What is Clearing and why might you use it?

Clearing is the final part of the application cycle at university. During the main application period you will apply with your predicted grades, whereas during Clearing you'll apply with your actual grades, after you get your exam results. 

Who can enter Clearing?

If you're looking to start your undergraduate degree this autumn and you have your exam results (or are due to get them in the coming months) then Clearing is for you! 

You can use Clearing if...

  • You have only just decided you want to go to uni. Perhaps you have been undecided on whether higher education is for you, or maybe you want to wait until you get your results to decide your future. 
  • You have changed your mind about what or where you want to study. Choosing a university and course is a big decision, we get it. So if you now feel that the university or course you applied for isn't for you, Clearing is the perfect way to change direction and do something different.
  • You haven't achieved the grades you thought you would. Don't worry, it happens! If you've not met the conditions of your offers don't panic, Clearing is absolutely for you. Take a deep breath, put the kettle on and get searching. The power is in your hands - exciting! 
  • You have done better than you thought in your exams so now you want to upgrade your university place. You smashed it, well done! Perhaps you've had a rethink and now want to challenge yourself even further.


Headshot of Maddie
Maddie's Clearing Journey

"Going to university was something I always wanted to do, but I found applying intimidating. I applied as soon as UCAS opened applications in October 2021. During the 9 months between applying to university and results day I realised I wanted to take a more ambitious path with my higher education. Here is where the University of Essex stood out to me. After researching I found the University of Essex’s Department of Government and my specific course ranked 2nd in the UK, and had won ‘University of the Year 2018’ among other awards which resonated with me. When I saw Clearing was an option I knew this was the right decision for me and my future career. Despite getting the grades I wanted, I declined my first choice and applied to Essex. Looking back everything was a blur, but Essex was there to help me. I have never once regretted my decision." Maddie, BA International Relations, Second Year

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