Parent Hub


UCAS Clearing 2019: Everything you need to know as parents

This year A-level results day falls on the 15th August, when students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will find out whether they have secured their first choice place at university. With only a few days to go until results day, find out what you can do to support your child if they need to find a spot at university through Clearing.

What is Clearing?

If your child has missed out on the grades needed to be accepted into their first or insurance choices, or they’ve simply changed their mind then UCAS Clearing is the recommended route to secure a spot at university.

Clearing is the process by which universities and colleges fill any places they still and left on courses, providing students with a second chance to apply for vacancies on unfilled courses at universities across the UK. In 2018 a record 60,000 students found their university places in subjects from law to English via clearing so there will be plenty of courses on offer.

How to support your child if they don’t make their grades

  • Be prepared – Make sure your child has considered a Plan B and is aware of the Clearing process. If they do end up in Clearing, they’ll need to know their UCAS ID number and log-in details for UCAS Track so make sure they have these to hand.

  • Be supportive – Results day can be extremely stressful so it’s important to stay calm and positive on the day. If your child has only narrowly missed their grades it’s worth suggesting they contact their firm and insurance university choices first before entering Clearing.

  • ​​​Do some research – A list of live vacancies will be available on the UCAS website. Help by browsing availability and noting down contact numbers for your child to call. It’s important that your child calls the university themselves to speak with an admissions tutor who will ask about their grades and interest in the subject they’re applying for.
  • Remind them to be patient – Remember, your child won’t be able to formally accept a place until 3pm and will usually have two or three days to accept an offer through Clearing. Remind them not panic or rush their decision.  


The essential links and numbers to call

  • UCAS - UCAS will be displaying live updates of all the course available and the numbers to call.
  • Which? University - Find out more about the courses available and dig a little deeper into the modules you'll study. 
  • UCAS: 0371 468 0468 - At this time of year, UCAS goes into overdrive. Staff will not advise on course choices, but are great at sorting out queries on the technicalities of Clearing or if you're having any issues using Track.
  • Exam Results Helpline: 0800 100 900 - The team of career advice experts provide free, help and guidance to students who have higher or lower exam results than expected and want to know what to do next. Lines open from 8am on 15 August for those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.