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Clearing advice for parents and supporters at University of Portsmouth

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Clearing advice for parents and supporters

As a parent or guardian, you know how stressful exam time can be for young people you’re supporting. It can feel as though everything hangs on their results, to get into the universities they’ve chosen to go to.

Or, they may only recently have decided that they'd like to go to university, and have missed the window to apply through UCAS.

Every year, thousands of young people find a path to university through Clearing. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know to support a young person through this process.



What is Clearing?

Clearing is how universities fill any places they have left on courses. It happens every year, and gives thousands of students the opportunity to study at university.

This can be if they didn’t get the grades they were hoping for, didn’t want to accept offers that they received, or hadn’t applied through UCAS to go to university at all.

Most students in the UK are taking A levels or T levels and will apply through Clearing on results day, which this year is Thursday 17 August. 

On this day, and for several days afterwards, universities will have hotline numbers to call about Clearing, alongside online application forms and chatbots to answer questions.

Things move very fast on results day and the most popular courses fill-up quickly. So it’s important to be prepared. 

How does Clearing work?

If your young person applied through UCAS

On results day, your young person will be able to log into their UCAS Hub and see if they’ve been successful in getting firm or insurance places at their chosen university.

If they’ve been unsuccessful, they’ll see their Clearing number has appeared automatically. This is the code they’ll use to secure any future course offers.

Even if they’ve been successful in securing a place, they can still use Clearing to consider other universities if they choose to.


If your young person didn’t apply through UCAS

If your young person hasn’t applied for university at all, they can still use Clearing to secure a place to start in September. In this case, the entire process is handled directly with the university.

How to apply through Clearing


What happens next?

Whether they applied through UCAS or not, Clearing is a two step process. They must: 

  1. call, email or chat to universities they're interested in, to get an offer of a place through Clearing.
  2. once that offer is confirmed they then use UCAS to release themselves into Clearing and submit their new offer and acceptance.


How to help your child prepare for Clearing

Results day can be stressful. If your young person didn’t get the results they were hoping for, or have recently decided to go to university, Clearing is their next step.

Being prepared in advance will help your young person have the best chance of securing a place at university through Clearing.

You can’t call universities for them, but you can help them make sure they have everything the need when they make the call. They’ll need to know their:

  • GCSE (or equivalent) grades
  • Year 13 results
  • Full address and postcode
  • A list of questions about the university and course they’d like to apply for.

To help you prepare, we’ve put together some useful resources:

Tips to manage Clearing stress  Supporting their friends   10-step preparation plan


What to do about student finance

It's really important that your young person remembers to update their student finance application. If they're changing university, or changing where they plan to live (such as staying at home instead of being in halls), then student finance need to know this, too.

If they haven't yet made their application for student finance, then they need to do it now. 
With a late application it's worth thinking about how your child might be able to cover a gap in funding if their loan doesn't come through before the start of term. 

Student finance for Clearing guide


Things to remember

  • Take time to look at university websites – Get to know what the universities offer, what grades students need to be accepted there, and how suitable the universities and cities are for them.
  • Think about the process positively – Clearing is a normal part of every admissions year, and universities welcome Clearing applicants. Students should not feel worried about it, as lots of their peers are in the same boat.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions – Encourage your young person to think about what they want to know before they call universities. If you - or your young person - have questions before results day, send us your questions and we'll be happy to help.
  • Act quickly on results day – Make sure your young person responds quickly once results are out. The quicker they find out what courses are available and secure the place they want, the sooner they can start planning their life at university and hit the ground running when they get there.

Guidance and support

Find out about the guidance and support you'll get if you need a helping hand with academic life – or life in general – when you study with us at Portsmouth.

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Life outside study

Amazing places to eat, fantastic independent shops, great green spaces – everything you need to work, rest and play is waiting for you in Portsmouth.

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Clearing Visit Day Guide

Sign up to one of our visit days to explore the campus and meet our team for yourself.

The special Clearing visit days are on Saturday 19 and Monday 21 August 2022.

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Clearing: Frequently asked questions

Find answers quickly to your questions about Clearing. Our admissions team has answered all your frequently asked questions about Clearing.

Clearing advice at University of Portsmouth
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Clearing: Accommodation

Our Clearing accommodation guide tells you everything you need to know about sorting out your accommodation if you’ve accepted a place in Clearing.  

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