Clearing FAQs

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What you need to know

Confused? Looking for some answers before making your final decision? Put your mind at ease and check out our FAQs on how to apply through Clearing at Essex. 

How does Clearing work?

Clearing is a service you can use if you haven't secured a place at university for the current year, or would like to be considered for a different course or university. It opens in July and is available to all students (UK, EU and international students). You can make a Clearing application once you have received all of your results and you don't need to have a UCAS application to use it.

How do I apply through Clearing?

If you'd like to apply through Clearing, you can apply using our webform which will be available once Clearing opens in July. Once our Clearing Hotline opens in August, you'll be able to make applications over the phone. 

Make sure you have your grades to hand when you call. And if you've already made a UCAS application have your UCAS number ready too. For more information visit our How to apply Clearing page.

What will happen once I've made an application?

We will be taking Clearing application via web form, until our Clearing Hotline opens in August 2019. Once our Clearing Hotline is open from August, you will be able to make applications over the phone.

When you first call us you will go through to the Clearing Hotline where we will take basic details from you such as your UCAS personal ID (if you have one), your grades, and what course you’re interested in.

If your grades meet our entry requirements in Clearing, be prepared to give your details and then we will get back to you with a decision as soon as possible.

Make sure you check your emails, as this is how we’ll contact you with a decision or if we need more information from you. 

When is the closing date for Clearing?

There's no specific closing date for Clearing as it depends on how many vacancies there are for the course you're interested in. As some courses can fill up in August, it's best not to leave it too late, although we do still accept Clearing applications throughout September. 

How long will it take to make a decision?

We normally contact you with a decision on your Clearing application within 3 working days, but if you apply through Clearing on 15 or 16 August, we should contact you by email with a decision within 24 hours. Check your emails regularly as we may also contact you if we need more information before making a decision, or to let you know if an interview is required before an offer can be made.

There is no formal deadline but demand for places is high so we recommend you add Essex as your Clearing choice on UCAS asap, preferably within 24 hours. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will receive confirmation of your place and be able to apply for accommodation. 

If you have taken A-levels or RQF BTEC Nationals and will be getting your results on 15 August, you can add Essex as your Clearing choice on UCAS Track from 3pm.

Holding an offer at another university?

If you’re reconsidering your options and you’re interested in studying at Essex, you’re welcome to get in touch and find out if we’d be able to offer you a place on your chosen course. However, you won’t be able to add Essex your Clearing choice through UCAS while you’re holding an offer at another university. 

I declined my offer from Essex

No problem, you can still apply through Clearing. Make sure you let us know that you've previously applied as we'll already have your details.

I've been offered a different course in Clearing

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. 

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 using your online account. 

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 on UCAS Track

I haven't got all of my results yet

Tell us what you’ve got so far and we’ll see if this is already enough. If it's not, you can contact us again once you've received all of your results. 

What happens if I get better grades than predicted?

UCAS Adjustment is a process that's available to anyone who exceeds the grade requirements of their original conditional firm offer, allowing them to find a course at a different university while still holding their confirmed place.

The process is available from A-level results day until 31 August. More information on Adjustment is available on the UCAS website.

Adjustment isn't your only option - you can still apply through Clearing if you want to. Just complete our Clearing application form.

Will I need to attend an interview?

There are a few courses where an interview is a mandatory requirement for entry to the course, including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Journalism. If you’ve applied for one of these courses and you’ve been shortlisted for interview, you’ll receive an email giving you details of this. 

I've got a Clearing offer from Essex, what next?

Once you’ve made a Clearing application with us, we’ll contact you to let you know if we can make you a Clearing offer. If you receive a Clearing offer from us, add us as your Clearing choice on UCAS Track as soon as you can, preferably within 24 hours. We’ll then confirm your place and you will be an unconditional firm choice with us, subject to our final checks. 

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


You can apply for accommodation once your place with us has been confirmed and you’re showing as unconditional firm (UF) with Essex on UCAS Track. The deadline for applying for guaranteed university accommodation is Friday 23 August at 11.59pm.

After this time it will still be possible to apply for accommodation, but it’s not guaranteed. Details of how to apply will be included in the email we send to confirm your offer.

Can I come and visit the University before starting or making a decision?

Yes, we have Clearing Open Days based on our Colchester campus as well as a couple of drop-in sessions on both our Colchester and Southend campuses.

  • Clearing Open Days (Colchester campus) – 12.00pm - 4.00pm on Thursday 15 August, Friday 16 August and Saturday 17 August 2019

  • Tours of campus and accommodation (Southend campus) – 12.00pm - 4.00pm on  Thursday 15 August, Friday 16 August  and Saturday 17 August 2019

If you are unable to make any of these dates, please email us – we can usually arrange individual weekday tours.