When Does the UCAS Clearing Process Start? And How Can I Apply?

The UCAS Clearing process marks a crucial period for prospective university students in the UK who may not have secured a place through their initial applications or who are applying late. Understanding when this process starts and how to navigate it can significantly influence your chances of gaining entry to higher education. Here’s everything you need to know about UCAS Clearing:

When Does UCAS Clearing Start?

UCAS Clearing typically begins in July each year, immediately after A-level results day in the UK. For 2024, A-level results day is expected to be on August 15th. The Clearing process officially opens shortly after this, allowing students who did not receive offers or meet the conditions of their offers to explore alternative university options.

How Can I Apply Through UCAS Clearing?

1. Check Your Eligibility:

Before applying through Clearing, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Typically, this includes:

  • You have already applied through UCAS but have no offers or none you wish to accept.
  • You have not met the conditions of your offers (for example, you did not achieve the required grades).
  • You have declined all your offers or your offers have been declined automatically by UCAS.

2. Research Available Courses:

Visit the UCAS website or individual university websites to view the list of courses available through Clearing. Universities update their Clearing vacancies regularly, so keep checking for new openings.

3. Prepare Your Application:

Once you have identified a course you are interested in, contact the university directly. Prepare essential information such as your UCAS Personal ID, your exam results, and any relevant personal statements or references.

4. Contact Universities:

When contacting universities, be prepared for a brief interview over the phone. This is to ensure you meet the entry requirements and to discuss your interest in the course. Have your exam results and personal statement ready to discuss.

5. Receive Offers and Make Decisions:

If a university offers you a place, you will receive this information via UCAS Track. You can only accept one Clearing offer at a time, so choose carefully. Once you accept an offer, it is considered binding.

6. Finalize Your Decision:

After accepting an offer, your chosen university will send you further information about starting your course, including registration details and any preparatory tasks you need to complete.

Tips for a Successful Clearing Application:

  • Act Quickly: Places can fill up fast, so don’t delay once Clearing opens.
  • Be Organized: Have all necessary documents and information ready when contacting universities.
  • Be Flexible: Consider alternative courses or institutions that still align with your academic and career goals.


UCAS Clearing provides a valuable opportunity for students to secure a university place even if their initial applications didn’t go as planned. By understanding when Clearing starts and following the application process diligently, you can increase your chances of finding a suitable course and beginning your university journey successfully. Remember, preparation and timely action are key to making the most out of UCAS Clearing.