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Whether the events of 2020 have hindered your decisions, your results, or you’ve now changed your mind on your choice of university after the application deadline, don’t worry! We’re here to offer you a simple and stress-free route through Clearing.

Taking the leap to university is a major milestone and not a decision that should be rushed. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone and now is the time to ask all of your burning questions and gather as much information to help you reach the right decision for you. We understand that contacting a university about a Clearing vacancy may seem daunting, and that’s why we’ve put together some valuable advice for you to approach Clearing with confidence and get September sorted. 

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here’s our six steps to Clearing:

1. Ask if Clearing is for you

Step one depends on which stage you’re at with your choice to attend university. The most common stages are:

You haven’t applied – The unprecedented events of 2020 may have delayed your decisions but you’re not too late! Simply contact UCAS to gain your Clearing number.

You’ve applied but after the 30th June deadline – Again, you’ve made your decision so be proud of that. It’s better late than never and you will have been automatically entered into Clearing when you applied. 

You've had a change of heart – You’ve had lots of extra time to reflect on your choices over the past few months and have decided that another course, or even university, is much better suited to you and your aspirations, and that’s absolutely fine. If this applies to you, you can self-release into Clearing. You do this by clicking the ‘decline my place’ button in Track, completing a set of questions to confirm your decision and you’ll then get an email to confirm that you’re now in Clearing.  

You’ve missed out on your grades – As we’ve previously mentioned this has been a difficult year for many which has caused disturbances to exams and study schedules, meaning you may have missed out on your grades. Remember - you’re not the only one in this situation and you can now enter into Clearing to find another university. But, before you do, make sure you check the status of your application via UCAS Track. If your offer is still showing as conditional, contact the university concerned to find out why. If you’re in Clearing, your Clearing number will be displayed. If you applied for a place at Chester, but didn’t quite make the grades, contact us. We may be able to reconsider your place, or offer you an alternative place on a different course. You can also register for Clearing updates on our website which will help you to get one step ahead.

2. Do your research

A lot of universities will only have a limited amount of spaces on their courses so knowing what course you want to apply for, having done your research beforehand will certainly make the experience much easier. You can view our single and combined course vacancies which are available across a range of subject areas.

You may also discover that some of our courses offer a Foundation Year which is an entry route designed for those who don’t meet the necessary academic qualifications but show a strong commitment and ability to do so.

3. Call your choices

This may seem like the scary part but don’t worry! We’re a friendly bunch and are ready and waiting to make the process as calm and straight forward as possible for you. To keep it simple, make sure you’re prepared with your ten-digit UCAS number and your qualification history, along with your grades. Please keep in mind that Clearing lines can get very busy during this time, so please be patient and we’ll get to you as quickly as we can.

Call us on: 01244 455 871

During the Clearing period (6th July – 20th October), our lines are open 9:00 – 17:30 Monday to Thursday, and 9:00 – 16:30 on a Friday.

However, our lines will be open for extended hours on the following days:

Thursday 13th August 7:00 – 19:00

Friday 14th August 8:00 – 19:00

Saturday 15th August 9:00 – 17:00

Sunday 16th August 10:00 – 16:00

Saturday 22nd August 9:00 – 17:00

4. Refer your application

Remember to check your emails as this is how many universities will confirm your offer. By keeping your inbox up to date, you’ll be sure to have all of the information you need to take the next step.

If you’re offered a place and you want to accept, log on to Track and refer your application by clicking 'Add Clearing choice', and fill in the details. This counts as you definitely accepting the offer. Once we’ve confirmed your place through Track, it will show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in Track.

Key information:

The UCAS Institution Code for the University of Chester is C55

The name of the course and the course code can be found either on our website, or by searching for the University of Chester on

If you wish to apply for a course based at one of the following locations, you may also need the Campus Code:

University Centre Reaseheath – R

University Centre Shrewsbury – S

Warrington Campus – W

Make sure that you enter the correct Campus Code in the ‘Choices’ section of the online application form.

5. Go and see for yourself

Some universities may invite you to go and visit their campus so that you can experience the university for yourself. We are certainly keen for you to come along and get a taste of student life at Chester so we’re holding Campus Tours from Thursday 13thto Friday 21st August (subject to government guidance on social distancing measures). You can book your place here.

We will also be holding Virtual Open Days from Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th August and would recommend that you make the most of these if you can’t visit us in person. A registration area for this event will be live very soon. 

6. Update your Student Finance

Last but not least (especially in terms of importance!), you will now need to finalise your Student Finance application if you haven’t already done so. Alternatively, if you’ve already applied you will now need to update your details on your online account to reflect your new choice of course or university.

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