Guide to UK Applications • Undergraduate

Your Guide to UCAS Clearing and Adjustment

POSTED ON 08/14/2018 BY The Red Pen

Your Guide to UCAS Clearing and Adjustment | The Red Pen

Did you not meet your conditional requirements for both your firm and insurance colleges? Don’t panic just yet! You still have some options available thanks to UCAS Clearing. Read on to find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity and find a place at college this year.

Here is everything you need to know about Clearing and Adjustment

What is UCAS Clearing?

Clearing the mechanism through which some colleges fill the places they still have left in their courses for the new academic year. Clearing usually opens in July and closes in October. You are eligible for Clearing if you have applied through UCAS and one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You are not holding any offers from the universities to which you’ve applied
  • Your place is not confirmed after exam results are published
  • You applied after June 30

How does Clearing work?

If you are eligible for Clearing, it will automatically appear on your UCAS Track page. Here, you will find your Clearing Number that colleges use to access your application.

In Clearing, the first thing you need to do is search for course vacancies on the UCAS Clearing webpage. Your choice, of course, can differ from the one for which you originally applied. Once you have found a vacancy, start calling up the colleges that interest you to find out whether your application can be considered. The Clearing contact number is usually mentioned on the Clearing page for each university. There is no limit to how many universities you may contact.  

When it comes to offers, you can receive them from several colleges, so don’t feel like you should accept the first offer you receive. You will be spending at least three years studying the course, so make sure you’ve found the right fit before you accept a place.

Once you have made a final decision about your course, you need to fill in the details in the ‘Add a Clearing choice’ tab on Track. Remember that you can only enter one choice at a time so don’t add a Clearing choice before a college asks you to apply to them. If you don’t check with the college, they may reject you and until this point, you will not be applied anywhere else! The last date you can enter a Clearing choice this year is usually around mid October, but most places will fill up before then, so don’t wait that long to decide.

Changed your mind about your Firm and Insurance?

If you have met your Firm and/or Insurance conditions, or they are accepting you with lower scores, but you no longer wish to go there, then you need to call up the college personally and explain to them why you are requesting to be released from your offer. If this request is accepted and processed, then your application will go to Clearing.

What if you’ve performed better than expected?

If you have met and exceeded the conditions of your Firm offer, you have the option of using UCAS Adjustment to find an alternative course, without losing your original offer. It is a chance for you to reconsider where and what you want to study–but don’t forget to consider other factors such as accommodation.

To use Adjustment, you must register for it in Track. You will only have five 24-hour periods, including weekends, to use this process. During this time, your conditional Firm offer changes to an unconditional firm one. Adjustment is usually available mid-August There’s no vacancy list for Adjustment, so you will have to use the general search tool for course details and contact admissions offices directly to ask for openings. Do not verbally agree to accept a place unless you are 100 percent sure you want it. If there’s an offer you want to accept, let the college know. They will then add themselves to your application. If you don’t find anything on Adjustment, then you just keep your original Firm offer.

NOTE: Adjustment is being discontinued from 2022.

If you are unsure about applying to university immediately after high school, read about the benefits of taking a year off here. For more information on UCAS and undergraduate programmes get in touch with us.