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Clearing: frequently asked questions

If you've got a question about UCAS Clearing, find your answers here.

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What is Clearing?

Clearing is a term you’ve probably heard of in relation to applying to university, but what does it mean? Most students apply to university through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Clearing, also known as UCAS Clearing, is the final part of the UCAS application cycle before the new academic year begins. It is how universities fill courses that have spaces by matching applicants without a university place with universities that have vacancies.

A common myth is that you only use Clearing if you haven’t got the grades you need. While this is a common reason to go through Clearing, many applicants use it to shop around for courses or to make a late application to university.

Clearing opens on Friday 5 July 2024 and runs until September. You can apply through Clearing if you’re not holding an offer because:

  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offer
  • You didn’t receive any offers
  • You rejected your offer
  • You want to study a different course to the one you applied for
  • You’ve only just decided to study at university.

Whatever your reason for being in Clearing, the important thing is to prepare yourself for Results Day so you can act quickly and calmly. Results Day can bring a lot of positive or negative emotions, depending on your circumstances. For instance, not getting the results you were expecting may be really disappointing, while changing your mind about which university you want to go to or which course to study may be unnerving. Wherever you find yourself on Results Day, knowing you have an action plan opens plenty of options. This Clearing guide will help you choose the right one for you.

How does Clearing work?

Clearing matches prospective students to university courses that have not been filled. During Clearing, you can contact universities and higher education providers to see if they have any spaces on courses for the new academic year. It is open to anyone who has applied through UCAS but does not hold any offers. It’s a chance for applicants who didn’t meet the conditions of their offers to find a course. It also gives applicants who have changed their mind about the university or course they want to study to find a course.

Who can use Clearing?

Clearing is available to you if you aren’t holding any offers. If you’re already in the UCAS system, Clearing is available to you if your UCAS Hub says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.

Once Clearing opens on Friday 5 July, you can see which universities have vacancies on their courses on the UCAS website. It’s also a good idea to reach out to universities directly to find out which courses have spaces. You can apply to as many universities as you want and get as many offers as you want during Clearing. However, you can only accept one offer. For more details about the Clearing process and how to use it, see our step-by-step guide below.

What can I study through Clearing?

Most courses are available through Clearing, as long as there are places available.

Give us an idea of what you want to study, and our Clearing advisers will help to match you to a course.

When does Clearing open and close?

Clearing opens in July. You can get in touch as soon as you have all your results.

Most Clearing activity takes place around A-level results day. Other qualifications, such as BTEC, SQA and QCF & RCF qualifications, will also be released on this day.

We'll be available from 8am on results day to support you with your applications and enquiries.

However, you can beat the rush by signing up for a priority phone number.

Clearing is usually open until the end of August and often continues into September. We cannot say exactly when it will close.

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I've already accepted an offer. Can I still apply to Greenwich?

Yes! Clearing allows you to change your mind about where or what you study. What's more, you can call us and discuss your options before you make any final decisions about an offer you have already accepted.

If you decide you want to come and join us at Greenwich, our teams will guide you through the process of selecting our offer.

Hear from other mind-changers

How do I release myself during Clearing?

If you have a confirmed place at a university but you decide to study somewhere else, you must release yourself before you can apply to another institution.

To release yourself, log in to UCAS Hub and follow the instructions. Once you do this, you lose your secured place and enter the Clearing process.

You can only release yourself if you have a confirmed place (i.e. once you have received all your results) - not while you hold a conditional offer.

If you need to know more, contact our Clearing advisors on live chat.

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How do I accept an offer from Greenwich?

To accept an offer in Clearing from the University of Greenwich, visit your UCAS Hub and add us as a Clearing choice. Enter the UCAS course code that you've been accepted on, along with our institution code, G70. Spaces on our courses are limited so be sure to respond as soon as you can to secure your place.

Once you've done this, we will work on setting up your student profile and send you the information you need to register as a student. We'll introduce you to our Welcome Team, who can help you through these steps.

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I have qualifications outside the UK, can I still apply through Clearing?

Yes. We would recommend that you use our online application form to do this. You will need to create an account by creating a login and PIN. Once you’ve done this, just fill in the application and upload your documents onto the form so our admission tutors can review in detail.

Can I still get a student loan using Clearing?

Yes. Student loans are available for any eligible students accepted through Clearing. You should apply as soon as possible to avoid delays to your first payment.

If you've applied late to Student Finance England and won't receive your first loan payment by the start of term, we can provide short-term loans of up to £500. Pick up a form from your local Student Centre on campus.

If you've already applied for a loan but changed universities during Clearing, you will need to notify your loan provider (Student Finance England or similar).

More about student loans

We also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that may be of benefit to you. Some of these you could receive automatically when you join.

More about scholarships