Clearing FAQ's

Ravensbourne's quick-fire Clearing guide

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The start of a whole new adventure.

The thought of going through Clearing can be scary, but there are lots of reasons people choose a course through this process, and it doesn’t have to cause a panic.

Going through Clearing could mean you're matched with a university you'd never considered – this could be an even better fit and lead to an equally exciting path.

Common Clearing questions

To make sure you navigate Clearing as calmly as possible, we've put together a quick-fire Clearing guide which answers the top Clearing-related queries. So don't panic. Take a deep breath. Your future awaits!

Find out more about joining our creative community through Clearing. For any other questions you might have, email us at [email protected].

Find answers to the following common questions:

Who is Clearing for?

We find there are usually three reasons that people choose to go through Clearing.

1. Traditional route applicants

Many students go through Clearing because they have have missed out on a place at their chosen universities. 

If your exam results don't meet the requirements of the conditional offer you've expected, you'll be automatically entered into Clearing on A-level results day, unless your university has confirmed your place anyway. 

2. Advanced/strategic planning applicants

Clearing actually opens before A-level result's day in early July and can be used by students who, for whatever reason, have yet to secure any course offers. These students can apply directly to a university via Clearing and often take the time to plan further in advance. 

There are many reasons you might decide to apply to Clearing early, or not via the traditional route, for example, you might decide to return to education after taking a break to work or travel. 

3. Self-release applicants

These students make the decision to release themselves into Clearing, even if they have secured the grades they need to receive a conditional offer from the university they originally chose.

There are a number of reasons a student might decide to release themselves into Clearing, for example, a change in personal circumstances might mean that they no longer want to move away from home. 

Word of caution in Clearing journey

Before you release yourself into Clearing, you need to be certain that this is the right choice for you, as your existing university place is unlikely to remain open if you change your mind.

Once you release yourself into the Clearing process, changing universities means you’ll also have to reapply for accommodation and update your student finance application.

Applicants researching earlier than ever

Regardless of why you might be entering into Clearing, we know that students are researching and making decisions earlier than ever. We appreciate that every student has their own unique set of circumstances, this is why at Ravensbourne we aim to make the Clearing as straight forward as possible. 

What does it mean to be in Clearing?

Clearing is a system that matches university applicants who haven’t had an offer with institutions that still have unfilled places. 

Clearing is the process of matching applicants without a university place to one of the university places still available once they have received their results. It applies to applicants who:

  • Have not met the conditions of their offers
  • Have not received any offers
  • Have rejected all their offers
  • Have applied after the 30 June

You will know whether Clearing is available to you if your UCAS Hub status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.

How does Clearing work?

Students who are already in the UCAS system can find out if they’re eligible for Clearing by logging into their UCAS Hub.

Check your firm and insurance places first

You will also receive an email from your firm and insurance universities confirming whether you've been successful in obtaining a place.

If you have missed the grades you needed for both your firm and insurance offers, you may still have been accepted, so check here first before you start applying through Clearing.

Calling university hotlines

If you do need to find a course in Clearing, you can start calling university hotlines. 

If you've been offered a place on a course and want to accept, you'll need to add the course as your Clearing choice in the UCAS Hub.

Note: You can only enter one Clearing choice in the UCAS Hub.

If you haven't already made an application through UCAS, you can still call us. If we’re able to make you an offer for one of our courses, we’ll explain the next steps.

Clearing moves at a rapid pace, so anyone who wants to take part should be ready to make calls and find out which courses are available at different universities quickly. 

What courses go through Clearing? 

Sometimes we won’t have a course available for Clearing due to popular demand, so be sure to check that your course is listed before applying here.

Is Clearing first come, first served? 

Yes, UCAS Clearing does operate on a first come, first serve basis. Regardless on when you apply during the Clearing process, we will still encourage you to apply for your chosen course at Ravensbourne.

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When does Clearing 2024 start?

This year A-Level results day is on 15 August 2024. Clearing opens on the 5 July 2024 and we consider applications up until the start of term.

Make sure you check your UCAS application as soon as you get your grades to know whether you’ll need to go through Clearing or not.


When does Clearing end?

Clearing officially closes on 17 October 2024. However, most people won't take that long to find a suitable place. It depends how quickly you can make your mind up where you want to go.

If you're absolutely sure you've found the right university and course for you, it can be done within a few days.

What are Ravensbourne's Clearing opening hours?  

Our dedicated Clearing team are available from Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. Phone lines will be open in July 2024.

Contact us:

Tel: 0203 040 3991

Email: [email protected]

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What information do I need when I ring the Clearing hotline?

  • Your UCAS applicant ID number (if applicable)
  • A list of your qualifications and grades.
  • The course that you are interested in.

If you’re nervous about giving us a call, don’t be! Our team has lots of experience with helping people through Clearing and they will be able to answer any questions you might have.


What questions should I be asking when I'm choosing a university through Clearing?

Having questions ready to ask when you contact universities helps you get all the information you need to make the right choice.

Here are a few examples of what you might want to ask:

I've done better than expected and want to apply for a course at Ravensbourne, what do I do?

You might also be curious about courses with higher entry requirements. At Ravensbourne, we are interested in talking to you, so that we can help you find the best course to study.

It is always worth ringing us; it's a great opportunity to see if you can gain entry to a course that you may have originally wanted to pursue but didn't think you could achieve the necessary grades.