What is Clearing?

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, as it means you've had to change your plans last minute. But going through Clearing 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:

What is Clearing?

University 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 runs from 5 July to 19 October and 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 Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.

What are Ravensbourne's Clearing opening hours?  

Our dedicated Clearing and Adjustment teams are available from Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. Phone lines open Monday 5 July.

Contact us:

Tel: 0203 040 3991

Email: [email protected]

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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 Track record.

Check your Firm and Insurance places first

You will also receive an email from their 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 need to add the course as their Clearing choice in UCAS Track.

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

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. 


When does Clearing start?

This year A level results day is on 10 August. Clearing opens on the 5 July 2021 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 19 October 2022. 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.

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What information do I need when I ring Clearing?

  • 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.

Are you going to be more flexible with grades this year in light of the Covid 19 pandemic?

We would encourage you to always call us if you can see vacancies for a course that you are interested in. We will do our best to make you an offer for the course of your choice, based on your grades but if we can’t we will also look at whether there is an alternative available course for you.


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:


What is Clearing plus?

If you find yourself in Clearing this year, UCAS has a brand-new system called Clearing Plus which personally matches you to courses you may be interested in.

This looks at your application and the types of courses you are interested in and finds relevant universities that are looking for applicants.

What is Adjustment?

 If you've met your grades or even done better than you'd expected, you might be thinking about looking for an alternative course.

UCAS' Adjustment service is a chance for you to reconsider where and what to study. If you've had a conditional firm choice accepted you could potentially swap your place for one on another course you prefer.

Adjustment is available from A level results day, until 18 August 2022.

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

Whether you are in Clearing or Adjustment, you might 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.