2020 applicants
Clearing 2020

Clearing FAQs

Apply now
two dogs tilting their heads in confusion

Clearing 2020 - 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 for this year. 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 now open and 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 currently apply via our web form, our Clearing hotline will also be opening in the coming weeks. If you have any queries about the process check out our how to apply page.

Do I have to apply over the phone?

No – we also take applications via our web form. If you do want to call and don’t know what to expect we’ve got a step by step guide on our how to apply page.

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.

Some other universities make Clearing offers over the phone, does Essex?

We may be able to make you a verbal offer over the phone, however even in these circumstances, you should wait for your confirmation email before putting us as your Clearing choice on UCAS Track.

How long will it take to make a decision?

We will be back in touch via email within 3 days of making your application, although it may be sooner. This is why 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 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.

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 on  UCAS TrackFurther 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, we strongly advise you wait until you have all of your results so we can make an informed decision on your application.

Will I need to attend an interview?

This depends upon your course - there are a few courses for which an interview is mandatory. You’ll get further details about how we will be conducting these during the COVID-19 pandemic 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 11.59pm on 21 August (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?

Yes! You can find out more about the scholarships we have available and find out whether you're eligible here.

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
Essex Abroad World Map
A class of students looking interested in what is being said
live chat
Got a question about Clearing?

Let's talk! Get in touch with us on live chat and we'll give you some advice and help with applying to Essex. We're on hand from 8.00am - 10.00pm BST, Monday to Friday.