Clearing at City – the what, the why, the how

What you need to know ahead of Clearing on Thursday 18 August.

As A-Level results day approaches, questions will be swirling around the heads of tens of thousands of prospective students – among them being: ‘What if my grades aren’t good enough to meet the expectation of my dream university?’ ‘What if I want to change my course?’ or ‘I didn’t want to go to university, but now I do! Someone, help?’

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Every year thousands of students fall short of the necessary grades or have a last-minute change of heart, and still attend university, study a course which supports their future and make friends and experiences to cherish for life.

How is this possible? Through the Clearing process. Think of it like the Wimbledon queue. You may not have secured tickets when they were initially available, which would have been the easier option, but through another avenue and a little extra endeavour you can still walk through the gates and achieve your goal.

What is Clearing

Once A-Level exam results have been published on Thursday 18 August, most universities will still have course places available. The Clearing process helps you to find and apply for those places at UK universities, be it at City or another university.

Why might you need Clearing?

Last year more than 73,000 students were accepted through Clearing – be it because they didn’t get the necessary grades or because of another reason. These include:

  • a change of heart about your firm and insurance choices, and perhaps you wish to apply to a different course or university
  • you applied before 30 June but don’t have any offers
  • you only applied for university after 30 June – you’ll be automatically entered into Clearing once you apply.

Also, don’t forget that missing out on your grades may not necessarily mean you have to enter Clearing: always check with your university to see if you can still be accepted. That can be done through the UCAS website on Thursday morning.

When is Clearing?

While Clearing technically started on 5 July with the release of the International Baccalaureate results, for many people, Clearing begins in earnest on A-Level results day. This means that most prospective students can already start to prepare (rules differ for those taking Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers).

The deadline for adding Clearing choices is 18 October 2022. While some of the most popular courses may fill up quickly, many will be filled during the days immediately after results day and some even more quickly than that. That’s not to say you won’t be able to find a course you’re happy with after this time, but you'll have fewer options to consider – so don’t wait around!

How to prepare for Clearing?

You may need to act quickly come Thursday morning, or even earlier this week. Some tips below to be aware of:

  • Have a back-up plan. Which universities offer the same or similar courses, perhaps at a slightly lower grade tariff? You can search here.
  • You will need your UCAS number, your Clearing number, and your grades on the day, so be ready!
  • Double check your personal statement – this will be available to universities you apply to in Clearing.

So, why apply to City through Clearing?

City, University of London is in the heart of London, and a leading university for business and professions. A home to more than 20,000 students, you can study in one of our six Schools: The School of Policy & Global Affairs, The School of Communication & Creativity, Bayes Business School, the School of Health & Psychological Sciences, the School of Science & technology and the City Law School.

Most recently, the Complete University Guide 2023 ranked City as the 40th best university in the UK, 21st in the UK for graduate prospects and 36th in the UK for research quality. Further information on subject level performance can be found here. City is also one of the greenest universities in London.

Find out more about City, visit here.

If all this sounds to your taste, apply through Clearing here!

Anything else?

You will have questions, of course. So here are City’s FAQs on Clearing. If any of the above is unclear, here are a rundown of the essentials to enlighten you.

Best of luck to each of you, and we hope to see you at City in the future.