Lifestyle | A Guide to UCAS Clearing

Now this isn’t a usual post you’d find on Dinosaur Dances, but after my disastrous results day last year I ended up going through the process of clearing and thought I’d share my two cents on the subject. As results day is just around the corner (Thursday to be precise) I’ve decided to write a little guide to navigating the UCAS Clearing system!

I hadn’t look into clearing before results day as I was clearly too scared to even think I could get a B in Biology and miss out on my place at the University of Bath, however as you can see from my vlog of the entire day, that is exactly what happened!

Before you get started it’s most likely you’ll have a good ol’ cry about the fact you haven’t got into your chosen university and you feel like the world is collapsing around you and there’s no way out. However this isn’t true (try telling myself that last year) and you’ll probably end up doing something 10x better!

Now onto the actual process of clearing!

Firstly you’ll need to look on the clearing section of the UCAS website and search by course to see which universities have places available. From this you’ll have to see if any will be suitable!
Lancaster had places available for Marketing but I’d decided on an open day that it just wasn’t the place for me. However York had places on their Management course and although I’d never been I knew the city was beautiful and it was a campus university similar to Bath.

After some cake and consideration I decided that although the course wasn’t exactly what I was planning, York would be a great place to study.

Once you’re decision is made then comes the tricky bit, phoning the universities (I hate phoning people). Now it may be as simple as ringing the uni clearing line, they offer you a place, it all goes through and hey presto you’re off to uni!
I however was still in contract with my insurance offer from Newcastle University (I decided this was too close to home) so I had to beg them to release me as York were unable to see my results and therefore unable to confirm an informal offer. Newcastle didn’t want to release me until I had confirmed a new offer, and so you can see a vicious circle! Once Newcastle had finally released me I was able to ring York and confirm my informal offer.

Now you must head back onto the UCAS website and your application will be in clearing, so go ahead and add a clearing choice (your informal offer). The university will receive this and officially accept you onto the course.

And that’s results day clearing complete, you deserve a medal for all the stress!

But in all seriousness, although going through clearing nearly broke me, I have had the best year at the University of York! I’ve made life long friends, amazing memories and ended up with 1st in all my maths modules (take that, C at AS Maths). 

I’m sure you won’t need this guide and that you’ll do fabulously, but I hope this helps you feel a little more prepared for results day.



  1. 9th August 2015 / 6:52 pm

    I'm already stressed about Thursday! I've been trying to completely block it from my mind but now I'm in full on panic mode- this has helped calm me a little though since there will always be something I can do if it all doesn't go to plan x

  2. Anonymous
    11th August 2015 / 2:22 pm

    Hey all – I went through clearing last year too after having two of the most miserable years of my life pushing myself to my absolute limits going throgh the whole Oxbridge process despite not being sure that that was what I really wanted to do, actually BEING ACCEPTED into bloody Oxford, absolutely dreading starting there, then proceeding to piss up my results. It felt like the official cock up of my life at the time, but honestly I'm happier at York than I ever was at 6th form and for the first time in years I actually have the freedom to do what I want, rather that what everyone else thinks I should want. For the first time in years I have incredible friends who I actually have time to see (the person who lived next door to me had so much in common with me, we could have been long lost sisters), I had actual independence, instead of doing what the curriculum / my teachers / people who decided they knew me better than I do told me to do, and I've actually been happy. Ending up at York via clearing was probably one of the best things that's happened to me so far. So, whatever happens on Thursday will happen; it's what you make of it that matters. Go have a fabulous future wherever you end up xx

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