/College and Course’.

Meanwhile, if you’ve decided to go to university this year and you still haven’t applied for finance, you’ll need to apply now to give yourself the best chance of receiving your loan in time for the start of your course. You can register and apply online at GOV.UK.

While it’s possible you won’t get all of your funding in time for the start of your course, Student Finance will do its best to make sure you receive some support shortly after you register. If you face a delay in your funding, contact your university to let them know.


What To Do For University Clearing?

It is totally up to you to find a university that is prepared to accept you.

1. Seek Advice

Before you start the Clearing process, consult 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 on the UCAS website.

2. See What Courses Are Available

Make use of the search tool to find courses. It is 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 can always follow Plan B. You could also look at joint honours courses so that you can study a mix of subjects
  • Keep checking – UK universities for Clearing update their course information regularly. You might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you were looking for as some might be full, but some might get vacancies later on.
  • Check the course details – Find answers to important questions like – how is it structured each year. What modules make up each year? What are the entry requirements?

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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 that they can look up your application.

  • You can ask them if they’d accept you. There have been instances where they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.
  • You should also try to get informal offers from universities for Clearing over the phone. Once you have a variety of university and college offers, you can decide which one you want to accept.
  • Ask about Student accommodation in the UK. There is a high chance that they’d be sold out by the time you ask for on-campus accommodation. A great alternative to this is off-campus student accommodation. This type of accommodation is located very close to universities and offers you a wide range of amenities like 24/7 security, secure access, on-site staff, contents insurance, free WiFi, lounge access and more. Head over to UniAcco to get the best possible deals on your student accommodation.

4. Add Your Clearing 2024 Choice In Track

You must add a Clearing choice only when 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 means you are 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. Once the university/college confirms your place, you should start finding your student accommodation on UniAcco.

Do Universities Lower Their Grades For Clearing?

Universities are fairly understanding and know that sometimes exams don’t go as planned and results don’t reflect what students are really capable of. Fortunately for you, you will be talking to admissions tutors directly during the Clearing process so you can convince them there’s more to you than your exam results.

Most universities that have course vacancies during Clearing will be prepared to accept you if your grades are below their entry requirements as long as you sound passionate and are right for the degree subject.

A university could also accept you based on the UCAS points that you’ve accumulated rather than your final grades. For instance, the entry requirements might be AAA, and you’ve got ABB, but your UCAS points might add up to enough to give the university a place.

Source: UCAS

Can You Apply For UK Universities Through Clearing Without Using UCAS?

It’s also possible to apply directly to some universities during Clearing via the Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) route. If accepted, the university notifies UCAS on your behalf. This could be an option for students who haven’t previously applied through UCAS and prefer not to use their system. However, many universities only accept applications through UCAS during Clearing. Additionally, RPA limits you to a single university, whereas UCAS Clearing allows applications to multiple institutions.

What If Clearing Is Not Successful? 

If you can’t find a university course that you want or are unable to secure a place, don’t panic – it’s not the end of the road. You always have the option to reapply to university in the UK the following year, perhaps after gaining valuable new experiences to strengthen your application.

However, if you don’t want to wait until next year, there are numerous universities across Europe that you could still apply to, as application deadlines vary from country to country. Here are the deadlines for applications in some popular European study destinations:

CountryPeriod of Deadline
CanadaApril – August
USAAs late as August
AustriaJune – September
LithuaniaOften June
PolandJuly – August
SpainUntil July

Note that these later deadlines frequently only apply when no visa is necessary – usually if you are a citizen of the EU or EEA. You may also want to explore private universities or business schools in continental Europe, as private institutions often offer more flexibility with application and start dates, sometimes even providing rolling admissions. This could allow you to begin your studies at the start of the next calendar year, giving you ample time for preparation.


Q1. What are clearing courses in UK universities?

Ans: Clearing courses are additional course slots offered at UK institutions for students who did not obtain a place through their initial university applications.

Q2. Which UK universities do not do clearing?

Ans: Some UK institutions, notably Oxford and Cambridge, do not participate in the clearance procedure.

Q3. Is clearing available for international students?

Ans: Yes. Clearing is offered for international students also, however, course availability varies.

Q4. What Is Clearing?

Ans: Clearing is a method that UCAS and UK institutions use towards the conclusion of the academic year to fill degree spots that have not been filled.

Q5. Can you get rejected from clearing?

Ans: While rejection from clearing is conceivable if all available spaces are filled, other options may be considered, such as UCAS Extra or reapplying in the following application season.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog on the UK Universities For Clearing 2023. We hope you found the information helpful and informative. If you’re interested in exploring more about such content, we encourage you to continue reading similar articles below:

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UCAS Clearing 2024: Landing Your Dream Course In The UK

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