How does university Clearing work in the UK?

How does the university Clearing work in the UK

This article was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 6 October 2021

What happens if you didn’t get the grades you needed for the undergraduate degree course you wanted to study? Or the course is full? Does that mean that it’s the end of your dreams to study in the UK?

GB Mag Survival Service creative - 2021

Do not despair as this is not the end! You can still study in the UK by going through something called “Clearing.”

Here we explain what university Clearing is and how you can use it to secure a place at a UK university as an international student.

What is Clearing?

The university Clearing process is a way for students, home students and international alike, that have applied via UCAS for an undergraduate degree, to reapply to university if they haven’t been successful in securing a place on their chosen course.

Who can apply through Clearing?

You can apply for a place at a UK university through Clearing if:

  • You did not get the grades you needed for your chosen course.
  • You did not receive an offer from a UK university for a place on an undergraduate course.
  • You do not want to accept a place on the degrees you have been offered.
  • Your grades are better than you expected so you want to apply to something else.
  • You missed the 30th June deadline to apply for an undergraduate course.

When does Clearing open?

Clearing for 2021 runs from the 5th July to the 19th October and the process of going through Clearing is relatively easy if you follow these instructions.

You can view all the undergraduate degree courses that still have vacancies on the UCAS website or on the website of your preferred university. A top tip is to search as soon as you can and then again when British students get their A-level results, which this year is 10th August 2021.

This is when the majority of vacancies will be promoted but do remember that places go fast and you should make a decision quickly.

How much does it cost to go through Clearing?

The price will depend on how much you have already paid:

  • If you have already paid the £26 multiple application fee when you first applied via UCAS, you don’t have to pay anything extra.
  • If you have paid the £20 single application fee you will have to pay the £6 difference.
  • If this is the first time that you are applying, and you are doing so through Clearing, you will have to pay the full £26.

Can I apply via clearing if I am using an agent?

If you are applying to university through an agency you will also be able to go through clearing, just ask your agency about it.

You may also want to read

Everything you need to know about being an international student in the UK

What do the UK Covid-19 rule changes mean for international students?

Pros and cons of purpose built student accommodation