How does Clearing work?

University student

Clearing is an opportunity for you to apply directly to your chosen university and receive advice and guidance throughout the process.

If you want a bit more info about how Clearing works, and how you can get prepared, our top ten tips will help.

1. Take a breath

Think about what you really enjoy doing, not just the subjects where you may get the best grades. What matters to you? There’s a strong link between passion for a subject and success.

2. Think options

Find out what’s available in the subjects you most enjoy. We have degree courses in a wide range of subject areas, from animal sciences through to art and design, business and marketing, engineering, music and performing arts, nursing and midwifery and psychology – and lots more in between. Browse our subject areas.

Whatever your interest, read the course outline. If you're after hands-on experience, look for how much practical assessment is involved, and check if there's time in industry placements.

During Clearing, we publish up-to-the-minute information on course availability at ARU, along with details of how to apply. Meanwhile, the UCAS website will list Clearing vacancies at universities across the UK.

3. Make a plan

There's no need to wait until results day to apply. We accept online applications from July every year. Find out more about how to apply through Clearing.

4. Have your details to hand

Get your essential information ready before you apply. You'll need:

  • your UCAS personal number (if you have one)
  • your results (if you know them) – A Level, BTEC, Access course and your AS Levels and GCSEs. You can still apply if you're waiting for your results. We also accept other level 3 qualifications such as IB, Cambridge Pre-U, Scottish and Irish Highers
  • the personal statement from your UCAS application
  • any notes on the courses you’re interested in.

If you're calling us, it's worth having a note of any questions you want to ask. If you’ve spoken to us previously, it's helpful for us to know the name and details of the person you talked to.

5. Take some quiet time

Make sure that you’re somewhere quiet, and give your Clearing application your full attention.

6. Make notes

Have a pen and paper handy while you're applying, in case you want to make notes. It can be difficult to take everything in, and you might need to look back over information to help you make your choices.

7. Ask about accommodation

Find out what accommodation is available to you, and make this part of your decision-making process.

At ARU there are a number of options depending on where you live now, which campus your course is at and what you’d like to study. You'll find details of our halls and houses online.

8. Confirm your offer

If we make you an offer, we'll send you an email confirmation containing all the information you need. Keep an eye on your email and act quickly!

You can either accept your Clearing offer on UCAS Track – or, if you haven't applied through UCAS, complete a form that we'll send you.

9. Visit campus

If you’ve not already done so, get along to the university campus where you want to study.

At ARU we have drop-in campus tours every Wednesday afternoon. There's no need to book, just come along. One of our Student Ambassadors will show you round campus and answer your questions about studying at ARU.

And if you can't visit in person, enjoy our city guides to Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough.

10. Tell your friends!

This is the best bit: you’re going to university, where you’ll make friends and networks for life. Spread the news!