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Making the final choice

Applying directly into Clearing

Don’t worry if you’re a UK student that hasn’t applied by the June deadline. Applying directly to Clearing gives you another chance to apply.

Student writing college or university application form with laptop.

What’s a direct Clearing application?

A direct application is made for a Clearing course by a student who hasn’t already applied for university. Any student applying to university for the first time after the 30 June deadline will have to make a direct Clearing application. 

How do I apply this way?

Direct Clearing applications can be made in two ways. 

The most common way is to apply through UCAS Clearing after 5th July 2022. You’ll need to create a UCAS Hub account, where you’ll be given a unique UCAS ID number. You’ll need to write a personal statement and provide an academic reference.  

Once you’ve received your grades, you can start calling universities to see whether you get any verbal offers. Each university will have a dedicated Clearing hotline for you to call, which can be found when searching for Clearing courses.

Grace, a Loughborough University student who went through Clearing, explains how to approach calling Clearing hotlines and reassures that admissions teams on the other end of the phone are there to help:

You can also apply directly without UCAS, through Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA). Some universities will let you apply without a UCAS account, but not all. The university will typically send your offer via email with a link to complete an online form. Check this with the university when you call.

It's more common for international students to apply directly via an agent or a guidance counsellor, but it’s rare for a UK student to do this — unless their entry is for January or another entry point that may not fit the usual UCAS cycle. 

Who can apply directly?

Students who haven’t made a university application by the 30 June deadline can apply directly via UCAS Clearing.  Many direct applications are made by mature students but also by students who are:  

  • waiting to see their results before applying to university,  
  • still unsure whether to go or not, or  
  • who have only decided to go to university after the deadline.

Why should I apply directly?

Applying directly gives you more time to consider what you’d like to study and where. You may not know what degree you’d like to pursue by the 30 June application deadline, so applying directly into Clearing affords you extra time. 

You may prefer to wait until you have your results, so you know what courses are realistic to pursue. By waiting you could have a greater chance of acceptance onto a course, as many universities lower their entry requirements in Clearing. 

However, choosing to apply directly means you could miss out on certain courses and universities. Medicine and Veterinary Medicine courses often fill their places before Clearing opens, so you often won’t find many available Clearing courses in these subjects, but this can vary from university to university. 

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