1: Prepare for results day
Whilst it may come as a surprise if plans change, Clearing can be a great opportunity to re-consider the original criteria used when looking at universities. Many students decide they don’t want to take a place at their Firm or Insurance university and use Clearing to switch institutions altogether. Increasingly, students decide not to apply to university by the January deadline, but change their mind and use Clearing to apply to university for the first time. Others may have missed their place on both their Firm and Insurance university and use Clearing to secure a place at a different university.
2: Get organised ahead of clearing
Make a list of the courses they are interested in, along with their UCAS code. On all our course pages, we have the title of our courses followed by the UCAS code (a combination of letters and numbers). If they are considering a switch from their original interests to a different course but they don’t have the required subject A levels, there are options on Foundation programmes in a number of subject areas. If they are from outside the UK and don’t have British A levels or equivalent qualifications to gain access directly onto a degree programme, then our International Foundation Programme provides them with a pathway to an undergraduate degree. You can check eligibility by country.
If you or the person you are supporting have questions about what it’s like to be a student at Reading, why not chat with a current Reading student? They’d love to tell you about their experiences and can help with any questions you have. You can also ask us a question if you want to contact our Recruitment and Admissions Team directly.
3: Contact us to apply
Once the applicant has their results and has decided they will enter Clearing, they will need to contact us to apply. Please make sure they have their UCAS personal ID (if they’ve previously applied via UCAS) and their qualifications (including any GCSEs or equivalents) available before they contact us. If they haven’t applied via UCAS, don’t worry – we’ll be able to help them through the process when they contact us.
- If the person you are supporting receives their final results between 5 July and 12 August, they can call us on +44 (0)118 378 8372 to apply or apply online (we’ve made a how-to guide to help them submit an online application form smoothly). Please wait to contact us until they have their final results as we won’t be able to process applications without them.
- If the person you are supporting receives their final results on 18 August, make sure to re-visit our Clearing pages a few days before as we’ll publish our Clearing hotline number there. Better yet, register your interest to receive information and guidance about Clearing at Reading. They’ll also be able to apply using our online application form on Results Day, and we’ve made a how-to guide to help them submit the form smoothly.
We know that waiting on the phone can be difficult, but please be patient and continue to hold the line. We have a queuing system and will get to all our callers in order. If they hang up and try again, they’ll be added to the bottom of the queue.
If the applicant has applied online, they should keep checking their email (including junk/spam folders) as we’ll email their decision. Please make sure they double-check their email address before submitting their application as we won’t be able to email them back with a decision if it’s not correct. If they would like you to speak on their behalf, due to data protection regulations they will first have to give us permission to speak to you, so please make sure they are available to quickly give us permission over the phone.
4: Accept our offer
If they have received an offer between 5 July and 12 August, we’ve put together detailed instructions on how to accept their offer, apply for accommodation and next steps as there is a slightly different process for this period.
If they have applied through Clearing on or after A level Results Day (Thursday 18 August), they will have until 12:00 (noon) on the day after we issue their offer to accept their place. If they don’t accept their place before 12:00 (noon), their offer and any additional guarantees (like accommodation) will expire. They’ll then need to call us back so that we can check if there are still places available and whether we can re-issue their offer. We recommend that if they want to take their place at Reading, they do this as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment. We’ve put together a guide to accepting their Clearing offer with detailed instructions (including how to apply for a UCAS personal ID if they haven’t previously applied to university) and next steps.
Once the person you are supporting has accepted their place on their UCAS application, their status will show as ‘The university or college is currently considering your application (Referred)’. This is all they need to do for now. In the background, we will check the grades they’ve provided us on their Clearing application against their grades provided by UCAS. This may take a few days, and there is no need to contact us. If we require any additional information (such as copies of results), we’ll be in touch via email. Once we’ve verified their grades, their status will update on UCAS and we will contact them with next steps, including applying for accommodation (if they’ve received an accommodation guarantee), online enrolment, and Welcome Week.
5: Get ready!
First, don’t forget to celebrate! We’re thrilled the person you are supporting has found their place at Reading, and we look forward to welcoming them in September.
There are plenty of ways to get a taste of what life is like at the University of Reading this year. If you receive a place at Reading via Clearing on Thursday 18 August before 2pm, there will be a live Q&A where you can ask your questions about the offer and how to manage it as well as asking your questions about accommodation.
If you receive an offer on Thursday 18 August, you will also have the opportunity to come and explore our award-winning campus and a selection of our accommodation on Friday 19 August.
Everyone who receives an offer in Clearing will be sent a link to a Welcome and Information video that will help answer many of your key questions, and you can also book a self-guided campus tour at a time to suit you.
Finally, if you can't get here in person, you can get a feel for living and studying at Reading on our Virtual Experience Hub, where you can explore our campuses, view inside departmental buildings, facilities and accommodation using our 360 tours, or watch one of our students show you around.
We have a range of Virtual Events which give further insight into our courses and subject areas, as well as dedicated sessions providing practical support about applying to university, including through Clearing. You can watch previous events as well as sign up for future events.
In addition to our great facilities on campus, be sure to check out the local area. Reading is a great place to live, and as it has grown and developed it has become a truly vibrant and diverse community – one that's great for socialising. And with Reading as a central train hub to the South West, South East, Midlands and London, our students find traveling home or visiting other parts of the UK really convenient.
There are also a few things that the applicant should do now:
- Accommodation. Find out more about our Clearing Accommodation. If we're able to make them an offer, we'll also be able to let them know whether we can offer them a place in halls in their offer letter. They will need to accept their offer to Reading on their UCAS account and, once we’ve verified their results, we’ll send the link to apply for accommodation. If they weren’t guaranteed a place in halls, we operate a waiting list for rooms that become available when other students don’t take up their hall place, and further information will be sent via email about how to join the waiting list. If they aren’t sure whether they’d like to live in on-campus accommodation or off-campus accommodation, you can read more about different options.
- Student Finance. Student Finance England (SFE) have a short video explaining what applicants need to know. If they get a place through Clearing and haven’t yet applied for a student loan, don’t worry. They can apply via the SFE online service. If they’ve already applied for student finance and then changed their course/university through Clearing, they’ll need to let Student Finance England know as soon as possible. To do this, they will need to log onto their SFE online account and then select: Your Account, Change your application, University/college and course. (There’s a different process if they’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, so please be sure to check with their relevant student finance authority).
- Remind them to check their email. They should continue to check their email as that’s how we’ll contact them with information about their application and next steps. They can also log onto Me@Reading Applicant to find lots of useful information about the start of term, Welcome Week, and updates from their department.