Deciding which undergraduate programme you should pursue can be confusing. Sometimes, students realise that they have changed their mind about studying a particular course after they have already applied for it. There could be many reasons for this including, fears about not getting the expected results or rethinking the career path they would like to go down. In addition, students might not have secured a place at the university of their choice. However, UCAS Clearing 2019 can help students in any of these situations. This article will focus on what clearing is all about and the process to follow when applying for it. 

What is UCAS Clearing?

UCAS Clearing allows students to find undergraduate programmes at various universities and apply for courses that still have spaces on them. Every year, between July and September, UCAS advertises the programmes which still have availability.

Clearing was launched with the purpose of helping students get a place at university even if they had missed their grades. Students are eligible to opt for the UCAS Clearing 2019 application if:

  • They don’t have a standing offer from a university in the UK that they first applied for;
  • They are applying for university admissions after 30th June 2019;
  • They wish to *self-release into Clearing. (*This feature of the UCAS service allows you to decline your place at a university you already hold a place at so that you can apply to different universities listed by UCAS Clearing.)

How does Clearing work?

  • The UCAS Clearing website lists out the degree courses at top UK universities that still have spaces left.
  • Students can identify the programmes that best suit what they want to study, after which, they can contact the relevant university and confirm directly whether they are open for intakes.
  • With the help of Clearing, students can choose to apply for disciplines that they had not originally applied for.
  • Students can also apply to the universities that rejected their application earlier in the year.
  • Students can call the university’s hotline number to speak with a programme consultant who can help students determine whether a particular course is right for them and the process they need to undertake to apply to those courses.
  • Students can use the Track service on their UCAS accounts which tracks all the applications students have made through UCAS Clearing. However, student applications are only added to Track after they have received a verbal confirmation from the university.
  • Once the application has been added to Track and accepted by the university in question, students will secure a place at that particular university.

How to prepare for Clearing

The universities and courses for Clearing 2019 went live on 5th July 2019. Here are the steps you should take to prepare for a clearing phone call with a university. 

Research 

A wide range of programmes and universities in the UK list out the vacancies through the UCAS Clearing service. In the event that you are rejected by a university of your choice, do not meet the entry requirements of a programme or do not achieve the grades you had expected to, UCAS Clearing might be your chance to secure a position at a reputable university. Therefore, it is essential that you conduct extensive research into the courses and universities available on UCAS’s platform to identify the course that suits your professional goals the best. 

While doing your research, factor in aspects such as the location of the college, the quality of teaching and education offered, course content, university ranking and placement opportunities. Based on these factors, you can narrow down the institutions that you would like to apply to.

Confirm availability

It is important that once you have narrowed down on the universities, you call the university hotlines to confirm the availability of places. Since many students rely on the Clearing process to gain admission into undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the UK, it is important that you start the process soon. When you call the university hotline to speak to programme consultants, ensure that you are in a quiet environment so that you can have an uninterrupted conversation. Remember that your future could depend on that call.

Keep information handy

While speaking to the advisors at a university, ensure that you have the following information readily available:

o   University’s contact number;

o   Your own contact information;

o   Results of your A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent exams as well as marks scored in each module;

o   Track log-in details;

o   Detailed notes on the course and university;

o   Queries about the university.

Email confirmation

Once you are finished with your clearing phone call and the university has made you a verbal offer, ensure that you request they send you an email confirming your offer. You should also request they mention the time frame you have to accept the place. This helps students to avoid any miscommunication and ensures that they have written evidence of confirmation in case of any complications in the future.

The UCAS Clearing service allows students to apply for programmes at as many universities as they want. However, students can only accept one admission offer. The service also allows students to apply for reputed universities such as London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) to secure a position through Clearing. If you have a creative flair and want to explore your artistic side, you can check out the programmes that are available at LCCA through the Clearing. Sign up for your choice of course today!

This article was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Emma Chadwick.