Guide to Clearing 2018: Everything you need to know

A-level results day takes place later this month '“ but if your results are not what you expected, don't worry the right university place still is within reach.

Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 1:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 1:28 pm
Nathan Ward

Every year, tens of thousands of graduates achieve a university place during Clearing despite missing their offer or because their results are better than expected.

Here’s your guide to Clearing and making sure you achieve the right university place for you.

Nathan Ward

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What is Clearing and who is it for?

Clearing is the opportunity to gain a university place for 2018 entry for people who don’t hold an offer or have changed their mind about where they want to study.

There are lots of reasons for choosing a University place during Clearing. The most common ones are:

· Missing out on required grades

· Changing mind on institution

· Applying for the first time

· Achieved higher grades than expected

When am I actually in Clearing?

Your UCAS status will tell you what position you are in and whether you are now in Clearing.

If you are, stay calm, the world is at your feet. You still have a choice of thousands of vacancies – and our friendly experts at University of Sunderland will be more than happy to talk to you about what they can offer as well as offer support and advice.

I have just missed out on my first choice, is it worth calling to see if my place is still available?

Yes, it’s definitely worth contacting your first choice university to discuss your options. It’s also worth keeping an open mind: get on the phone, social media or the website of your chosen university and discover the opportunities open to you.

So, I need to consider the options open to me?

Yes, decisions need to be made. Do you want to study the same subject at a different university? Or are you considering a change in subject and sticking to your chosen university?

At the University of Sunderland, you can contact us in several different ways and we will let you know what alternative options are available.

We don’t want you to jump in without thinking through and knowing exactly what your options are – the course has to be right for you

Where can I get advice?

Universities will have teams of admissions officers on the end of the phone and online. They are used to the ups and downs of exam results day, so don’t be afraid to communicate with them.

The University of Sunderland Clearing hotline - 0191 515 3000 – opens on 16 August, but you don’t need to wait until then for help and advice, you can contact us on that number at any time.

Remember to try and keep a pen and paper handy to jot down information you may not remember.

Stay cool and keep a clear head

Once you’ve decided what you want to do and where you want to go you need to get a verbal offer from a university. Then you can log in to UCAS Track, click on “Add Clearing Choice” and add course details. Places do go fast and UCAS make live updates online.

If I receive multiple offers via Clearing, can I put them all into UCAS Track?

You can only add one Clearing choice at a time to Track.

If the university doesn't confirm your place, you can then add another.

I’ve actually ended up with better grades than I was predicted, what now?

Well done! Your place will be confirmed by your first choice university. Check if you are eligible for any scholarships - for instance Sunderland offer a £2,000 Excellence Scholarship for students achieving ABB or higher.

Does going through Clearing affect getting my student loan?

Once you have secured a place through Clearing, you need to turn your attention to your student loan application.

If you have already applied for funding but changed your course or university, you need to update your details as soon as possible.

If you have made your first application through Clearing and have not applied for finance yet, you need to apply now to give yourself the best chance possible of receiving your first loan in time for starting your course.

There is a possibility that you will not receive your loan in time for the start of the year.

What support is the University of Sunderland offering?

If you’d like to discuss starting university in September 2018 or already have an offer, why not pop in and chat to the team at our Clearing event on Thursday 16 August in the Gateway at City Campus (SR1 3SD) from 3pm – 6.30pm, and you can chat to an academic about your course; find out about any scholarships that you can apply for, and have a look around the campus you will be studying at. We'll also have someone on hand to give you information about accommodation.

What If I can’t make that date?

No problem, you can register for the University of Sunderland’s main University Open Day on Saturday, 18 August.

Can I apply now?

Yes, you should be able to get into the Clearing application system for most universities – here’s the link to Sunderland.

Can I sort this out over the phone and is there a hotline number?

Yes, universities will have teams of people staffing the phones throughout Clearing. To talk to the University of Sunderland ring our dedicated Clearing hotline 0191 515 3000. The hotline is open between 7am and 7pm on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 August; 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday 18 August; 10am to 2pm on Sunday 19 August; and 9am to 5pm from Monday 20 August onwards.

I’m still not sure what exact course I should apply for

There’s plenty to choose from. Take a look at the list of options here at the University of Sunderland.

I haven’t applied to University at all – is Clearing for me?

Yes – check university websites and give them a call to talk through the qualifications you have and the degree programmes open to you. At the University of Sunderland we also have academics available to help answer your questions.

I’ve changed my mind about the university I want to go to. Can I change in clearing?

Yes – you’ll need to get your first choice university to release you, then you’re free to contact other universities to see if they have spaces.

Clearing Profile – Nathan Ward

A friendly phone call inspired Nathan Ward to move 200 miles to an unfamiliar city, and start a new life. But for Nathan it worked out better than he ever expected – after graduating with a First Class degree from the University of Sunderland Nathan is happy to call himself an adopted Geordie, and is working for one of the region’s most prestigious small companies.

“I didn’t achieve the A-Levels I needed, but I was very keen to move to the North East – I’m a massive Newcastle United fan,” says Nathan, who is originally from Corby in Northamptonshire.

“I had heard great feedback from people who studied at Sunderland, and on my results day I decided to ring the University.

“Sunderland’s Clearing team put me right at ease at a time when I was very stressed. They told me they would love me to come to Sunderland, and that definitely helped make up my mind.”

The University of Sunderland Clearing Hotline is open on 0191 5153000. You can find out more online at:, or come along to the Clearing pop-in event on Thursday 16 August from 3pm-6.30pm, at the Gateway, City Campus, Chester Road. No appointment needed. Academics, financial experts and advisors will be on hand to let you know your best option for higher study.

“The support network provided by the university was second to none,” says Nathan, 23. ”Having to move 200 miles was hard, but thanks to the University and the friends I made on my degree I’ve been able to make a life up here.”

All new students are guaranteed accommodation at the University of Sunderland, as well as a Free Travel Pass for their first year.

Nathan graduated with a First Class Honours degree in BA Business and Management in 2016. Two years on he is working in one of the country’s most famous UK success stories – and is loving his new life in the North East.

“I secured a full-time job at BT just a couple of hours before I graduated – then a role came up at Ebac in Newton Aycliffe, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Ebac is one of the UK’s last independent manufacturers. Founded in 1972 by John Elliott, the company produces dehumidifiers and washing machines, and employs around 200 local people.

“Ebac has a strong family ethos that runs through the whole business,” says Nathan. “There are a lot of mums and daughters, fathers and sons working here and the business is family run.

“I was taken on as a Graduate Digital Marketing Executive, and have now been promoted to the role of the company’s Sale and Marketing Analyst.

“My degree from Sunderland gave me the chance to learn and develop in all areas of business, and I would definitely recommend the University. Calling the Clearing hotline was the best decision I’ve ever made. Sunderland helped shape my future.”

In the 2018 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education results (DLHE) 93.4% of University of Sunderland graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation.