If you’re applying through Clearing, find out what to do, and how to apply.
Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses.  From 5 July – 17 October 2023, you can apply for a course using Clearing if you’re not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places. You can use Clearing if:
  • you’re applying after 30 June
  • you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • you've paid the multiple choice application fee of £27
  • you’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in your application

When does Clearing start and end?

Clearing is open from 5 July and closes on 17 October 2023.

Clearing Plus

If you find yourself in Clearing, we'll personally match you to courses you may be interested in, using what we know about you from your application, and what universities and colleges are looking for. If you’re unplaced or have started a new application, a button will appear in your application called ‘My matches’. This will take you to your top 50 course matches. You’ll then be able to tell universities and colleges you’re ‘interested’ in their courses. If they still have vacancies and you meet their entry requirements, they may call you. Don’t worry, if you want to apply for something different, you can still find courses available in Clearing using our search tool. More about Clearing Plus

How do I apply using Clearing?

  1. Ask for advice Talk to 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 here, on ucas.com.
  2. See what courses are available Use our search tool to find courses – it's 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 don't have to stick with your original idea. You could also look at joint honours courses, so you can study a mix of subjects
    • keep checking – unis update their course information regularly. You might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you were looking for – some might be full, but some might get vacancies later on
    • check the course details – how is it structured each year? What modules make up each year? What are the entry requirements?
  3. Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in Before you add a Clearing choice in your application, you need to call the uni and give them your Clearing number (you can find this in your application), and Personal ID, so they can look it up.
    • Ask if they'd accept you – they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.
    • Get informal offers over the phone – maybe from a variety of universities and colleges – then decide which one you want to accept.
    • Ask about accommodation options – is there any on-campus?
    • Take a look around the campus – if you have the time, it's the best way to see what a university/college is like – most will be happy to meet you and show you around. Alternatively, see if they have a virtual tour or a virtual open day.
  4. Add your Clearing choice in your application Only add a Clearing choice once 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 counts as you definitely accepting the offer, so if they confirm, it'll show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in your application.
    • 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.
    • If the university/college confirms your place, find your student accommodation and then make sure you get everything ready to start your studies.  

Thinking of applying directly through Clearing?

If you haven't already applied, you first need to register and make an application. Unlike applying before Clearing, you’ll only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted your application. We’ll send you a welcome email, with details of how to access your application, and your Clearing number.


How will I know I'm in Clearing?

You'll know you're in Clearing if your application status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started. Or, you follow the on-screen prompts to decline your firm place, and your application status then says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.

Where can I find my Clearing number?

If you’re eligible for Clearing, your Clearing number will show under ‘Application status’ in your application.  

I think I’m in Clearing, why don’t I have a Clearing number yet?

If your application doesn't say ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’ it might just be waiting for your results to update. Get in touch with the universities/colleges if it's taking a while – they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.

How much does it cost?

If you originally only applied for one course for the reduced fee of £22.50, you'll have to pay an additional £4.50 to apply through Clearing.

When can I use Clearing?

  • It's available July to October each year.
  • If you already have your exam results but you have no offers, you can use Clearing from July.
  • If you had conditional offers but your exam results didn't go to plan, you can use Clearing from results day, when Clearing vacancies will be listed in our search tool.
  • If you're eligible, you can add a Clearing choice on results day. 
  • If you are holding a firm unconditional place but have changed your mind, you can decline your place in your application.


Where can I find Clearing vacancies?

All Clearing vacancies are listed in our search tool from July. They are updated regularly by the unis until mid-September.

How do I add a Clearing choice?

Go to the ‘Your choices’ section of your application and click 'Add Clearing choice.’ Then enter the details of the course.

Only add a Clearing choice if you’ve been given permission by a uni.

How do I reply to a Clearing offer?

You don’t need to reply to a Clearing offer. Once you add the choice, it’s then up to the uni/college to confirm your place in your application.  

I don’t want my firm choice, can I use Clearing?

Yes. If you change your mind you mind and no longer want to go to your firm choice, you can use the ‘decline my place’ button in your application – find out more.

Why hasn’t my application updated?

Your application will update once the uni/college makes a decision. If you’ve met the conditions of your offer, your place will be confirmed soon.

Can I swap my firm and insurance choices now I’ve got my results?

No, you can’t swap your firm and insurance choices.

If you now want to go to your insurance choice, you need to go through Clearing. You need to check with your insurance choice uni/college that they can accept you in Clearing.

My results are better than I expected, can I use Adjustment?

From 2022, Adjustment is no longer available. But, if you’ve done better than you thought and want to change universities, you can decline your place in your application to go through Clearing instead.  

Find out more

UCAS Conservatoires do not use Clearing to fill vacancies. If you're looking for a place at a conservatoire, please search for available courses in our search tool. You'll also need to check with the conservatoire if they're still accepting applications, before you apply.

Looking after your wellbeing

It’s important to look after your wellbeing during Clearing. Visit our mental health hub for more information about where you can get support and advice. More about support  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know what your options are, talk to someone at your school or college if possible. If you need help with understanding the Clearing process, call UCAS on 0371 468 0468 and we’ll talk you through it and answer any questions you have.  Don’t forget you can reach out to your university or college if you need help with your application or your transition to higher education. They will be able to tell you more about the support available, and ensure you have the help you need.