Finding a place at Higher Education – results and clearing

Results day can be a great opportunity to celebrate your achieved grades and hard work. However, if you did not do as well as expected, try not to worry; you may still be able to secure a higher education place through clearing.

Results Day

Results day is set to take place on Thursday 13 August 2020 as planned, despite the cancellation of A-level exams across the UK from the Department for Education (DfE) due to COVID-19. Whether you achieved your predicted results, did better than expected or narrowly missed out, read below on what your options are for each outcome.


Achieved your expected results?

If you achieve your expected grades and conditions of your offer(s), the university or college will confirm your place in ‘Track’ (the UCAS application tracking system). You should receive details from the university or college about what to do next and will be able to view your confirmation letter in Track, five to seven days after your place is confirmed.

You can find out more about what your results mean on the UCAS website, ‘Apply and Track’ section here


Better grades than expected?

UCAS have introduced the ‘Adjustment Process’ for students who receive better grades than expected. It is an opportunity for you to consider what and where you would like to study. You can find out more about the Adjustment Process and whether you are eligible on the UCAS website. The Adjustment Process is available for a short time from A-Level results day.

To find out more information on the Adjustment Process, click here

Missed grades

If you haven’t got the grades you were hoping for – don’t panic, there are still options open to you. If you narrowly missed your grade requirements, your preferred course may still be available. If the course is not full, you may be able to negotiate to secure a place. If the university or college that gave you a conditional offer still cannot offer you a place, then you can turn to the UCAS clearing system.


Clearing and Clearing Plus

Clearing is a UCAS service for applicants to apply for university or college places which are yet to be filled. It is available to any UCAS Undergraduate applicant who may not have achieved their expected results or does not hold any current offers.

Clearing is set to take place from 6th July – 20th October 2020 and helps you find another preferred course.

The following video below from UCAS provides a quick and useful guide on how to manage the clearing process.


Alternatively, you can download this full breakdown document on the step process to clearing and what to expect.

Clearing Plus

Clearing Plus is a brand-new ‘student-course matching’ service introduced by UCAS for 2020 which gives Undergraduate applicants a greater opportunity to be placed on a desired course at university or college based on your previous interests.

For a full breakdown on how Clearing Plus works, click here.

Top tips to remember

Further Information

For more information on UCAS Track and Clearing you can visit these helpful pages:

If you have difficulties accessing the UCAS website to complete your application form, or have any questions about the clearing process, you can contact the UCAS Customer Service Team on 0871 468 0468, Monday to Friday, 08:30-18:00 (UK time) and calls from UK BT landline will cost no more than 9p per minute. Calls from mobiles and other networks may vary.

You can also check out our Six steps into Higher Education guide here which directs prospective students from the UCAS application stage right through to accommodation, funding and additional support that may be available to you during your studies.

The information has been adapted from a project funded grant from DfE to National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) to provide specialist information, advice, support and training to improve outcomes for young people with sensory impairments. The original guidance was produced by Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) and hosted by RNIB.

If there are there any questions missing that you would like us to answer then please let us know by contacting us at  or join the Student Support Service group on Facebook.

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