UCAS Extra and UCAS Clearing

Your last year of sixth form or college can be an extremely stressful time, it’s your last year of school, you have to decide if you want to go to uni and apply to it or go straight into employment, you have to decide what you would want to study if you went to uni and have all your exams to prepare for too. If you decide university is the option for you sometimes the application process doesn’t go to plan and you might miss the deadline or receive no offers. But don’t worry! Here are two of UCAS’s options that let you apply to other universities and still have a chance of getting a place.




UCAS Extra gives you the option to add another choice onto your UCAS application if you have applied to five places and haven’t received any offers, for free.

If you have included five options and haven’t received an offer or decline the offers you can use this between the 25th February and 4th of July. If you didn’t use all five options you can just add another choice in Track, as long as it’s before 30 June, and you’ve not accepted or declined any offers. There will be an extra £11 application fee in Track when you do this.

If you still don’t receive any offers by 30th July don’t give up hope- you’ll be entered into Clearing. Here you can search universities that have placements still and phone them to see if you can study there. Check out our Clearing blog or UCAS for more details…





UCAS Clearing gives you the option to still get a place at an institute. You can apply to university if you:

  • Apply after the 30th June
  • Didn’t receive any offers from your original application (or none you wanted to accept)
  • Didn’t meet the conditions of your firm or insurance choice.


It is open from July to September each year, if you have your results and no offers you can start applying in July and if you get your exams results but don’t need the conditions of your firm or insurance choice you can start applying from results day. My advice would be to check out clearing courses as soon as you can and make a list of the universities and courses you wouldn’t mind going to then research them and write down their details. The course you applied for earlier could be on their and thy might reconsider you and other universities might give you an informal offer. This way you can be sure of your choices and if your results aren’t what you hoped for, you can phone that university straight away and stand more chance of getting that place. The clearing vacancies are regularly updated so make sure you keep looking if you don’t like what you find the first time!


The best advice I can give you is to make sure you’re flexible with your subject or location. If you aren’t as fussy about your university or specific choices on a course you’ll be more likely to find a course you like. There are many fantastic universities in the UK and further afield with a variety of courses so research them and see if there are a few that are suited to you.


If you’re applying after the 30th of June you still need to register and make an application on UCAS. That way you will be able to enter the Track service and find your clearing number. If you have already applied you will know if you’re in clearing because your Track status will say ‘you’re in clearing’ or ‘clearing has started.’ Don’t worry if it doesn’t say anything yet, the university still might be considering you and if you want to know then get in touch with them and find out what is going on.

It’s important you ask your teachers/advisors for advice during this time, you might be feeling panicked but they have done this numerous times and will be able to help. When you have your clearing number start phoning the universities you listed to see if they have space, once you have permission from them you can add the course to Track.


Remember: you can only add one clearing placement at a time. It’s important you phone them to see whether you would be accepted before you add it so you don’t have to worry about having to find another course. If this does happen you can add another place after the university doesn’t confirm your place.


And don’t worry if you do end up in UCAS Clearing! It’s okay to be in that position and a lot of other people will be too, sometimes exams don’t go to plan! And if clearing doesn’t work out for you then there are still options like a gap year or year in employment. Find out more here: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/alternatives-higher-education