Clearing advice for parents

What can you do if your son or daughter misses their predicted grades? What if they surpass those grades? And what if your son or daughter didn't apply for university but would like to now?The Clearing and Adjustment process exists for these scenarios. In this section, we’ll explain what they are, when they’re used, and how they work.

Everything you need to know about Clearing

  • What is Clearing?

    It’s the process universities use to fill extra vacancies on their courses. It means that if your son or daughter has missed out on the conditional offers of their original choice(s) or did not apply through the main application cycle, they can still apply to university.

    UCAS will provide details of the universities that are offering additional places. As well as missed offers, Clearing’s also useful when:

    • your son or daughter has applied to university, but hasn’t received any offers
    • they’ve declined all of their offers
    • they haven’t yet applied for a course in the 2018/19 academic year.

  • My son or daughter missed the grades or conditions of their offer – what do we do now?

    Missing out on an offer isn't the end of your son or daughter's chance to go to university. However, if your child is considering applying to a university through Clearing, it's important to consider all practicalities.

    • Help out with researching Clearing vacancies and consider your son or daughter’s options together – make sure they keep hold of their priorities and expectations, without jumping at the first offer they receive. Their decision doesn’t need to be immediate.
    • Familiarise yourself with the city or campus your child is considering, if it's a different university or city to their original choice. Websites like WhatUni and The Student Room can be useful to get current student views.
    • Check whether accommodation is guaranteed if your child accepts an offer through Clearing. What kind of accommodation can your child expect to be allocated?
    • Make sure your child is aware of what steps they need to take to amend their student finance application, if they accept an offer through Clearing.
    • Most importantly stay level-headed! You may find it reassuring to take a look at our student's Clearing stories – many students secure their university place through Clearing and find the experience a positive one.

  • How can my son or daughter apply to NTU through Clearing?

    They should visit our Clearing section for a step-by-step guide about how to contact our Clearing team. Here, they’ll find advice on researching their vacancy options and making their call.


    We run extended opening times from Thursday 16 August onwards, to give your son or daughter more time to consider their options before getting in touch.

  • Is it worth pursuing university, if my son or daughter's missed out on their preferred choices?

    Clearing is a contingency, not a consolation. Last year, over 60,000 students secured a university place through Clearing – since then, 85% have confirmed that they were happy with their decision. So try to keep a calm and open mind.

Everything you need to know about Adjustment

  • What is Adjustment?

    Adjustment is the service UCAS runs for students who’ve achieved better results than expected - if your son or daughter has exceeded their conditions of offer, they might be thinking about looking for an alternative course.

    Read our step-by-step guide to Adjustment to find out more.

  • Is my son or daughter eligible? How can they apply through Adjustment?

    Simply, they’re eligible if they’ve met and exceeded the conditions of their offer Adjustment is an optional process run through UCAS, and it won’t jeopardise your son or daughter’s first choice offer. Your son or daughter’s original offer is secure whilst giving them the opportunity to seek an alternative place on a different course or university.

    For more information on how to apply, they should visit our Adjustment section. We’ve included advice on course availability, time-frames and applying for accommodation.

  • Adjustment sounds good. Is there anything I need to be aware of?

    Your son or daughter made their original firm choice for very particular reasons. If they’re considering applying through Adjustment, they should make sure that their new options still satisfy those reasons.

    As with Clearing, the decision does not need to be immediate – they should try using the short period of grace to visit any other universities they’re interested in. We'd also advise taking a look at Facebook groups, current student reviews and forums such as The Student Room, to gather some honest and objective feedback.

    Make sure your son or daughter has considered all the practical consequences of changing universities. And most of all, encourage them to follow their instincts!

  • Applying through Adjustment – some key things for your son or daughter to remember

    1. They won’t lose their original offer until they confirm their decision to study elsewhere.
    2. Be sure to gather as much information as possible, but don’t make any verbal commitments.
    3. There’s no rush. The Adjustment period lasts from A-level results day on Thursday 16 August, to Friday 31 August 2018. That means there’s time to visit new universities and consider their options. Once your child registers for Adjustment in UCAS Track, they then have five 24 hour periods (including weekends) within this time to use it.
    4. Make sure they’ve covered the logistics of accommodation and finance – if they’re changing their choice of university.

Stay up to date

Encourage your son or daughter to sign up for Clearing updates and alerts – they’ll receive hints and tips on Clearing and our course options and can also request a priority call from our Admissions Team to discuss their options.

Further information on Clearing and Adjustment

If your son or daughter needs help with their application, they can give us a call on +44 (0)115 848 6000 or email applications@ntu.ac.uk with their query.

See UCAS’ advice pages on Clearing and Adjustment for more information.

Visit the NTU forum on The Student Room to meet and talk to fellow applicants. If you or your son or daughter has any questions about Clearing, their application, or about NTU, our student rep Chris is on-hand to provide the answers.

NTU’s UCAS institution code name is NOTRE and the UCAS institution code is N91.

Still need help?

Clearing and Adjustment hotline
+44 (0)115 848 6000