What is Clearing?

Clearing is a service which helps thousands of students secure university places every year. Not everyone is in Clearing because their results didn’t go to plan, you can go into Clearing if you didn’t want to accept the offers you were made or if you applied after . Any available places on courses at universities across the UK are advertised via the UCAS Clearing search tool. Queen Margaret University will also advertise our opportunities on these pages.

How it works
You will be notified through UCAS Track if you have been released into Clearing. It will say ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’ when you log into Track. If you are still showing as conditional but have received your results, you may want to contact the university directly to check the progress of your application. If you have narrowly missed the offer conditions, your application may still be considered. UCAS Track will show you once the decision on your application is confirmed.

Start your search
If you are in Clearing, you should use the UCAS search tool to see which courses have vacancies. Not every course is available in Clearing, so to save time calling up everywhere, check UCAS to be sure there are places. Check UCAS frequently, as some courses become available later in the process and may not be listed on the first day. Once you find a place/course, call up the university directly to discuss in more detail.

You are welcome to contact as many universities as you like during Clearing, but you can only accept one place. It is recommended you research the places you call in advance, to be sure they are institutions you would like to attend. Clearing places go fast, so be smart about how you use that time – check vacancies early and have a ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 10’ list of institutions to call when the lines open. Remember to also check university websites directly when doing your research.

Calling up
When you call, you should have some key information to hand in order to make things easier:

  • Full name and date of birth
  • Address, email address and contact phone number
  • UCAS ID and Clearing ID (or just your Clearing ID if you applied late)
  • Which course you are interested in
  • Your results
  • Details of experience relevant to the course (you could base this on your personal statement)


Once you get through to a representative, they will take down the details from you and can advise you on the next steps. Sometimes you may be called back by an Admissions Tutor to find out more information and discuss the course. If the university can make you an offer, they will give an informal offer to you over the phone.

Got the offer! Now what?
To accept the offer, you need to add the course choice to your UCAS Track page. This is also called ‘referring yourself’. Once you select a course in Clearing, this is effectively Firmly Accepting the offer, so you should only do this once you are sure you want to take up the place.

Once you have made your decision, and ‘referred’ or added your choice, that’s it!

The university will then confirm your place and send you further details on enrolling and Freshers’ Week. You can then enquire about accommodation and anything else you want to know before starting. After that, it's time to start getting excited about your new adventure in September!

Can I apply to Queen Margaret University through adjustment?

UCAS Adjustment is a service that will become available to you if you meet and exceed the conditions of your firm choice offer on results day. This gives you the opportunity to 'adjust' your choice of course or institution if you like. There are adjustment places available for Home and EU applicants only on the courses available in Clearing. If you are interested in an adjustment place, please call our Clearing line on FREEPHONE 0800 0270 300.

For more information, contact our Clearing team: Clearing@qmu.ac.uk.

2020 Clearing Hotline - Tel: 0800 0270 300

Call us on our FREEPHONE number to enquire about our 2020 clearing vacancies.

Our Hotline opening times are below (Monday-Friday):

4th August (Scottish results day): 8am – 6pm

5th – 12th August: 9am – 5pm

13th August (A Level results day): 8am – 6pm

14th August: 9am – 5pm

17th August onwards: please email Clearing@qmu.ac.uk

Show Contacts

2020 Clearing Hotline - Tel: 0800 0270 300

Clearing Hotline
0800 027 0300