University clearing is the final stage of the UCAS application process and offers a second chance for university hopefuls who perhaps didn’t get the grades they wanted, or changed their mind about what they want to study, to enrol on a degree course.
If you did better than you expected in your A-Levels, then clearing is an opportunity to upgrade your university place through a process called adjustment.
Yes. A number of law schools enter into clearing, offering university hopefuls another opportunity to study a law degree if they don’t meet the conditions of their UCAS offers or they apply late. Clearing for law also helps universities to fill spaces on under-subscribed LLB courses. Discover more on what you need to know about clearing.
Law clearing takes place between July and October of the year that you receive your A-Level results. Clearing in 2022 is open until 18 October 2022, while clearing in 2023 opens on Wednesday, 5 July. It’s recommended that you apply for clearing as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Once you have decided on a clearing university, you will need permission to add them as your clearing choice to your UCAS application as follows:
Yes. However, you should be mindful that most universities don’t allow direct applications for law clearing courses – only some do.
The process of bypassing UCAS during clearing is referred to as the ‘record of prior acceptance’. This means that if you are accepted onto a clearing course from a direct application, your chosen university will notify UCAS on your behalf.
To apply directly through the record of prior acceptance route, you will need to contact your chosen university’s admissions team and ask about their direct application process. You will need to tell them your grades, provide information about any work experience or extracurricular activities, and you may have to submit a personal statement.
If you do find a university that accepts direct applications for law clearing, be aware that it will be the only university you can apply to. This dramatically reduces your options and your chances of getting a place on a law degree course. You have to be absolutely sure that the university you apply to is the one you want to go to.
Clearing for law courses is available at certain universities, but is subject to demand. The competition for law degree places is fierce, which means that not many universities offer clearing spaces on undergraduate law courses because vacancies fill fast.
For each academic year, you can find a complete list of law schools offering clearing courses using the UCAS search tool.
If you are unable to secure a place on a law degree course through clearing, it’s an opportunity to take a year out, refocus and ensure you get a place next year. A gap year can help you to assess your options, strengthen your university application, do further study and get some legal work experience.
Alternatively, if you still want to study this year, some non-law courses may have lower demand. You can still secure a university degree and then study a law conversion course. If you choose to go through clearing for a non-law course, don’t worry! This won’t prevent you from pursuing a legal career – you can pursue the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) without a law degree, and you can bolster your legal knowledge with the PGDL course after your undergraduate degree.
If you plan to reapply to the same universities next year, make sure you check that they will accept reapplications before applying again.
For inspiration on applying for law clearing, read the story of Lawyer Portal contributor and Ambassador, Ali Chaudry – a tutor in law at the prestigious Royal Holloway, University of London – who had to go through university clearing.
Loading More Content