Every year, students waiting for A-Level results experience a flow of different emotions. What makes this time particularly nerve-racking is the concern of getting into the ‘right’ university, making students everywhere very aware of the preparation needed to achieve this…

With escalating tuition fees, limited places, a cut-throat graduate job market and complex application terms such as clearing and adjustment, students are constantly reminded of the need to learn about all of this and fast.

The Student Pocket Guide

This is where UCAS comes in. UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions Service) is the main non-governmental admissions board that all undergraduates have to apply through for the majority of universities. They are also in control of the clearing process for those universities.

Clearing is when, for a number of reasons, a student doesn’t obtain any offers from universities, they can then apply for their clearing service which let’s applicants see what courses still have openings remaining. This is the exception to the rule of applying through UCAS as above (although all students applying for the clearing process have to be registered with UCAS) and comes at the end of the admissions season, just before courses start.

Reasons that a student might not get any offers are:

  • They didn’t receive any offers or didn’t want to accept any they did receive.
  • Their exam results were not as they expected so they didn’t meet the criteria of the offers.
  • They applied after 30th June.

Occasionally, students can also choose the clearing process if they decide they have chosen the wrong course and want to change it at almost the last minute. In a nutshell, the clearing process gives students more options than they might first realise that are open to them.

The Student Pocket Guide

To make the clearing process and its benefits more apparent to prospective University students, the University of Greenwich have devised an ingenious way of spreading this message along with demonstrating the fact that they understand what these students are going through and feeling.

The video portrays students in animated form giving their testimonies about going through the clearing process and those prospective students waiting to find out their results, showing both sides of the coin. It also gives an insight to the different circumstances that students can find themselves in which brings them to the conclusion of needing or wanting to go through the clearing process.

It also gives a phone number at the end of the video so that anyone may call to talk to someone about clearing and general university life as well as providing their website address. Giving this information by way of animation is an effective way of transmitting the message of ‘stay calm, there’re always choices’ as well as adding a slight edge of humour to a stressful time. They are also hosting a Clearing Information Day on 17th August for anyone who prefers to talk face to face and walk around the campus.


The UCAS website also presents a plethora of information regarding the clearing process as well as all application forms that a student needs to register with them (if not already done so) and to start the clearing process off.