Better tomorrows start today

Parent’s Guide to University Clearing

There’s no doubt that Results Day can be a stressful time for all involved – and this year more than ever. So, it helps to know how it works and what to expect.

what is clearing and who is eligible?

This year A level results day is on the 10th August. Clearing opens on the 5th July 2021 and we will consider applications through the Summer up to the start of Term.

Your son or daughter will be eligible for University Clearing if:

  • They haven't applied to University
  • They submitted their UCAS application to study at university after 30 June
  • They didn’t receive any offers
  • They have received offers that they do not want to accept
  • On gaining their results, they remain unplaced

didn't get the grades?

If their grades were only slightly lower than expected, don't panic! We may still be able to confirm their place. They can check this on their UCAS Track page:

If we can’t confirm their place on their original course choice, then we will try to make them an alternative course offer. This will appear as ‘changed course offer’ on their UCAS Track and will show as 'UCC', which they need to either accept or decline. If they accept their place then they are confirming that they want to accept the new course offer.  However, if they decline their place then they will automatically be placed into Clearing.

If we are unable to confirm their place or consider them for an alternative similar course, this means they are in Clearing and they can telephone us to discuss their options and next steps.  Alternatively, they can visit our website to see which courses are in Clearing and check the course details, including entry requirements, to make sure it’s the course for them, before contacting us to discuss. 

applying for a new course

Applying for a course at USW through UCAS Clearing is really straightforward and if eligible we can normally make an instant offer over the phone. Make sure that your son or daughter has the following information to hand when they call us:

  • Their UCAS personal ID number (if they are already in the UCAS system)
  • A list of their qualifications and grades
  • The course that they are interested in studying

They can give us a ring and chat about what courses USW have on offer through Clearing. We will ask about qualifications/grades and what subject areas they are   interested in, then assist to find suitable courses to match.

Once your child’s place at USW is secured, they can look forward to starting university and plan for the beginning of term. While this year will look a little different to begin with, there is still the usual student prep to consider:



Make sure they’ve completed all outstanding requirements related to their offer – this will prevent hold ups or complications at enrolment. They may need to provide evidence of certain qualifications or complete a DBS check, so we’ll send reminder emails with advice on how to meet these requirements.

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It’s worth comparing different student bank accounts to see which offers the best deals. Most banks will require proof of student status, which they can download from our student portal after they enrol. Ask the bank to provide your child with information around overdrafts, savings accounts and managing their loans.



If they’re allocated a place in Halls we’ll email their date and time for moving in, so you can start packing the essentials. If your child is opting to move into private accommodation, this may be the first time they'll pay bills independently. Give them as much advice as possible on sharing bills and keeping up with payments, alongside cooking and cleaning!

Blended Learning - Safety Bins

Support and safety

We understand that this is an uncertain time for your child to start university. The health and wellbeing of our students is our priority, so please be assured that measures are in place for them to study in a safe and secure way. We use the SafeZone app for students to request help, such as first aid or security assistance.

More information on safety on campus can be found here.


Transport and travel

All USW campuses have great transport links, so it’s worth checking that your child has an idea of how to get here – as well as how to get back home!

There are incredible train links in South Wales, so a Railcard might be a good option if your child doesn't have access to a vehicle and it could cut travel costs up to a third of the price.


Health and wellbeing

For wellbeing, information and advice, whatever the issue, there’s a network of people at USW ready to help your child. We care about our students, so you can be assured we have their every need covered, from our Disability Service to our confidential Wellbeing Service. 

We pride ourselves on student support at USW. Online or on campus, we’re always on hand to listen, help and advise to make sure their university experience is the best it can be.

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Here are our top 5 tips to help you help your child through the clearing process:

  1. If you need to call a university to enquire about a place - your child must call themselves. Universities are unable to discuss their application with anyone other than them. However, you can still help them prepare for the phone call by discussing their reasons for wanting to study the course and choosing the university and ensure they have the relevant documents to hand.

  2. Take part in Open Days - the University of South Wales runs information days during the Clearing period where you can find out more about the campus, talk to lecturers and discover your accommodation options.

  3. Have an open mind - be prepared to look at options that you or your child may not have considered before. You never know, you may discover a dream course!

  4. Be encouraging and reassuring - if you've never heard of a particular course or university, it doesn't mean that it's not the right course for your child. Encourage them to explore their options, stay calm and assure them that there are ways to make the best of their situation.

  5. Take time to research - now that the situation has changed and there's new options, it may feel overwhelming. Take plenty of time to research all of your options, help them create a shortlist, and don't rush into making any decisions.

Lucas and Rona

Clearing parents

"We didn’t know much about the process of applying to university, especially as Lucas decided at a late stage that he wanted to apply for a music course. But once we started going through Clearing we found the university very helpful.", said Rona

Daisy and Alan

Daisy Peskett and her dad

"I found that applying for student finance was a bit trickier. When you’re a single parent you are required to produce a lot of evidence and paperwork, so you really need to be on top of it all to make sure the process goes smoothly.", said Alan