Clearing guide for Parents and Carers

It’s August and that much-anticipated ‘exam results time’. But if your son or daughter doesn’t get the grades they need to go to their chosen universities, what next?

The answer is not to panic. If they’re still set on higher education, there’s another option open to them: to apply through Clearing.

It’s a process that’s used every year to match up students looking for a university place to courses that still have vacancies on them.

Most universities take a lot of applications through this route, and have space on several courses, so there’s a good chance your son or daughter can still study something they’ll enjoy and still get the university experience they want.

You’ll find our Clearing vacancies for this year here. We offer a wide range of subjects, and there could well be something that they’d not thought of before.

We’ve summarised the main things to know about Clearing below. You can also read our Guide to Clearing and Adjustment for more information.

Your son or daughter can use Clearing if they:

  • didn’t get the grades they needed to get into their first or insurance choice universities
  • missed the 30 June UCAS application deadline
  • didn’t apply through UCAS but have now decided they’d like to get a degree
  • didn’t receive any offers or didn’t want to take up any of the ones they got.

Clearing 2018 officially opened on 5 July 2018. But most people wait to see what their exam results are before using the system. Places can fill up quickly, so encourage your son or daughter to get on the phone on results day so they can find a course and institution they’re comfortable with.

You’ll find a list of course vacancies on the UCAS website. They’re also listed on most university websites. You can find our list of 2018 Clearing vacancies here. Spend some time with your child going through the available options and seeing what’s on offer that might appeal to their career goals, interests and skills.

They’ll need to check they have enough UCAS points to do the course. They can do this by making a list of their qualifications and grades, and working out how many UCAS points they hold using a tariff calculator.

If they do not meet the stated entry criteria do not worry! We offer a wide range of Foundation year programmes that can help give the best start at University. Encourage your daughter or son to call us on 0330 123 2023 and ask for advice and guidance.

Once they find a course they’re interested in, the next step is to apply to the university or college directly to see if they’ll offer them a place.

They can contact us by calling 0330 123 2023, or apply to us through social media if they’d prefer.

If they haven’t already gone through UCAS, they can apply for a course with us directly – online, by phone or social media. The only exception to this is for our BSc (Hons) NursingBSc (Hons) Social Work, or one of our Operating Department Practitioner programmes. If they want to apply directly for those, that needs to happen through UCAS.

We’ll need their Level 3 exam results (A-levels / BTECs etc), as well as their Maths and English GCSE results, when they contact us.

See our Time to apply page for step-by-step guidance on applying through Clearing. There’s also useful information on the UCAS website .

Encourage them to write down any questions they want to ask before calling us about a Clearing place, so they don’t forget anything. And remind them to stay calm – chances are there will still be options open to them, so if they’ve got their heart set on going to university, it’s likely that can still happen.

That's great news! How they proceed now is up to them. They can still go to their first choice university if they’re fixed on going there. But if they want to reconsider their options, they can also use the Adjustment process, to see what other courses may be available for those grades.

We don’t have a vacancy list for Adjustment, so if they’d like to apply to Bucks and want to know what courses we have available, it’s best to call us on 0330 123 2023 and we can talk through their options.

If your son or daughter is registered with UCAS, once they receive a verbal offer from us, they can add us as a Clearing choice on UCAS Track. They won’t usually be able to do this until after 3pm on results day. And it can take a little while for us to confirm their place. But don’t panic, it will show up on Track soon.

If they apply to us directly, we’ll email to let them know what they need to do next.

Of course. We’ll be running Clearing Welcome Days and Campus Tours during the summer, which are a great opportunity for them (and you) to get a feel for what it’s like here at Bucks.