What are clearing and adjustment?

So what exactly are clearing and adjustment? Let us explain how each process can help you get the place you want at university.


Clearing allows universities to match up the places still available with students holding the appropriate grades for these courses.

Who is clearing for?

Lots of students apply through clearing for lots of different reasons. This might be because you have changed your mind about the course you want to study, didn’t receive the results you expected or have only just decided you want to go to university.

You can apply through clearing if:

  • You’ve got your exam results but you haven’t met the conditions of your firm or insurance offer. Your UCAS Track status will state ‘You are now in clearing’;
  • You don’t hold any offers at any universities;
  • You are applying through UCAS for the first time after 30 June and you already have your exam results.

Want to come to Manchester?

If you don’t currently hold an offer from a university you can still apply to Manchester through clearing. Courses with places still available will be advertised on our website.  

When does clearing start?

Clearing opens on Monday, 6 July 2020 and our vacancies will be advertised from then.

If you already have your exam results

You can get in touch about a vacancy from Monday, 6 July. Check our clearing and adjustment webpage for a list of our courses with places available. 

If you’re waiting for your exam results

You need to wait until you have received your exam results before you can apply through clearing. Once you have your results, check our clearing and adjustment webpage for our list of courses with places available.

Our busiest clearing period is from Thursday, 13 August and UCAS Track will open for applicants from 3pm on this day. 

How can I apply to Manchester through clearing?

If you've found a course with vacancies from our vacancy list and you'd like to apply:

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements (to find out if you're eligible for our contextual clearing requirements visit our dedicated page);
  • Contact the Academic School (if before 13 August, after which you can call our hotline);
  • Have your UCAS personal ID, your results and the UCAS course code for the course you are interested in to hand.

Once you’ve spoken to us and we’re able to make you an offer, you refer yourself through UCAS Track. There are certain times before 13 August when UCAS Track is frozen so take a look at the dates below:

FromToUCAS Track
6 July 29 July  UCAS open for applications
27 July  4 August  UCAS Track frozen
6 August  9 August  UCAS open for applications
9 August 13 August UCAS Track frozen
13 August When there are no longer any vacancies UCAS open for applications

Clearing Plus

Clearing Plus is a new UCAS service for 2020 that is intended to help applicants who don’t have a place find a course that might be suited to them.

You will have the option in UCAS Track to view your list of matches and you can then express your interest in any of the courses just by clicking a button. Your details are sent to us and we will get in touch if we believe we can offer you a place on the course. Not all courses will necessarily be in Clearing Plus so if you’re not matched to a particular course that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t apply for it  make sure that you check out our full list of vacancies and requirements to see what’s available. 


What is adjustment?

If you’re results are better than you expected and exceeded the grades that you needed for your conditional firm choice then you are eligible to register for adjustment. For example, if you held a conditional firm offer of AAB but achieved AAA then you would be eligible for adjustment.

Adjustment allows you to search for alternative courses while holding your original unconditional firm place.

When can I apply through adjustment?

Adjustment is open to eligible applicants from 3pm on Thursday, 13 August until Saturday, 29 August 2020. You have five 24 hour periods from 3pm on Thursday, 13 August or as soon as you become Unconditional Firm (UF) in UCAS Track after this point to secure a new place.

How can I apply to Manchester through adjustment?

If you think you’re eligible for adjustment and there’s a course at Manchester that has vacancies, please:

  • Check the list of vacancies and entry requirements using the course search;
  • Call our clearing and adjustment helpline to discuss possible vacancies with a member of our team;
  • Have your UCAS personal ID, your results and the UCAS course code for the course you are interested in to hand so that we can deal with your enquiry as quickly as possible;
  • If we are able to offer you a place via Adjustment and you are in agreement, we will process the change and it will automatically update on UCAS Track.

What happens next?


At Manchester we have an accommodation guarantee. Offer holders can make an application for our halls of residence up to 31 August. You can find out more on the accommodation website. If you’re considering living at home you might be interested in our Living at Home Society.