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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.

What is clearing?

Once you’ve received your results and your UCAS Track has updated, you’ll know whether you've secured your place at your chosen university or not. Universities will also then know whether they have filled all of their places on each course, or whether they have some places still available.

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

Who is clearing for?

You can apply through clearing if:

  • You've got your exam results but you haven't met the conditions of your firm or conditional offer
  • You don't hold any offers
  • You’re applying through UCAS for the first time after 30th June and you already have your exam results 

Sometimes, if you have only narrowly missed out on the grades required for your conditional offer, the university may still consider you, but this can mean that your status on UCAS Track may take longer to update. If you are in clearing, your status will say “You are now in clearing”. You can then search for the courses available.

When does clearing start? 

From 6pm on Monday 13 August 2018, you will find a list of the courses at The University of Manchester with places available via clearing on our clearing and adjustment webpage, which will be regularly updated. You will also find these courses, plus those at other universities, on UCAS Search.

What is adjustment?

Adjustment is a service provided by UCAS which allows you to find alternative courses if you’ve performed better than you expected and exceeded the grades that you need for your conditional offer (for example, you held a conditional offer of AAB but have received AAA).

Who is adjustment for? 

If you've met and exceeded the conditions of your firm choice, you can use adjustment to find an alternative course that you now meet the entry requirements for. However,you may wish to stick with your original firm choice; adjustment is completely optional.


Once you’ve received your results and your offer changes to unconditional firm in UCAS Track, you have five 24-hour periods in which adjustment is available to you. 

If you’re eligible for adjustment, you can register through UCAS Track and then begin contacting universities that you’re interested in to talk about possible vacancies on their courses.

You can find courses available through adjustment at The University of Manchester on our clearing and adjustment webpages once you’ve received your results, and can search courses via UCAS Search.

Take your time

Don’t worry about talking to different universities – you still have your firm choice secured until you find a course that you are completely sure that you want to accept.

You should only verbally agree an adjustment offer with one university and they will then add themselves to your UCAS Track. Don’t rush into it!