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Here you will find some useful tips on how to prepare for your university interview, key dates you’ll need to consider for your application, and a tariff calculator to help you make sense of your grades.

If you’re considering university and wish to make an application, then there are a few key dates you’ll need to keep in mind: There is a slight overlap in the dates that UCAS opens to accept applications for students. But generally speaking, UCAS opens about 16 months before the year of study you want to start. For example: if your course starts in September 2019, UCAS opens in June 2018.

You can search for, read up on, and save courses that you like the sound of. You can then formally start to submit your application in September. You have until mid-January to complete your application. However, some universities accept late applications through UCAS Extra which remains open until the end of June.

Any applications submitted after June will be entered into Clearing. You can read our guide to Clearing below.

Key dates
  • Beginning of June – UCAS Undergraduate Apply opens
  • Beginning of September – Completed applications can now be submitted to UCAS
  • Mid-January – UCAS Undergraduate Apply closes
  • End of February – UCAS Extra opens • End of March – UCAS Undergraduate Apply closes for Art courses
  • End of June – Last chance to submit late applications.
  • Beginning of July – Clearing opens

So you’ve completed your application and been made an offer from the University.

Next up, the interview. This is your opportunity to show us what you can do. You should be positive and tell us why you want to study with us. You shouldn’t just see this as a test for you, but an opportunity for you to test us.

We know it may be difficult to get to your interview, particularly if you are an overseas student, so that is why we’re happy to conduct interviews over Skype. Please get in touch with us if you would like a Skype interview.
The UCAS Tariff is a tool used to set entry requirements to University courses.

Some Universities use the Tariff and others will tell you exactly what grades you need. To be accepted for a course, the combined score of your Level 3 results, including from BTEC qualifications or A-Levels will need to meet or exceed the entry requirements. The new UCAS Tariff system has been introduced for courses starting in September 2017.

The tariff reflects the entry requirements for each course. Each of your grades is given a number equivalent. For instance at A-Level: A*= 56 A = 48 B = 40 C = 32 D = 24 E = 16 AS-Level grades are worth 40% of the A-Level score.
You can work out your grades here:
The entry requirements for our courses should be used as a general guide as we operate a flexible admissions policy. This means that you could receive a lower conditional offer than the typical offer, informed by our assessment of your complementary non-academic achievements and experiences. This can include Accredited Prior Learning (APL), which is assessed on the basis of either: other relevant academic qualifications (PDC) in addition to successful completion of an HND/FdA/pertinent professional/work related experience.

For courses that require interview or portfolio review, this may also be considered in the level of any conditional offer that follows if your application is successful. You can call us at any time if you need help, advice or guidance with your application.

Call our Admissions Co-ordinator on 01424 458466.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is a short window of time that allows you to find a course at university. Whether you have had a change of heart or circumstances, didn't get the results you expected, or you decided to apply after the main UCAS deadline; Clearing is another opportunity for you to get into university.

If you choose to go through Clearing, you may have to make a slight adjustment in the course you want to study, or the university you'd like to go to. It could be the start of something great that will open up opportunities you may not have even thought of.

You will be able to apply through Clearing if you:
  • haven't done quite as well as you expected and you haven't met the conditions of your offers
  • haven't made a UCAS application this year
  • haven't received any offers (or none that you want to accept).

When does Clearing open?

For those who already have exam results or hold no offers, Clearing opens early - usually during the first week in July.

Traditionally, most students will hear about or use clearing on A-Level results day, once they receive their grades.

Clearing is open until about in mid-September.

When Clearing opens you will be able to call our Clearing hotline on 01424 442222 and select option 1, and then speak to our Admissions team about the process and your application to study with us this September.

How to apply through Clearing

First things first, give us a call to see what courses we have available. You'll need your qualifications and grades to hand, as well as your UCAS ID number (if you have one).

We'll chat to you about your options and let you know what courses we have available. If we have something you like, we may be able to make you an offer there and then.

Once you have this verbal offer you will be able to use the 'add clearing choice' button on your UCAS Track screen.

If you haven't applied to universities through UCAS, you can apply to us directly using a Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) form. You can download it here.

Student Finance England
If you need to apply for a student loan then follow this link to begin the registration process:

A four step guide to getting a course through Clearing


Don’t worry

Taking some time out to think through your options is very sensible. Yes places at university fill up fast, but clearing is open until mid-September, so you have a little bit of time to consider all your options. The important thing is to keep a clear mind and don’t get into a ‘panic buying’ frenzy and snap up the first course you see. University is three years – you don’t want a course you’ll hate after the first semester.

See clearing as an opportunity

It is easier said than done, but try to remain positive about clearing. There will be other courses out there for you. OK, they might be in a different part of the country to your original choice, but that could bring all sorts of other opportunities you weren’t expecting.

Consider your options

Do some research on the UCAS website. Have a look to see what courses are out there. Then have a look at the course and university online. Check out their website and see what they’re up to on social media. This will give you a good indication of what student life is like and whether you’ll enjoy studying there.

Call the university directly

Once you have found a course you like, give the university a call. Speaking to their admissions advisor could be a lot quicker than applying online. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have about their course.


We know what Clearing is all about and we can help.

Call us on 01424 442222, Monday to Friday - 9am to 4pm, or come in and see one of our student advisors and we will be able to give you impartial advice about your future.

You can also get in touch with us on social media.