The insider’s guide to UCAS clearing and adjustment

Many students will feel relieved on Results Day, as they prepare to start the degree of their dreams. Some students, however, will have missed their grades. Others may have done better than expected. Some may not have applied for university at all, and now wish they had. Luckily, UCAS Clearing and Adjustment are here to help.

What is UCAS Clearing?

Clearing offers you the opportunity to attend right after A levels, even if you missed your first and second choice offers. Numerous top universities offer places through Clearing, from Leeds to Liverpool, Edinburgh to Exeter, and Newcastle to Nottingham.

You can also use Clearing as an opportunity to change your course at the last minute. Maybe you’ve decided you want to be closer to home, or that you want to study Law instead of Biology. You can use Clearing between July and September, meaning there’s time to think about your next move after Results Day, without having to rush into choosing a new degree. All courses available through Clearing can be found on the official UCAS vacancy list, and are also published in The Telegraph newspaper.

Still have questions about Clearing? UCAS have compiled a helpful guide to the process, which is available here.

What is UCAS Adjustment?

UCAS Adjustment offers a similar service, but is for students who have got higher grades than they were expecting. You can swap your original offer for one for a degree with higher grade requirements, often at a more prestigious university. Adjustment is only available from Results Day (17 August 2017) until 31 August, so make sure you’re on the ball. Your original first choice offer will be held whilst you are shopping around for a new degree. However, unlike with Clearing, there isn’t a full vacancy list for Adjustment. You’ll have to search for courses yourself, using the UCAS course search tool. You can also contact university admissions offices, to ask them about vacancies. Full information about Adjustment can be found here, on the UCAS website.

Written by - Lauren C.

Studied English Language & Literature at Cambridge University