Parents' guide to Clearing

Your one-stop guide to steering your son or daughter through the Clearing rollercoaster

What is Clearing?

Basically, Clearing is how universities allocate any places they have left once the regular application period closes at the end of June. Same uni, same courses, same opportunities. Different way in.

You may think it’s just for students who don’t get the grades for their chosen university, but this isn’t the case. They might have changed their mind about where they want to go, or have only just decided that they would like to go to university.

But no matter what happens, it’s important to remember that Clearing is open until mid September, so there’s no need to panic. This guide will help you make sense of it all, and put your son or daughter in the best position for results day. Whatever that day brings.

Find out more

Why Clearing? Here are 4 reasons why people use Clearing...

1. "I didn't get the results I need."

Don’t worry. If your son or daughters’ grades aren’t what they hoped for, there are still many doors open to them.

At Hull, we don’t just consider academic things like their A-level grades. We look at their whole application. That means volunteering, work experience, and achievements outside of school and college.

2. "I've changed my mind."

It’s not too late. We have a list of courses available through Clearing at, with more added on 17 August.

If your son or daughter already has their BTEC results, they can apply now.

3. "I've done better than I thought I would."

Not many people know this. But if your son or daughter beats the conditions of their firm offer, they can swap their original choice for another university. UCAS call this Adjustment. But that’s not all. The great news is that they may also be eligible for a generous scholarship, like one of ours… Our University Merit Scholarships are £2,000 awarded to those who achieve more than 120 UCAS points. Then with a tariff over 152 points, the University Achievement Scholarship is a £4,000 award. Conditions apply – but not as many as you think. Find out more on [this page] (link to scholarships and bursaries)

4. "I've only just decided to go to uni."

Good news. Your son or daughter can still join us this September, even if they haven’t applied to uni. It’s easy, too. All they need to do is call us now on 01482 466100 to discuss their options. We have places available on a range of courses, so there’s bound to be something they love.

Top 7 tips to help you be the best Clearing cheerleader there is

1. Make a Plan B list

Work out what other universities interest them and jot down their entry requirements. Make sure you have a variety of options, some that accept higher grades and some with lower grade boundaries.

Remember to write down university contact details – especially their Clearing helpline number – so you’ll have them to hand on results day. Ours is 01482 466100.

2. Take results day off work (if you can)

Just in case you need to support them through the Clearing process – or to go out and celebrate.

When the day finally arrives, remember to stay calm. Your son or daughter will be able to check UCAS track in the morning to find out if they got into their first choice. They’ll still need to go into school to collect their results – so remind them to take their Plan B list with them, and a mobile phone with full battery so they can go through Clearing if needs be.

No doubt they’ll be disappointed if they don’t get their predicted grades. You, on the other hand, will be proud of them whatever they’ve achieved. But the important thing is to reassure them that they do have options.

3. Don’t panic, don’t hesitate, just call

If there’s no change to their status on UCAS Track, it may be that their firm or insurance choice is still considering their application. Encourage them to give the university a call to find out more.                                                  

If they’ve definitely missed out on their place at their first or insurance choice, it’s time for them to get out their Plan B list and start calling. If we’re lucky to be on their list, we’d be happy to hear from them on 01482 466100.

4. Help with the phone calls

You can hold your son or daughter’s place in the phone queue for them, but they’ll have to chat to the admissions team directly. They might be offered a place on the phone, or have to wait for a call back – so taking note of the people they speak to is important.

5. Share the load

While they’re busy researching courses or making phone calls, you can look into other things. Like the cost of living in the cities they like the look of, or the accommodation on offer at the uni.

Did you know we offer guaranteed accommodation to all our full-time first-year students? And that Hull is one of the best value cities in the UK to study at University? Well, you do now.

6. Accept an offer

Once they have an offer through Clearing, they can login to UCAS track to register and accept it – happy days! The university will then be in touch with a confirmation email about the next steps. If they’re not applying through UCAS, we’ll guide them through the process separately.

7. Go see the university

Now’s a good time to take them to a Clearing Visit Day. This will help them to get a feel for the university they’ve chosen, and be useful when sorting out their accommodation. Plus, you can get all your questions answered by staff and students who know the University best.

We run Clearing Visit Days every day from 17 to 24 August – even during the weekend. You can book your place here, or by calling 01482 466100. Or just drop in – you’ll be sure of a warm welcome.

7 things to expect when you call to apply

Our Clearing hotline is open on results day from 7am. It may take some time to get through – it is a busy day for all universities – but the call will be answered.

When they get through, your son or daughter will speak to a member of the Clearing helpline team.

They’ll talk to them about their results (A-level/BTEC and GCSEs, particularly Maths, English and Science), and the course they want to study.

They’ll ask about other achievements too, like work experience, special projects, music and sport qualifications etc.

They’ll also take a contact address, phone number and email, so remind your son or daughter to have these at hand.

If the university needs more details, they may pass your son or daughter on to a course administrator.

The university might offer a place on the call, or they might need time to review the details and get back to your son or daughter later in the day. For some courses, like midwifery, the initial offer could be subject to an interview.

Hull and the Region
Choose Hull
Scholarships and bursaries

What do some of our previous Clearing students have to say?

"Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Even if you didn't get the grades you wanted, universities do look at other things."

Tayo Adeleye, Business Economics and Marketing



"When I called Hull, it felt like the person on the phone was really listening, rather than just thinking 'grades, grades, grades'."

Charlotte Pamplin, History and Archaeology


"It's a scary word, 'Clearing'. But no matter what happens there's a very high chance of you getting into university."

William Thomas, Chemistry (with foundation year)


"Clearing was pretty simple: I just called up and got a place. Hull were very reassuring, and I got to visit the uni before I accepted."

Deborah Akinwumi, Law


"I'm now at a better university than the ones I originally applied for because of Clearing and choosing a foundation year."

Ellie Smith, War and Security Studies


"University isn't just about your course - I've met more people with different views and interests than I ever would at school."

Blaine Pearce, Politics and International Relations