Clearing top tips

Be prepared

  • Do your research before results day and make sure that you have a good back up plan if you don't do quite as well as you expect.
  • Talk with your school or college careers advisers about the different courses that can still help you along the same career path.
  • Consider the fact that entry requirements for courses with vacancies during Clearing can be more flexible so it's worth phoning up the university to find out more.

Don't panic

Keep calm and take your time before you make any decisions. UCAS won't allow you to make any applications until 3pm on results day so there is time for you to phone universities and consider your options on results day.

Consider your options

Think about courses that are similar to the one you originally applied for, joint honours and maybe the option to study a degree with a foundation year.


Decide what is the most important thing for you. This could be the location, the course, or the university itself. 

Keep an open mind

You may eventually settle for a course that is completely different to the one you originally applied for but it may work out much better than you expect.

Clearing timeline

From the evening before A level results day, right through to when you confirm your place, our handy timeline will take you step by step through your Clearing journey.

Download your Clearing timeline

Student finance

Student finance

Undergraduate fees are published on university websites and you can get a tuition fee loan to cover the full amount alongside your student maintenance loan, so nothing is paid upfront to the university.

Visit student finance

Already applied for a loan but your details have changed due to Clearing?

If this is the case, then your application details will need to be changed. If you’re funded by Student Finance England, this can be done easily and quickly at student finance by logging into your student account, or by contacting the relevant funder if you live elsewhere.

Applying to university through Clearing but haven't applied for a loan yet?

The official deadlines for student finance applications have past but don't worry you can still apply. However, please be aware that the funding body may not be able to process your application in time for the beginning of your course. Whatever happens, the funding body will make sure you have some money as close to the start of your course as possible.

Student maintenance loan

The online applicaton process does take a while to complete and your parents or guardians need to complete parts too so make sure you do it as early as possible. Maintenance loans are means tested against household income, but you don’t have to repay either loan until the April after you graduate and only if you are earning over £25,000. Until you reach this £25,000 earning threshold you won't pay a penny. Then the repayments are done on a sliding scale depending on your earnings.


University accommodation

Find your place at the University of Plymouth through Clearing and receive University-guaranteed accommodation.

There are lots of university accommodation options out there, although your options available coming through Clearing may be limited and will vary across different universities, so it is worth doing a bit of research. When calling a university on A level results day, you can enquire about what accommodation is still available.

We've detailed some potential options, but be aware different types of accommodation have a range of prices so make sure the rent is in your price range.

University-owned halls
A great opportunity to meet people straight away when you arrive at university and it’s often your flat mates that become your first university friends!

Living at home
If you are going to a university that is commutable from home, then you can always continue to live at home during your studies, and perhaps save some money.

What happens next?

Once you have booked a room, research what to bring with you and arrivals information for the big move! You may also like to join university social media pages to meet new flat mates and find out about Fresher’s week events. For more information visit student accommodation.

What our students say...

Nanna Sivamanoharan
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate, now a trainee Biomedical Scientist at Royal Brompton Hospital, Chelsea 

Clearing changed my life 100 per cent! Plymouth was not my first choice, as I lived in London, however, after visiting on an open day I fell in love with the city and the campus. It made me see how amazing it was, compared to other smaller universities that had less to offer. I was devastated when I failed to get the grades for optometry. But I was offered a place to study biomedical science instead, I did some research and was impressed enough to take a shot.

Nanna's top tip – keep calm

“It may seem like there are no choices left but trust me, sometimes the best outcomes happen through Clearing. Call the place you want to go to as soon as you have your results, and make sure you know exactly what you want. Stay patient, positive, and keep persisting.”

“I came through Clearing at the very last minute. I was upset that I didn't get the grades that I was expecting, and I felt deflated by the whole situation, so I didn’t make a decision straight away.

“When I realised I did want to go to university and my lower-than-expected grades weren’t the end of the world, I chose to apply to Plymouth and found the process surprisingly easy.”

Melia Crawford, current BA (Hons) Art History student

Melia's top tip – stay positive!

“Not getting accepted into your top choice university will never be the end of the world and you shouldn't let it get you down. You never know, your decision in Clearing could change your life for the better – it did for me!”