Guide to Clearing
If you haven’t got the results to get into your firm or insurance university, don't panic. Read our tips on what to do next and how to apply for a place at university through Clearing.
What to do if you don’t get the results you need
Follow our step-by-step guide on what to do if you miss out on the A-level results required by the conditions of your offer.
Check UCAS track
If you’ve only just missed your grades, your first-choice (firm) university may still take you. Look on UCAS Track to see what, if any, decision they have made. If you haven't been accepted, check your insurance choice university.
Call your first-choice university
If no decision has been made on UCAS track, try calling your first-choice university to find out what is happening. If they haven’t decided, ask them when they will.
While you are waiting for their decision, call your insurance choice university and find out if you have a place there. You may feel better if you know you have a university place, even if it is not your first choice.
Consider alternative courses
If your heart is set on your first-choice university you may want to consider alternative courses (if these are offered).
Sometimes univerities may not be able to offer you the original course, but you may have the grades for other courses such as integrated foundation years. At Sussex, if you successfully pass your Foundation Year, you can progress on to a related undergraduate degree.
Decide if you want to go into Clearing
If you haven't been accepted by your firm or insurance choice universities, you may want to consider Clearing. This is where you can explore the courses on offer from other universities and contact them with your grades to see if they will offer you a place.
Find out more about Clearing and see our guide to the Clearing process below.
How to apply through Clearing
If you’ve decided that Clearing is the next step for you, see our guide to applying below. If you've already decided you want to apply for a place at Sussex through Clearing, see our guidance.
Research courses and universities
Browse the UCAS clearing listings and visit university websites directly to see Clearing course listings. University websites will also give you up-to-date vacancies and more detail on entry requirements.
It's important you don't rush your decision, even though timescales are tight. You want to find out as much as you can about the new universities you are considering. Look at their websites, read their online prospectus, see if there are online campus tours, Google the local town or city, and check out the transport links.
Call your chosen universities
When you have identified courses and universities you're interested in, give them a call. Most universities have dedicated Clearing phonelines and you can call as many as you like. You may be able to get an offer on the phone.
Don't feel under pressure to accept the first offer you receive. You usually have time to think through all of your offers.
Consider a foundation year
If you don't have the grades for direct entry into the first year of your chosen course then you may want to consider a course with an integrated foundation year. The additional year provides essential skills and knowledge and if you successfully complete the Foundation Year you can progress to a range of related degrees.
Attend a Clearing Open Day
Many universities will run open days for Clearing students in the days immediately after A-level results day. Ask about these and book your place. Nothing beats visiting a university to find out if it feels right for you.
If you are visiting this page before the summer and planning what to do in case you need to go into Clearing, you may want to consider attending non-Clearing Open Days so you already have some idea of what other universities are like. Find out more about our Open Days and campus tours.
Accept your offer
When you have an offer you want to accept from a university, you'll need to log into UCAS Track and add the university to your 'Clearing choice.' You'll need to fill in the course details (the university will give you a date for when to do this by).
The university will then confirm this and your offer will have been accepted. If they do not confirm you, you can add another university. You can only add one univerity at a time.
It’s ok not to go to university this year, or ever. If it doesn't feel right, step back and give it some time.
If you still want to go, ask your school or college about re-sitting your exams and then re-apply next year.