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Where to go for help with Clearing 2017

Going through Ucas Clearing but don’t know where to turn for advice? Here are the essential tabs to have open and numbers to have on speed-dial...

Have a question about Clearing? Our ultimate guide may have the answer...

First of all, Clearing 2017 essentials

Here’s where you need to go to find out what places are actually available through Clearing – pretty essential to find a place!

  • Ucas – most of the information you need is all here, from details of available places through to how to accept your place on Track (your online Ucas application).
  • The Telegraph – if you’re not having any luck on the Ucas website because everyone is rushing to it, head to the Telegraph’s live Clearing place finder tool, or download the app, to search for available places (searchable by university or subject preference). You’ll still need to finish the admin stuff off on Ucas, though.

The Telegraph is Ucas’s official partner for Clearing, but most other newspapers will also have a lot of coverage and information that might come in handy.

Who else can help with Clearing?


There are a couple of key ones to note:

  • UCAS, 0371 468 0468: at this time of year, Ucas goes into overdrive. Staff will not advise on course choice, but are great at sorting out queries on the technicalities of Clearing or if you're having any issues using Track.

  • Exam Results helpine, 0808 100 8000: each year the Department for Education collaborates with Ucas and the BBC to run a free telephone exam results helpline. It’s neutral, knowledgeable and non-judgmental. Lines open 8am on 9 August for Scottish students and 8am on 18 August for those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

‘The Exam Results helpline (ERH) has some very knowledgeable and committed staff on the phones who can offer advice. Many of the advisers have been coming for years and years so have got the knowledge and skills to really make a difference.

‘We also get calls from people who got considerably better results than expected. The advisers can offer advice and options to any student who may be considering their future.

‘If someone has already applied to UCAS and has a query about their application, they should contact the Ucas helpline. But if someone is reconsidering their options based on results they have, or have not, achieved, they should apply to ERH first.’ 

Andrea Robertson | Director Of Customer Operations - Ucas

Your school or college

This should be one of your first ports of call. Many schools put all hands on deck to help their students navigate this tricky process. We recommend going in to school to pick up your results (so don't book any holidays or trips on results day). This way, you can ask any questions you have.

Other schools may leave you to your own devices (not to be malicious or anything, but simply due to resource). If this is your situation, don’t drift aimlessly - look elsewhere for advice.

Local careers services

Not always easy to find due to recent cutbacks, so if you have one in the vicinity, make the most of it. They’re geared up for the results period, so will be expecting to hear from students.

Family and friends

They might not be as objective or as clued-up as a professional will be, but your friends and family are a prime source of support and encouragement. Slightly older siblings who are currently at university, or were recently, and may have gone through Clearing themselves might be better for a more up to date perspective (they might be a great open day companion too if you decide to visit a university before accepting a Clearing place).

It's worth asking around softly in the weeks before results day about any family or friends who went through Clearing previously. Try to re-connect with them for some tips ahead of results day if you think Clearing might be a likely scenario. Our guide on getting a headstart on Clearing has more ways to be one step ahead of the rest before the big day.

But whatever you do, don’t ask anyone else to ring up a university about a Clearing place on your behalf unless you genuinely can’t do it yourself i.e. you can't get to a phone because you're out of the country. Admissions tutors want to speak to you, not your parents!

Social media

Head to Ucas' Twitter (@Ucas_Online) to find the latest official updates and read the rants, raves and success stories of other students in the same boat as you – all delivered in bite-sized 140 character chunks.

Similarly, you can post on the Ucas Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UcasOnline) or message privately. Ucas will have extra staff on hand manning both throughout Clearing, but be patient and read other comments to see if you can find an answer to your query.

Make sure your phone is charged, or you have a portable charger nearby. 

Uni helplines

These are often run by students who are trained, willing and able!

They can provide useful pointers and insights but obviously they are there to promote that specific institution. So make sure to dig a bit deeper under all the marketing gloss to get the real story on an institution.

Read our guide to making your Clearing course decision, plus student comments on our university profiles to see what their current students have to say about the university.

  • Must-read: How Which? University can make Clearing 2017 easier


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