10 things you need to know about Clearing

Become a Clearing success story at CU Coventry

Become a Clearing success story at CU Coventry


Friday 06 August 2021

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Many students across England and Wales are set to get their exam results next week – but what do you do if you’ve not got the grades you needed or did better than expected?

Dylan Cozens is a regional student recruitment manager at Coventry University and took time out to answer questions on everything you need to know about Clearing.

1) What exactly is Clearing?

Clearing is how students can make late applications to universities. Initially, it was to help students who didn’t get the required grades to get into the university and course of their choice. Now, it’s another route into university and helps all sorts of prospective students to find their feet. Whether you’ve done better than expected and want to try a different course, changed your mind about your chosen course or are now deciding to go to university this year, Clearing gives you the freedom to change direction.

2) How do I find a place through Clearing?

Think about the course you want to study and where you’d like to study – research which universities appeal to you and have spaces on their courses. The UCAS website has a wealth of information about different courses for you to explore.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, get in touch with our friendly Clearing team, who will discuss your options and let you know which courses are available. If we have spaces on your chosen course and you meet the requirements, we might be able to make you an offer or offer you an alternative course where you can progress on to your chosen course in the future. The team will also explain the next steps and how to accept your offer.

Our team will do everything they can to find the right course for you and your future. Call us on 02477 659 659 or you see our other Clearing contact options.

Still have questions? Read our Clearing FAQs here.

3) What can I study?

Universities have a wide range of degrees available through Clearing, but some of the more popular courses might be full. You might need to have studied specific subjects, have relevant experience in a particular area or pass an interview before getting accepted onto some degree programmes.

At CU, we have places on a variety of courses in different subject areas. So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur, a promising engineer or lawyer in the making, we’re likely to have a degree to suit your ambitions.

You will also want to consider location. Across the Coventry University Group we have university campuses in Coventry and London (Liverpool Street), as well as CU campuses in Coventry, Scarborough and London (North Greenwich and Dagenham). Explore our range of campuses and find your new home away from home.

Check out our Clearing courses here.

4) Can I change my mind about which university I attend?

If you have already made your decision in UCAS but are interested in joining a different university in September, don’t worry. You can ‘self-release’ into Clearing.

Self-release gives you greater control over your UCAS application.

Instead of contacting your chosen university or college and waiting to be released into Clearing, you are now able to do this yourself as long as your firm choice has updated your status to unconditional or unsuccessful. Self-release is available in UCAS Track to all placed applicants now.

The process of self-release is simple, but several warnings are flagged up throughout the process to ensure you are fully aware of what you are doing, so you need to be sure that you no longer want to study at your firm choice.

Here’s how to self-release: Step One, Sign into UCAS Track, then click ‘Decline my place’ on the homepage. For Step Two you will be prompted with a drop-down question before confirming. Once this has been completed you are now in Clearing.

If you have made a mistake, you will be advised to phone the university or college that you have declined. Your place may have been offered to another student but there could be a similar course with places available.

5) I have gained better results than expected, can I use Clearing to change my university?

Yes. If you do better in your exams than expected, you may want to think again about your study options. You can do this through a process called 'Adjustment'. The UCAS website has more information on the Adjustment process.

6) What is Clearing Plus?

Clearing Plus is a feature in UCAS Track where you can see a list of courses that are ‘matched’ to you if you are an unplaced applicant, based on your grades and what universities are looking for.

You can then click to say you're interested in a course, and the university will see your details and can contact you directly by phone or email if they can offer you a place. If you already have a confirmed place, you can release yourself into Clearing to use Clearing Plus – see ‘Changed your mind?’ above.

7) What are the key dates I need to know?

Clearing opened for 2021 entry on July 5. If you have received your results already, you can contact us now to see if we can make you an offer.

On Tuesday 10 August, A level and BTEC Results will be announced, and the Coventry University and CU Clearing Hotline will open again.

The last date to add a Clearing choice in Track for 2021 entry is 19 October, however most CU Coventry courses offers November start dates. Our advice is to speak to us as soon as you have your results so that we can check if there is a place available on your chosen course before it becomes full.

8) Do I have time to visit universities and attend an Open Day?

Yes. Our next face to face Open Day for CU Coventry is on Saturday 7 August and we can’t wait to welcome you on-campus. Whether you're a current offer holder or are interested in finding out what it's like to study with us, attend our Open Day to find out why CU Coventry is the right choice for you.

9) How do I sort out accommodation?

We are currently offering university-owned accommodation for Coventry University and CU Coventry applicants accepted through clearing.

Our friendly phone operators will talk you through the process of securing your accommodation after you have accepted an offer.

10) What will university look like in September?

Note: There may be differences between campuses.

Different universities will have different plans for teaching, so you should check before you make your decision. We believe students learn best when they are on campus together so, from September 2021, we are planning to return to as much face-to-face teaching and learning on campus as possible, subject to government restrictions and guidance.

Our plan is that full-time students on most courses will receive at least 10 hours of on-campus timetabled teaching and learning each week. This may vary slightly from week to week during the semester, and final-year students working on a dissertation or final project, and postgraduate students, will have less timetabled teaching time, as is normal. On-campus sessions will be complemented by additional timetabled online teaching and learning.

Take a look at our plans for September for more information.

If you are facing challenges with a change in circumstances and think you might need some financial support this September, we might be able to help.

We are now offering an Undergraduate Clearing Bursary for UK clearing applicants, that provides a one off £500 cash award. Find out if you are eligible.