Clearing 2022: UCAS process explained and how to find a course

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According to UCAS, more than 47,000 students found their degree through clearing last year

If you missed your best pick or didn’t get the grades you expected, there’s always an alternative.

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Clearing is a popular option among students, with 47,000 gaining admission through the process last year, according to UCAS.

Students can choose from a variety of institutions and degree programs that offer them many study opportunities.

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But what is clearing and how do you use it? Here’s everything you need to know about the UCAS process.

Last year, more than 47,000 students found their place on the course through Clearing (Image: Getty Images)

What is clearing?

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Clearing is a process by UCAS that helps students find potential university courses.

After Results Day, many universities will find that they have unfilled spots that they want to fill.

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Clearing helps students who have not settled on their choice of university to find an alternative option.

So if you don’t get the grades you need, or if you have better grades than expected, clearing gives you the opportunity to choose a place on another university course.

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This can be at the same institution or at a completely different one.

Even if you have not received any offers of study, you can apply to study at a university via clearing.

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It’s a popular option among students, with more than 47,000 finding their college course through clearing in 2021, according to UCAS.

There are a number of universities, and high-ranking institutions also offer study places.

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With so much choice, it’s important to do thorough research on your course and potential institution before deciding on where to study.

When is clearing 2022?

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Clearing begins in July, but students generally wait until the day of A Level results to start looking for courses.

This year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the A Level Results Day will be held on Thursday 18th August.

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In Scotland, students will receive their results for Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers on Tuesday 9th August and can then start clearing.

Application deadline for clearing is October 18, 2022.

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Agents at the UCAS clearing house call center answer phone inquiries ahead of results day (Image: Getty Images)

How does clearing work?

After the results day, UCAS will have a list of university courses in clearing on their website.

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All you have to do is enter the desired course of study, the desired academic year and the institution.

Once you’ve decided on a course, the next step is to call the university to make sure you meet the criteria and that places are still available.

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If they offer you a place and you accept it, you will need to add a release to your application by clicking the button and then adding the course information that the university has provided you with.

If the university does not confirm your place, you can add another exemption option.

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If you only applied to one university in your original UCAS application, you will need to pay a £4.50 release fee.

Who is eligible for clearing?

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Anyone who has submitted a UCAS application and has not accepted an offer is eligible for clearing.

You are eligible for clearing if you:

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  • applied before June 30th but did not receive any offers
  • applied for after June 30 – that means you automatically go to clearing
  • did not meet the terms of your bids
  • have paid an application fee of £26.50
  • have refused their permanent place
University of Birmingham students pose for a group photo after graduating (Image: Getty Images)

How do I find a course?

You can find a university course on the UCAS Clearing List website.

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Clearing begins in July, but many students only start looking for courses after receiving their results.

Popular courses fill up quickly, so it’s important that you don’t wait when you find a course or university to apply to.

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Who can I contact if I need help?

There are a few places to go if you need help clearing.

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Here are some useful contact numbers:

UCAS operates a dedicated clearing service to help students navigate the process.

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While the staff cannot provide course advice, they can assist you with any questions or technical issues you may have with your application.

Alternatively, you can also contact UCAS on social media via their Twitter account @ucas_online.

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Hotline for exam results: 0800 100 9000

This helpline advises students on the next steps after receiving the A-level results.

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It is open from 8 a.m. on the day of the result and can be used free of charge.

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