Clearing FAQs

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What you need to know

Confused? Put your mind at ease and check out our FAQs on how to apply through Clearing at Essex. 

Each year thousands of applicants find university places through Clearing, so you're not alone.

Clearing is an ideal way for you to find a place at university if you haven’t met the conditions of your offers, or would like to shop around and see what other options are available. It's your final chance to grab a spot with us at Essex after UCAS closes for applications on 30 June.

You’ll know you’re in Clearing if your UCAS track status says ‘You are in Clearing'.

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?

Clearing is now closed for 2019. Details about how to apply for Clearing 2020 will be published closer to the time.

For more information visit our How to apply Clearing page.

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. 

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.

How long will it take to make a decision?

We may be able to make you a verbal offer straight away over the phone. If we need some more information or you applied via the web form it can take a little longer, but we will be in touch within 24 hours.

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.

If you have an offer and we have sent you an email with details of what to do next to accept it, please add Essex as your Clearing choice as soon as possible. We don’t have a fixed deadline to do this but as demand for places is high, we strongly recommend you do it within 24 hours of receiving our email. This will allow you to secure your place and apply for accommodation. If you add us as a Clearing choice after this time, we might not be able to confirm your place if the course is full.

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 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, 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 have already been registered on a course at Essex - can I reapply through Clearing?

If you previously started but did not finish a degree course at Essex and are now thinking about coming back to complete your studies, we call this ‘readmission’ and there is a different application route in place. The deadlines for readmission applications are set well in advance of the relevant course start date, as the process can be a lengthy one.

If you would like to apply for readmission for October 2020, please get in touch.

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. 

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 on UCAS TrackFurther information about Student Finance, how to apply and their contact details are available on their website.

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?

You might have also heard of UCAS Adjustment – this 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.

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 some of our health related courses, Social Work and Multimedia 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?

We’ll send you an email with details of what to do next.  Please add Essex as your Clearing choice as soon as possible. We don’t have a fixed deadline to do this but as demand for places is high, we strongly recommend you do it within 24 hours of receiving our email. This will allow you to secure your place and apply for accommodation. If you add us as a Clearing choice after this time, we might not be able to confirm your place if the course is full.

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

You can apply for accommodation when you are unconditional firm (UF) with Essex. However if you apply for accommodation after the deadline, we cannot guarantee you University owned accommodation. You will be placed onto a waiting list and we will 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.

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

We offer campus tours every weekday at 12.30pm. You can book your place online. If you or any of your guests have any specific individual needs then please include details and we can tailor your visit accordingly.

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