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How Long Can Personal Statement Be Ucas Clearing

Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course.

In Clearing you can see which courses have places remaining. You can use Clearing if you:

  • apply after 30 June
  • didn't receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • didn't meet the conditions of your offers 

Alternatively look at something different like a gap year or employment

Use our Clearing service to find a new course

  • It's available July to September each year.
  • If you already have your exam results but you have no offers, you can use Clearing from July.
  • If you had conditional offers but your exam results didn't go to plan, you can use Clearing from results day, when Clearing vacancies will be listed in our search tool.
  • Clearing vacancies are updated regularly by universities and colleges. If you don't find the course you're looking for straight away, try again later.

If your exam results are reasonable and you're flexible on subject/location, there's still a good chance you'll find another course.

How does Clearing work?

The idea is you identify courses (with vacancies) that interest you and contact the course providers directly to see if they will offer you a place.

  • If you're applying after 30 June, you still need to register and make an application. In Clearing you need to complete all the application as normal, including your personal statement, but you can't add course choices.When you submit your application you receive a welcome email to access the Track service where you'll find your Clearing Number. You then follow the steps below – ask for advice, search for vacancies in our search tool, and contact unis and colleges to try to find a place. Once you have permission from a uni you want to go to, you can add the course in Track.
  • You'll know you're in Clearing if your Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.
  • If Track doesn't say either of these yet, it might just be waiting for your results to update. Get in touch with the universities/colleges if it's taking a while – they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.
  • If you originally only applied for one course for the reduced fee of £13, you'll have to pay an additional £11 to enable you to apply for multiple courses.

1. Ask for Clearing advice

Talk to an adviser at your school, college, centre or careers office – they can talk you through alternative courses/subjects.

2. See what courses are available

We have the official vacancy list online.

  • Consider different subjects – you don't have to stick with your original idea.
  • The online list is updated regularly – you might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you're looking for – some might be full, but some might get vacancies later on, so keep checking back.

3. Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in

Give them your UCAS Clearing number (located on the welcome and choices pages in Track), and your Personal ID number which will let them see your application online.

  • Ask if they'd accept you – they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.
  • Get informal offers over the phone – maybe from a variety of universities and colleges – then decide which one you want to accept.
  • Take a look around – if you have the time, it's the best way to see what a university/college is like – most will be happy to meet you and show you around.

4. Add a Clearing choice in Track

Please only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college to do this.

  • Click 'Add Clearing choice' and fill in the course details by the date the university/college gave you on the phone.
  • This counts as you definitely accepting the offer, so if they confirm it'll show as an acceptance on the choices page of Track and we'll send you a Confirmation letter. 
  • You can only add one choice at a time, but if the university/college doesn't confirm your place, you'll be able to add another.

Direct contact service 

This is an optional service, designed to help you find a university or college place, if you find yourself without one. If you sign up, universities and colleges can contact you during most of Clearing, from 5 July to mid-September, if they have places on courses that might be suitable for you.

Find out more about our direct contact service

Clearing FAQs 

  • When can I use Clearing?

    • It's available July to September each year.
    • If you already have your exam results but you have no offers, you can use Clearing from July.
    • If you had conditional offers but your exam results didn't go to plan, you can use Clearing from results day, when Clearing vacancies will be listed in our search tool.
  • Where can I find Clearing vacancies?

    All Clearing vacancies are listed in our search tool from July. They are updated regularly by the unis until mid-September.

  • How do I add a Clearing choice?

    Go to the ‘Your choices’ section of Track and click 'Add Clearing choice.’ Then enter the details of the course.

    Only add a Clearing choice if you’ve been given permission by a uni.

  • How do I reply to a Clearing offer?

    You don’t need to reply to a Clearing offer. Once you add the choice, it’s then up to the uni to confirm your place in Track.  

  • I don’t want my firm choice, can I use Clearing?

    If you change your mind and no longer want to go to your firm choice, you need to call the uni to discuss your options. If they give you permission to change your choice, they’ll release you into Clearing – once they do this, your Track status will be updated and you’ll receive an email to say something has changed. You'll then be able to search and apply for courses in Clearing.

  • Where can I find my Clearing number?

    If you’re eligible for Clearing, your Clearing number will be on the welcome page and ‘Your choices’ section of Track.

  • Why hasn’t Track updated?

    Track will update once the uni makes a decision. If you’ve met the conditions of your offer, your place will be confirmed soon.

  • Can I swap my firm and insurance choices now I’ve got my results?

    No, you can’t swap your firm and insurance choices.

    If you now want to go to your insurance choice, you need to go through Clearing. You need to check with your insurance choice uni that they can accept you in Clearing.


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Q. What time can you start applying for University Clearing places?

A. You can add a University Clearing choice from mid-to-late afternoon on results day. We don't have an exact time as of yet I'm afraid but you should see updates online on the day.

Q. Should I call the universities admission department or directly contact my subject department? And should I call them before results day to find out if they will have Clearing?

A. Here are the phone numbers the universities have provided us for them to be contacted on. The Clearing vacancy list won't be available until midnight on August 16 so they will probably ask you to wait until then to look at the vacancies. There is no harm in calling them beforehand to inquire about what courses may potentially be available.

Q. If I have changed my mind about the course I have accepted, how long will it take the university to release me so I can go into Clearing? And can this only be done on results day?

A. The university can release you into Clearing from Monday next week (August 13). Track will be suspended until next Thursday morning (August 16) though so you won't be able to see any updates until then. This is because we will be busy updating our records with the A-level results.

Q. I already know I want to decline my only ‘held’ offer and go into Clearing. Should I go into my Ucas account and formally reject the ‘held’ offer now? Would this trigger me getting my clearing registration number so I can start the Clearing process slightly earlier?

A. I'm afraid at this stage of the year you are unable to change your replies. You would need to ask the university you have accepted to put your application form into Clearing so you can apply elsewhere.

Q. How many Clearing choices can we add?

A. You can only apply for one Clearing choice at a time. If you apply for one and are unsuccessful at that choice, then you will be able to add a new choice in its place.

Q. What happens if a university makes me a provisional offer of a Clearing place on the phone, but then refuses to give me a place after looking at my personal statement and application in Track? Will I then be able to use the "Add Clearing Choice" button again and again?

A. If you are unsuccessful on a Clearing choice then you will have the option to 'Add a Clearing' again. This will carry on until October 22.

Q. How long do you have to make a decision on a Clearing choice?

A. You can add a Clearing choice up until October 22 – although the deadline for new applications to be received by Ucas is September 20. If you apply for a Clearing choice it is down to the university to either accept or decline you. If they offer you a place, you are confirmed automatically by them, you don't need to reply to it.

Q. I have plans to go abroad soon after the Clearing process opens. Could this be a problem if the worst comes to the worst and I don’t meet the requirements for both my firm and insurance offers?

A. Clearing is available until the end of October. However, the more popular courses will fill up quickly though so it is something you may want to sort out before going away.

Q. How long is Adjustment open for?

A. Adjustment is available from August 16 until August 31. Once you are eligible for Adjustment you are only eligible for five days.

Q. If you opt for Adjustment, but decide you don’t want to take a new place, is your original place still assured?

A. Your original place is safe if you register through Adjustment. You will only lose your original acceptance if you agree with a new university that you want to go to them through Adjustment.

Q. Can you confirm whether the Clearing vacancy lists go live at midnight of 15/16 August or midnight 16/17 August?

A. The Clearing list will be available from midnight on the morning of August 16 so it will be available all day on A-level results day.

Q. What else do I need to know?

A. On results day, just make sure you are prepared if you need to ring any universities. Make sure you have your Personal ID number and a Clearing number if you are in Clearing so the universities can view your details. You can find the university contact details here. The Clearing list will be available from midnight on August 16 so you can see what is available from then. The Clearing vacancies on the Telegraph and Ucas websites will update when the universities fill the courses they have available, so keep an eye on them. You can contact us with any queries on Facebook or Twitter (@ucas_online) or by calling us on 0871 468 0 468. Good luck with your application and I hope you all get the results you need!

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