Clearing FAQs

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Clearing - what you need to know

“Clearing is so straightforward and simple” said no one, ever. 

From the outside, Clearing looks like a complicated system and it can seem pretty overwhelming so if you’re confused about what Clearing is, how it works and whether it’s relevant to you, you’re not alone! However, the truth is that Clearing isn’t as complex as it first appears.

At Essex, we like to think about Clearing simply as your final opportunity to choose a place at university. Here are some of the questions we get asked every year and our simple, no-faff answers.

How does Clearing work?

Put simply, Clearing is your final opportunity to apply for university starting this year. You can use this to change course, change university or choose to attend university when perhaps you hadn’t planned to before! It is available to all students (UK, EU and international). You don't even need to have a UCAS application to use it.

How do I apply through Clearing?

You can apply via our web form or hotline when they go live in summer 2021. If you have any questions about the process check out our how to apply page.

Do I have to apply over the phone?

No – we also take applications online via our webform.

When does Clearing close?

According to UCAS, Clearing closes in October. However, Clearing works on a first come first served basis, so it’s best to make your application sooner rather than later. If your course fills up before the deadline, it will close . That said, a Clearing application shouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction after getting your results, and you should take your time to look at your options fully.

If you require a Tier 4 visa keep in mind that you may need to allow enough time for a CAS to be issued and so you should try to apply through Clearing by early September at the latest.

How long will it take to make a decision?

We will aim to be back in touch via email within 2 working days of receiving your application. If you have any certificates or transcripts of your qualifications, please make use of the document uploader on the online Clearing form to send these to us with your Clearing application, especially if these are not standard UK qualifications. This will often help us make our decision much quicker.

It’s really important to ensure you give us the best email address to contact you on. Check your emails regularly as we may contact you if we need more information before making a decision, or to let you know an interview is required before an offer can be made. All the information about what you need to do after receiving a Clearing offer and the next steps will also be sent to you via email.

How long can I take to respond to my offer?

If you have received a Clearing offer and you would like to accept it, please add Essex as your Clearing choice by following the instructions in the email you will have received. We don’t have a fixed deadline to do this but, as demand for places is high, we recommend doing this as soon as you can. This will allow you to secure your place and apply for accommodation.

I'm holding an offer at another university, can I still apply to Essex through Clearing?

Of course – we’d love to hear from you! If you’re reconsidering your options and you’re interested in studying at Essex, do get in touch and find out if we’d be able to offer you a place on your chosen course. You won’t, however, be able to add Essex as your Clearing choice through UCAS while you’re holding an offer at another university.

I declined my offer from Essex - can I apply again in Clearing?

No problem! Just make sure you tell us that you applied previously when you get in touch.

Essex has rejected me - can I reapply through Clearing?

If we rejected you prior to receiving your results then feel free to get in touch. However, if we rejected you after receiving your results, unfortunately you cannot re-apply for the same course.

Why have I been offered a different course to the one I applied for?

This is because we haven't been able to offer you a place on the course you originally applied for, the course might be full or you may not be eligible. However, the good news is that we have been able to offer you an alternative course. Use our course finder to find out more about the alternative course you have been offered. 

Why have I been offered a Foundation Year course?

If you’re a UK or EU applicant, we may have offered you a degree with an integrated foundation year (known as Year Zero), if you didn’t meet the entry requirements for Year One of the degree. During Year Zero, you’ll study within our Essex Pathways Department, taking modules which are relevant to your chosen degree, alongside others on academic skills. The year will prepare you to start your undergraduate course at Essex. More information about Year Zero and Essex Pathways is available here

Will applying through Clearing affect my student finance?

If you’ve already applied for student finance but decided to change your course or university through Clearing or Adjustment, you need to let Student Finance know as soon as possible.

If you haven’t yet applied for student finance and you need funding, you should apply online as soon as possible once your Clearing place has been confirmed and your status with Essex is UFFurther information about Student Finance, how to apply, and their contact details are available on their website

Can I release myself into Clearing?

Yes. You can do this via UCAS Track, but you should only do this when you know you have an offer from another university. Otherwise you could be left with nothing!

Can I apply through Clearing with only some of my grades?

You can submit an application, yes. However, it is unlikely we would be able to make a decision on your application without all of your grades so we would advise you wait until you have all of your results before your apply.

If you make a Clearing application using our web form, please use the document uploader to provide us with copies of any relevant transcripts or documentation, especially if you have not taken standard UK qualifications.

Will I need to attend an interview?

This depends upon your course - there are a few courses for which an interview is mandatory but these will all take place via zoom. You’ll get further details about this via email.

My place has been confirmed, can I apply for accommodation?

Once you’re UF with us, you can apply for accommodation. As long as you make your accommodation application by the deadline (and meet the guarantee criteria), we will guarantee you a room in university accommodation. If you apply after the deadline, we may still have spaces available – if not, you’ll be placed on a waiting list and we’ll allocate you a room as soon as possible. Details of how to apply will be included in the email we send to confirm your offer. You can also arrange your own private accommodation through SU Homes.

Do you have any scholarships available for Clearing students?

Details about 2021 Clearing scholarships will be released nearer the time.

I haven't taken A-level or BTEC qualifications, can I still apply through Clearing? 

Yes, we consider a range of qualifications for entry to Essex. If you make a Clearing application using our online Clearing form, please make sure you include the full title of your qualification, the year it was taken and your grades. If you have any certificates or transcripts of your qualifications, please make use of the document uploader on the online Clearing form to send these to us with your application, especially if these are not standard UK qualifications. This will often help us make our decision much quicker.

Why choose Essex in Clearing?

As a first year student, you're guaranteed on-campus accommodation
You can study abroad for a year of your course, fee free!
We're Gold rated for teaching excellence (TEF 2017)
You'll join a truly international community of students from over 130 countries
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