Clearing FAQs

If you are yet to secure an offer, or your grades are higher or lower than expected, Clearing is another way to apply for your favourite course.

When is Clearing 2020?

Clearing officially begins on Monday 6 July 2020.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is a service that matches applicants to vacant university places. It runs from July to September and helps you to secure your university place for the current year.

Clearing is open to you if you:

  • First apply after 30 June
  • If you have applied to a course through UCAS but haven't received an offer
  • If your place is not confirmed after your exam results are published.

When applying, you will be able to choose one course at one institution and you should have all of your exam results at hand, as we cannot make conditional offers during Clearing.

We can talk you through your options, even if your grades are different from the standard course requirements.

Consider a foundation year

We have a range of degree programmes with a foundation year, to make it easier to access the education we offer. A foundation year is an extra year of study at the start of your course that leads into a full degree. 

It’s a great option if:

  • You don’t have the grades for direct entry onto one of our BSc (Hons) degree courses
  • You have non-traditional qualifications or experience
  • You’re starting university after some time away from education
  • You’re looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Find out more about foundation year courses.

Which courses are available?

View our list of Clearing courses. It will be continually updated as courses become full.

Please note we aim to provide the latest information to you but can’t guarantee that a course will still be available by the time you apply.

How do I apply?

From Monday 6 July 2020

This is the day that UCAS Clearing opens, so please check to see if your course is available. If you already have your results, you can contact our Admissions team by email ( to check whether your results meet our requirements and for our advice on what to do next.

From Thursday 13 August 2020

1. Check back here to see if your chosen course is available.

2. If you have your results, call us (+44 (0) 800 052 2248) and we'll discuss whether your results meet our requirements and if we can make you an offer. We'll be open at the following times:

  • Thursday 13 August: 6am – 6pm
  • Friday 14 August: 7am – 6pm
  • Saturday 15 August: 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday 16 August: 10am – 4pm
  • Week commencing Monday 17 August: 9am – 5pm

What happens after I get an offer?

Everything you need to do will be explained either on the phone or in your offer email.

  1. Once you have spoken with one of staff members in our Clearing hub you will receive your offer email, this can take a little while to come through, if you don’t receive within an hour please contact us.
  2. Follow the instructions in your offer letter, you will receive guidance on how to refer yourself via UCAS to the University of Surrey (S85) and deadlines you will be required to meet. Please note you will only be able to refer your application from 3pm on Thursday 13 August.
  3. Once you have referred your application you may wish to consider making arrangements for your accommodation.
  4. You will receive an acknowledgement email the evening of the day you have referred your application to us. You will now be able to set up your account on Surrey Self-Service.
  5. The Admissions team will review your application and check your qualifications against notes taken during your conversation with the team and a final check on your application will be done before a formal offer is made. Please be sure to check Surrey Self-Service for any requests for documentation which may be required before you will be made your formal offer
  6. Once your formal offer has been made you are all set – further information and joining instructions will then be sent to you in due course.

Common questions

There's a lot to think about, but try not to panic. Read the following if you have any specific questions about your offer and UCAS.

Please check Surrey Self-Service to ensure you have no outstanding documents required. If you have no outstanding requests for information you may wish to get in touch via our live chat option available on our Clearing page. Please do not call our Clearing call centre as these lines are reserved for Clearing offers only.

Applicants are able to ‘self-release’ via UCAS. Please use this option to then allow you to then refer your application to us.

Please note you will only have this option providing your firm institution has made a decision on your application. If you have not yet had a decision on your application you may wish to contact them directly or wait for this decision. You can also request to be rejected in order to take up an offer elsewhere but please ensure you adhere to any deadlines in place before you give up offers elsewhere.

Applicants are only able to receive an offer for the programme they have received an offer for.

It is possible to change from a three-year to a four-year option (with placement) where this is available to you. If you wish to change your programme preference please call our Clearing call centre to receive a new offer.

Please contact ensuring you include your UCAS ID in the subject line and ‘referral error’ so that we can spot your emails more easily. Providing your application has been referred by the stipulated deadline we will be able to make this change for you.

Please refer your application to us as soon as possible. Whilst there is no guarantee we will be able to offer you a place onto the programme if you refer yourself after the deadline as we will need to check capacities for the course. We will not withdraw the offer of a clearing place without contracting applicants first.

Once we have received your application from UCAS we will do an initial check to ensure your grades meet our clearing requirements and that have everything we need, we may request additional information from you via Surrey Self-Service so please ensure you provide this as quickly as possible so that we can send your formal offer to UCAS. Usually you can expect to see your offer updated within 24 hours following referral.

Please don’t panic, it may be that that course is no longer available in clearing but provided you refer yourself to us by the deadline stated in your application we will honour your offer.

Once your offer has been updated on UCAS you will be able to apply for accommodation.

You can still apply for a student loan through the Government’s Student Loan Company (SLC). You should complete your finance application as soon as possible after securing a place through Clearing, to ensure that your first payment is available for the start of the academic term.

You’ll find plenty of advice on the government website and can talk to Student Finance England experts on Twitter and Facebook from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

If you have already applied for student finance but are going to change your course or university in Clearing, you will need to update your application in your online account. It’s best to tell Student Finance England as early as possible, to make sure your first payment is available in time for the start of the academic term.

You’ll find more advice on the government website and can talk to Student Finance England experts on Twitter and Facebook from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Can I visit the University?

If you are made an offer you may wish to view our virtual campus tour. We hope to be able to offer tours in person in the future, please revisit this page for further details on this.