What is Clearing?

Clearing is your opportunity to apply to university, whether you’re just getting results this summer or you’re returning to education.

Anglia Ruskin University student pictured in front of a large letter C for Clearing

You might be applying through Clearing for a number of reasons. Perhaps you decided to go to university after the UCAS application date passed. Maybe you didn’t quite get the results you expected. Or perhaps you’ve changed your mind about where you want to study – staying closer to home might work best for you.

The good news is you’ll have plenty of choice. There’s a bit of a myth about Clearing, which is that it’s full of the ‘leftover’ courses that no-one wants. But in fact, many popular, sought-after courses have vacancies and it's a great time to look around and see what’s on offer.

Search and apply

We accept Clearing applications from July-September. At this time, you can apply online or by phone. 

Clearing is generally open until mid-September, but some courses do fill up so we recommend applying early if you can.

We understand that applying to university is an important decision, no matter when you take it, so we’ll be on hand to help you through the whole process.

Why apply through Clearing

Late to the party?

Perhaps you decided to go to university after the UCAS application deadline had passed. That’s no problem. You don’t need a UCAS account to apply for Clearing, as you can generally go direct to the university of your choice.

If you’re not sure where you want to apply, there’s time to look round and get a feel for different places.

At ARU, our student ambassadors are on hand to tell you more about their courses and life at ARU. We can even match you with an ambassador. Chat to our students online.

Making a new plan?

If you got your results this summer and didn’t quite get the grades you expected – don’t worry. It happens, and Clearing is a chance to stop, regroup, and find the best opportunity for you.

Our advice is to think about where your results can take you, rather than worrying about where they can’t. Clearing can be the perfect time to find a place on a course that’s made for you.

Changed your mind?

Perhaps you’ve changed your mind about where you want to study. You’ve accepted a place but on balance, staying closer to home might work best, or another university just feels like the right place for you.

Alternatively, you might have changed your mind about what you want to study. That’s understandable. There are new job opportunities and career paths opening up all the time, and lots of avenues you could follow.

Clearing is the perfect time to change your mind, because there’s opportunity everywhere. Take a look around and you’ll come across courses and subjects you might not have even considered before. Be brave, be curious and grab this chance!

Returning to education?

It’s easy to think of Clearing as being for people who’ve just taken A-levels this summer – but in fact, Clearing is for everyone.

You might have taken exams a few years ago, been on a gap year, or be looking for a career change. There are many reasons why you might be returning to university this September – and you won’t be alone. Among our students you’ll find people like Lucie, who took time out to raise a family and is now pursuing her dream of studying education; and Rosie, who worked in the arts for several years but is retraining as a midwife.

Tom also applied to ARU after being out of education for a few years. He shares his experience of applying through Clearing, and the support he received throughout the process:

Questions about studying at ARU?

We're here to answer your questions about courses, applying to university, and studying at ARU.