A-Level results day can be a nerve-wracking time. You’ve got a conditional offer for your chosen university; you just need the grades to get there.

But what happens if you don’t get the grade you need? Well, Clearing could be the solution.

What is Clearing?

Typically, Clearing is for students who fall short of the grades needed to get into their first choice of university.

Each year, around 60,000 students use Clearing to find courses they're interested in and go to universities they'll enjoy.

You may have to make a slight adjustment in the course you choose, or the university you go to, but this could be the start of something great that will open up opportunities you may not have even thought of.

The important thing to remember is, don’t panic and stay calm. After all, as one door closes, another gateway of opportunity opens.

As well as being a fantastic Further Education college, we also know a thing or two about degrees. We’ve been offering award-winning degrees in Hastings for over 25 years and are lucky enough to have a wealth of industry experts teaching on our courses.

So if you’re considering Clearing, here are some of our top tips:


Don’t panic

First thing’s first, don’t worry. Literally thousands of students are in the same boat as you. There will be a course out there for you; you just have to find it. Use UCAS website or other media outlets, such as the Telegraph, to find the list of clearing courses available.

Keep your options open

You might have to take a slightly different path to the one you expected, but this could be a good thing. You should have an open mind about choosing a new course and where you want to study. Perhaps you didn’t get the grades for Computer Science, but you can study ICT instead. Or maybe you didn’t meet the entry requirements for Marine Biology at Plymouth, but you could try Swansea.

Plot a new path

Carefully consider your new learning journey. OK, it might not be your first choice, but this new journey might help you grow and teach you things you weren’t expecting. It is important that you get it right because you’ll be studying this subject for the next three years or so. Clearing can be stressful, so even if you don’t have much luck to begin with, just keep going, you will find a course and place you want to study at.

Be quick

Don’t hang around because there isn’t a huge amount of time for you to apply. Clearing is only open for a limited period of time and there are only a limited number of courses available. But with the time you do have, make sure you check out what the course and Uni is like. Search on Google, check out their website and see what they’re up to on social media. This will give you a good indication of what student life will be like, and more importantly, if it’s right for you.

Go for it

Once you’ve found a course you’d like to do - go for it! Use UCAS track to apply or call the universities directly and speak to their advisors. This may be a better option as they’ll need to speak to you about your grades. From there, they can advise you on everything you need to know on how to secure a place.

If you’re still not sure, seek advice

Give us a call. Our clearing hotline will be available all day during A-Level results day and we’re here to help. We can give you impartial advice about what to do next and help you find a course that is right for you. You never know, we might even have a course you’ll be interested in.


Try calling universities that you’re interested in; even if their courses don’t appear in Clearing. Some universities don’t publish courses for Clearing because they’re confident of getting calls to fill them. It could be worth a shot.

We offer a range of degree courses, all accredited by University of Brighton. You can study Art and Design, Business, Engineering, Health & Social Care, Hospitality, and Teaching degrees with us, so if you want to find out more, check out the full list here.

What can be better than studying for a degree by the sea? Give our Hotline a call and see what we have to offer 01424 442222 or 07813 255330.

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