Parents' guide to Adjustment and Clearing

Here's the information you will need if you are supporting your son or daughter through the Adjustment and Clearing process.

What is Adjustment and Clearing?

Adjustment and Clearing give students a second chance to choose a university course, and more students every year are securing their university places this way. In 2017, 1050 students accepted a UK university place through UCAS using Adjustment, and 66,870 through Clearing (up from 43,890 in 2008).

About Adjustment

If your son or daughter has met and exceeded the conditions of their conditional firm choice, they can choose to go through Adjustment to reconsider where and what they wish to study.

They can keep their original unconditional firm offer while making enquiries with other providers. So, if after their exams, they feel they may have done better than predicted, and that they may wish to change their choice of course or university, they can start their research ready for results day.

About Clearing

Clearing is a student's chance to be considered by other universities. It is available to students who applied through UCAS and:

  • received no offers
  • applied after the 30 June deadline
  • rejected all their university offers
  • have not met the conditions set by their firm and insurance universities
  • hold an offer, but would like to reconsider their options

Your son or daughter will know whether Clearing is available to them on results day if their UCAS Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.

This UCAS blog contains useful information about the Clearing process.

Sign up for email updates to be notified when our list of Clearing opportunities is published

About Adjustment and Clearing at Lancaster University

Adjustment and Clearing provides a great opportunity to reconsider where and what your child would like to study.  Applying for a course at Lancaster through Adjustment and Clearing is straightforward.  We have a team of staff and students to advise your son or daughter via our Adjustment and Clearing Hotline 0800 298 9542 which opens at 6.00am on Thursday 16th August.

The best thing you can do to support them on the day is to stay positive and help with the wider research about the University.  We’d encourage your son or daughter to make the phone call, but there’s plenty of additional information they will need to consider before they make their final choice.  Details about the accommodation offered, possible scholarships, or distance from home are all important factors when it comes to choosing a university.

Before they pick up the phone, make sure they have their UCAS number and a list of their qualifications to hand.

We will be holding Adjustment and Clearing Open Days on 17th, 18th and 20th August for anyone who would like to visit before starting their studies in October.  The Open Day is a great opportunity to meet staff, tour the campus and meet with some of our current students.  In the meantime, your son or daughter could take a look at our Virtual Open Day to get a feel for life at Lancaster.

Whatever the outcome on results day, don’t panic, encourage your son or daughter to consider their options.  We will publish a list of available courses on Thursday 16th August on our Clearing opportunities page and our team will be here to guide them through the process.

Sue Davies, Head of Admissions

Sue Davies - Head of Admissions
Sue Davies - Head of Admissions

Preparing for Results Day

It's worth your son or daughter taking some time before results day to make a plan, so they can act quickly if they don't get the grades they are hoping for.

Student working at a computer

Before results day

Doing some research in advance will save your son or daughter time on results day and make them feel more prepared if they do go into Clearing.

Encourage them to consider the same factors as when they were selecting their firm and insurance choices:

  • Which universities are likely to have vacancies in their chosen subjects?
  • Do they want to live in a campus or city?
  • How far away from home would they like to be?
  • What are the accommodation options for Clearing students?

You may also find this UCAS guide for parents and guardians useful.

On results day

  • Getting results

    UCAS track opens at 8.00am on A level results day. Your son or daughter will be able to log on from then and see the status of their application.

    • If they have met the conditions of their firm offer, their place with their firm choice university will be confirmed.
    • Many universities will look at the possibility of reviewing requirements for applicants who have only just missed out, which means your son or daughter could still get into their firm choice university if they have narrowly missed the conditions of their offer.
    • If they don't get their Firm choice, they may get their Insurance choice.
    • If they don't get into their Firm or Insurance choice, then their status will say "you are in Clearing" and they will have a Clearing number which they will need to note down.
  • Preparing to make calls

    Before calling a university to discuss a clearing place, your son or daughter will need to have to hand:

    • The phone number for the university and their own contact details
    • Their Clearing number and UCAS ID number from UCAS Track
    • Their A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent results, including module marks
    • Their notes on the university, its courses and any questions they want to ask

    Your son or daughter should make the call themselves wherever possible. It's also a good idea to have a second phone available so that universities can call them back on another line to discuss offers even if they are already making a call.

  • Help and support

    As a parent or guardian, you can help your son or daughter by checking their short list and what courses are still available and giving them feedback on their shortlist. Try to support them to keep calm and not panic. 

    Universities will want to speak to the student themselves to decide whether or not to make them an offer. If you are going to need to make calls on their behalf you will need to ensure you are listed as the nominated person on their UCAS application.

    When they have received an offer, you could help them to check it out by looking at the university's virtual tour and researching accommodation options. Most universities hold clearing open days over the weekend following results day, so if you haven't visited the university they are considering before, taking them to an open day will help them make sure it's the right choice for them.

  • Adding a clearing choice

    After 3.00pm on results day, your son or daughter can confirm a clearing choice on UCAS track. They can only confirm one choice, so help them to make sure they have thought through the decision. The universities will have told them how long they will hold the place for, so they have time to make an informed choice. This is usually 24-48 hours, so you have the chance to make a visit, or do any other research.

  • Contact Student Finance

    Once their place is confirmed, your son or daughter will need to contact Student Finance to let them know where they will be studying.

Hear about our clearing opportunities

If your son or daughter is interested in admission to Lancaster University through Adjustment and Clearing, please complete the form below and we will notify you when our course list is available.

Your details

Lancaster University will hold and use the information which you supply in line with our privacy policy. This will be used to contact you in response to your enquiry. We would also like to send you information about studying at Lancaster. Please tick here if you would like to hear from us:

Don’t worry, if you change your mind at a later time, please let us know by emailing us at and we will remove/change your information.

Adjustment and Clearing Hotline


Call us to talk about your options

Our phone lines open on 16th August


From within the UK

0800 298 9542


From outside the UK

+44 1524 931300
Own country charges may apply