As Bristol students today receive their A level results, there is the unfortunate prospect that some might not attain the grades required.
Alternatively, there might be some students that hadn’t thought about going to a university but have suddenly realised they have the grades to attend.
But is it too late to apply or what can students do if they don’t meet the grade boundary to attend their preferred course?
Clearing is the process in which a university looks to fill up courses that still have a number of vacancies available.
Even if a student’s grades do not meet a certain university course’s threshold, there is still the opportunity to be included if there is still space available on the course.
Many universities are currently undergoing the clearing process right now, and UCAS have advised that if a student wishes to apply through the clearing process to make an application and gather their clearing number first before talking to universities.
Grade boundaries are set by different examination boards to show the minimum number of marks required to attain a certain grade between A* and ungraded.
These grade boundaries cannot be set before A Level exams take place and grade boundaries can change each year depending on how well students perform as a whole across the UK.
Students will therefore have to wait until results day to see these grade boundaries, to make matters slightly more anxiety inducing.
An example of a grade boundary from Pearson in 2021 shows the maximum grade a student can obtain from their course, and the amount of marks required to gather a required grade.
These grades are then converted by UCAS into Tariff Points, which are then used to demonstrate to a university that a student has achieved the number of points required to join their first choice university.
From 2017, the UCAS Tariff for A-Level results are as follows:
A* - 56 points
A - 48 points
B - 40 points
C - 32 points
D - 24 points
E - 16 points
You can use the UCAS Tariff Points Calculator on their website if you want to add up your own points ahead of the clearing process.
Until October 18, prospective students can apply for a course using clearing if they’re not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places.
Clearing can be used if.
you’re applying after 30 June
you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
you’ve paid the multiple choice application fee of £26.50
you’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in your application
You can apply for clearing through UCAS directly and also look at how many points are required for specific courses across the UK using UCAS’ Course Search function.
This search function has been updated to reflect vacancies still on offer at universities undertaking their clearing process.
Two universities in Bristol have a clearing process available to prospective students.
UCAS code: B80
Clearing phone number: 0117 328 3333
Clearing events will be taking place between 19 – 23 August. These events will help prospective students learn more about life at UWE Bristol. The university will offer guided campus tours and online events on student life, finances, accommodation and disability support.
If an offer is made through clearing, UWE Bristol will invite prospects to book on these events.
A full list of courses at UWE Bristol currently undergoing the clearing process can be found on UCAS’ Course Search function.
UCAS code :B64
Clearing phone number: 0117 973 3535
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has a small number of clearing vacancies on the BA Production Arts course for September 2022 entry.
However, the school does not have any vacancies available for BA Professional Acting or FdA Costume for Theatre, TV & Film.
A full list of courses at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School currently undergoing the clearing process can be found on UCAS’ Course Search function.