Blog post

Clearing hotline guide

Results day is the most anticipated date for many people wanting to go to university. This blog explains what you need to know before calling the Clearing Hotline. 

By Antonia Fox - 29 June 2018

For a lucky minority there’s a sigh of relief when they wake up, check UCAS track and see their choices confirmed. For many people an unanticipated result, desire to move closer or further from home or change of ambition means the excitement slips away and worry takes over as they realise they may need to go through Clearing to secure a place at university.

But Clearing doesn’t have to be stressful. For many it’s an exciting time choosing a new course -maybe even in a new city!

So before you worry too much, remember there’s a huge team of people waiting to speak to you when Clearing starts, with their fingers crossed that we can offer you a place.

What do I need to do before I call the Clearing Hotline?

The first thing to do if you’ve decided to go through Clearing would be to check the available courses on the UCAS website. This will show which courses still have spaces available and at which universities. You can also check on our own website using the course search. During Clearing, each course page will show a banner at the top letting you know if it is available or closed. Once you’ve decided on a course you’d like to apply for you’re ready to call the Clearing Hotline and let us help you with the rest.

What questions will I be asked by the Clearing Hotline?

The Clearing Hotline will need to ask you a variety of questions. This is so they can build a comprehensive picture of your qualifications, experience and personal motives for joining a course. Before you call it’s always best to make sure you’re prepared, so some of the information the hotline will ask you for is:

What happens once I’ve given my information?

Once a dedicated member of our Clearing Hotline has taken your details, you may be transferred straight to a lecturer for the course of your interest. If they are unavailable at that time – remember it’s a very busy period and a lot of people are calling at the same time – the lecturer will call you back shortly afterwards. This part of the call is now your chance to tell possibly your future lecturer, why you are interested in their course and why you want to study it.! They will ask you why you want to do the course and will discuss how your qualifications or experience are relevant for starting this course.
Remember, you do not need to wait until the lecturer asks you about any relevant experience or hobbies you have, you can bring this into conversation at any time. This will enable them to fully consider all aspects of your application before making a decision, the additional information may also improve your chances of being accepted.

This call is also your opportunity to ask the lecturer questions about the course. Keep in mind this isn’t just the time for the lecturer to make a decision on your application, you also need to make a decision on where you will be studying for the next 3 or 4 years, so make sure the course content and assessment methods work for you. We recommend asking for additional information about any modules you’re interested in, this will both inform you about the course and let the academic know how interested you are.

If the lecturer believes the course is right for you and you’ve met the entry requirements, they may be able to make you an offer there and then.! If they do you will receive an email from us with details of your provisional offer, which includes steps to follow next.

For some courses, including Nursing, you will need to attend an interview before any offer can be made. In these cases, the interview process has a very fast turnaround, and you need to be ready to stop-drop and interview, usually within the following few days. Other courses, such as photography, may ask for a portfolio, so it is definitely worth checking the course page to see if this might be something you would need to produce.

Once you have a provisional offer you can take a minute and relax. All that’s left to do now is secure your place!

If you don’t currently hold another offer you will simply need to go onto UCAS and refer yourself using the information we provide, but full details of how to do this will be included in any provisional offer email we send to you, so don’t worry.

If you do hold an offer with another university you will need to contact them and request that they release you into Clearing. This will release the place you hold with them allowing you to refer yourself and officially take your place at the University of Derby. Universities all over the country are very busy in the few days following results day, so being released may take some time. If you are struggling to be released, please try not to worry about it and simply keep us in the loop with any progress you are making on your release.

I’ve referred myself through UCAS, what happens next?

Once you’ve referred yourself through UCAS, we’ll be working away to get your application processed as quickly as possible. You’ll need to send us copies of any qualifications you declared on your application and also fulfil any interview or portfolio requirements specific to your course. Once that’s complete you’ll see your UCAS track update and your place at the University of Derby will be secure.

Now that your place at University is sorted you can focus on finer details of your university experience, such booking your accommodation and applying for Student Finance. We also host Clearing Open Days so you’ll have to opportunity to jump in the car, see the campus and halls and talk to our lecturers about the course you’ve applied for. This can be a great chance to really get a taste of what the next 3 or 4 years of your time at the University of Derby will look like.

Last but not least, it’s time to start packing. You’ve secured your place, been allocated halls and got your first student loan payment all lined up. You’re all set to begin studying for your degree and living the student life!

About the author

Antonia Fox
Senior Admissions Administrator

I work within Admissions supporting Enquiry Management and operations within the team. Having supported Clearing last year, I now have a good understanding of what it's like to go through Clearing and my experiences as a student help me understand the process from that point of view.