So, results day didn't go as planned. Maybe the Higher or A-level grades that you needed for your first-choice university weren’t quite there, and now you’re feeling a mix of disappointment, anxiety, and confusion. So, what now?

Well, you can start by not worrying. Of course, missing out on your first choice is always difficult, but that doesn’t mean you’ve run out of options — far from it. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to refocus and look at new choices. Who knows, it might be the best thing that’s ever happened!

The UCAS Clearing process can offer you a second chance to find a course that's right for you!

In fact, last year in 2023, 74,990 students found a place using Clearing, 29% (21,560) of which found a place after not meeting the terms of their initial offer.

Missing your required grades can be disheartening, but it’s certainly not the end of your university dreams. The Clearing process is designed to help students, like you, find the right path forward. By staying calm, being proactive, and exploring all your options, you can secure a place at a university and start the next exciting chapter of your academic journey.

How does it work?

Clearing is a service used by universities in the UK to fill any remaining places on their courses, helping thousands of disappointed students secure university places every year.

There are so many great courses and careers you can find through Clearing – some of which you may not have even considered before, but could end up being your perfect match.

Remember, universities want you. Clearing isn’t about failing, it’s meant to give you a second chance at taking control of your future.

The student experience

Turning his disappointment into an opportunity, Luca Kahn didn’t give up hope when his application for the physiotherapy course at Queen Margaret University was unsuccessful. Instead, he decided to give podiatry a chance. He secured a place on the Master of Podiatry course at QMU and quickly saw the appeal and potential of a career in such a fulfilling industry.

He said: “After completing a course in sports therapy at Edinburgh College, I originally applied to study physiotherapy as I was very interested in musculoskeletal health. When my application was unsuccessful and I was offered a place in the podiatry course instead, I started looking into what the profession is like and realised there are a lot of crossovers with physiotherapy, and also lots of practical skills. So, I decided to give it a try.

"I don’t think I had realised how wide the field of podiatry is and how much variety there is in terms of the conditions we get to treat, the places we can work, and the kind of patients we can treat. The course exceeded my expectations."

Luca now has plans to work in NHS podiatry before possibly looking for a role in private practice.

What courses are available via the Clearing system?

QMU has an excellent range of diverse, unique and career-focused courses available through Clearing each year, which you’ll be able to find on our website and via the UCAS Clearing search tool, along with any available places on courses at all universities across the UK.

Sheryl Weir, a BSc (Hons) Psychology student at QMU who applied via Clearing said:

"My advice to other students considering finding a course via Clearing is that you have nothing to lose, and something amazing might come of it!"

When asked to describe her experience of coming through the Clearing system in three words, she said: “Quick, easy and supportive.”

Applications via Clearing will open on the 5th July 2024 for courses starting in September 2024 at QMU.

Once Clearing opens, QMU will make a clearing enquiry form available on our website, and you can also direct enquiries to

While it can be a stressful time, remember that many of our students have joined us through Clearing and have gone on to pursue fulfilling careers they might not have considered otherwise! Listen to our Clearing playlist, grab a cup of tea and enjoy the ride!



Courses available through Clearing

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