How does Clearing work?

Your guide to Clearing

Whatever your reason for applying through Clearing, we're here to help support you through the process. On this page, you'll find information about how Clearing works, and answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. 

Your Clearing questions answered

Some of the Keele team answer your questions about Clearing, in a live event recorded on 3 July 2024.

Clearing helps those who do not have a confirmed place at university to find one.

UCAS will inform you if/ when you are in Clearing through your UCAS Hub account and you will then need to contact universities to see if there are course vacancies and if they can accept you with your achieved qualifications.

If you’ve already got your results, or once you have them, you can use the search tool on UCAS to find the course/s that you’re interested in. Speak to the Universities that you’d like to find a place with. Then you can add your Clearing choice in your application in UCAS – see the UCAS website for the most up-to-date guidance and details on applying through Clearing.

We will ask you for your Clearing number or your UCAS ID Number. We may also ask you for basic personal information. For example, we may ask you for your date of birth, your address and your email address. We will ask you about your qualifications and grades. This information will be stored securely on our Clearing database and will only be used to contact you directly.

Yes, you can still apply to Keele. You can begin a UCAS Application in the Clearing cycle as long as you already meet the entry criteria. We are not able to give conditional offers in Clearing – so you need to already meet the course requirements. Alternatively, we may be able to accept you directly if you only wish to apply to Keele. To begin this process, you will need to email the Admissions Team at stating which course you would like to be considered for and that you are not in the UCAS cycle this year. We would need to see copies of all of your qualifications, as well as a brief personal statement.

You cannot enter Clearing unless you have all exam results. In Clearing Universities can only issue Unconditional offers. Therefore, you need to have obtained all of your exam results (usually including any GCSE Maths or English results) before you can apply to us through Clearing. 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to defer your place if you have come to us through Clearing. 

Yes. If you have already applied for Student Finance, it is easy to change your details by logging in to your account at and going to: Your Account>Change your application>University/college course. They will re-assess your application and let you know of any changes to the amount of student finance you can get.

If you’ve not yet applied for Student Finance and have a place through Clearing, you will need to do so. Applications can take up to six weeks to be processed – so the sooner you apply for your finance, the sooner you will get your money.

For students who join us through Clearing, there will be a limited number of rooms available on campus. However, if our on-campus accommodation is full, our Student Accommodation Team can support students in finding accommodation in the local area.  
We have a dedicated local area accommodation hub 'Keele Student Pad' where we invite landlords who have been accredited by a landlord accreditation scheme to advertise their properties, and there is a rigorous checking process in place to ensure we only advertise accredited landlords with valid safety certificates. 

We can offer students advice and guidance in finding the right accommodation option for them and are happy to talk through choices over the telephone.  

For those students who apply for on-campus accommodation during Clearing but are unsuccessful due to on-campus accommodation being full, in addition to helping you to find off-campus accommodation, we will also provide you with a free bus pass for the year* (terms apply)

Visit our accommodation webpages for more information about our accommodation.

You can apply for accommodation if:

  • You have waited for 48 hours following acceptance of your Keele offer via UCAS track, this is important as the system needs time to process your acceptance.
  • You have your Keele University student number. We will send this when we receive your application. This is an 8 digit number and is your identification in the system.
  • You have decided what accommodation to apply for. There are some en-suite bedrooms still available but these will be in high demand so it is a good idea to look at a non en-suite alternative as well.

If after 48 hours, you are still unable to apply please contact the Student Accommodation Office on