If I missed the grades required for a course I have applied for in the UK, can I apply through clearing?
As an international student coming to the UK to study, you should always allow plenty of time for your application to account for obtaining study visas, organising your accommodation, your proof of funding and making travel arrangements. However, some of you may not quite meet the grades required to be admitted to the course you have applied for.
Should this happen, and you placed your application through UCAS, the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, your first step should be to check UCAS Track to see whether your chosen institution has been able to offer you a place on the course you picked. If you have not received a final decision, next you should contact the admissions department at the university you have applied to study at. If you have missed the entry requirement terms of the course you were offered and your application was declined, the next step is to consider applying for a course through the clearing process.
The UK university clearing process is for prospective undergraduate students who have no course offers. Universities will list all of their courses that have vacancies, and you are able to browse this list and submit an application to any of these courses that you are interested in. Often this can involve contacting the university directly. The clearing process takes part from July to September each year, in time for the start of the UK academic year. If you have submitted your application later than the 30th of June deadline, it will also be entered straight into the clearing process.
As an international student, you will generally be eligible to apply through the clearing process, as long as you initially applied through the UCAS. Before you start looking for a course, check with UCAS Track that you are eligible for clearing and obtain your UCAS clearing number. When you do find courses that you are interested in, the process can be quite chaotic as most universities are rushing to fill their empty courses. You will be expected to contact the university you are interested in by phone, often to a dedicated clearing phone line. If you are told that a university will consider your application, note this in UCAS as your clearing choice. Remember that you still need to arrange your finances, travel, accommodation and any student/travel visas should you accept an offer.
If the worst should happen and you miss out on a place this time round, don’t give up on your study abroad plans. Take this opportunity to plan and perfect your application for your ideal course for the next academic year and if possible re-sit any examinations if you can to improve your grades.
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