A Guide to Clearing

‘Clearing’ is the process of universities looking to match up the empty spaces on their courses with the students who do not yet have a place confirmed. In fact, many of the top 20 Universities regularly accept students through Clearing.

Most people assume that Clearing is only for those who have achieved lower than expected exam results. However, over-achievement in exams or simply a change of heart about what course to do are also popular reasons to look down the Clearing route. With a lot to do in a short space of time, it can be stressful. Because of this, research is absolutely vital.

How do I secure a University place through Clearing?

If you find yourself in the Clearing process, it is important to act swiftly. Below is a video guide from UCAS on exactly what you need to do in order to get your place on a course:

Find further information on the UCAS website.

Where will I live?

Clearing - The Old Pottery Rooms rented by JG Student Lets

The Old Pottery Rooms rented by JG Student Lets

Your place on a course is now confirmed. As a result of this, your next step is to find somewhere to live. If you had a chance to visit your University before getting your place, then it is worthwhile making enquiries with accommodation providers about availability during this time. If not, another visit to your Uni would be beneficial, especially if you are not familiar with the area and would like to view accommodation before committing to it.

The quality and cost of accommodation can vary throughout the country. Most first year students do find accommodation directly through the University, but when coming through Clearing you may find that all their flats and houses are full. This will mean you need to search for private agents or landlords. For speed,  the quickest place to do this will be the internet. You will likely find a plethora of different agents and landlords after a quick google.

Due to the little time between securing a place on a course and its start date, it is always a good idea to phone the agent direct rather than emailing them. This way you can find out exactly what you need to do to secure a room and what rooms they have to offer you.

Clearing - A large double bedroom rented by JG Student Lets

A large double bedroom rented by JG Student Lets

Things to consider when looking for accommodation:

At JG Student Lets, we offer the following on in all of our houses in Canterbury & Medway:

Rent inclusive of the gas, electric and water bills – Not all agents have bills included in the rent so it is imperative to find out what you get for your money

No deposit to pay – Different agents charge different amounts for their deposits. Whilst we do not take a deposit for our tenancies, if yours does, ensure that your payment is lodged with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is a requirement by law and offers you protection from rogue landlords.

Fully furnished properties with locks on the bedroom doors – All our bedrooms come supplied with a bed, wardrobe space, chest of drawers, a desk and chair as minimum. The lounge will have enough seating for a number of tenants in the property. The kitchen will have an oven, hobs, microwave, fridge and freezers as well as a washing machine as standard. With other agents, make sure you ask what furniture and appliances are included.

All safety checks carried out at the regular recommended intervals – Gas boilers need checking every 12 months, the electrical wiring every 5 years and the fire alarms and appliances should all be tested regularly as well.

Other things to consider:

  • Is the house safe – In addition to the regular checks that need carrying out, have you had a chance to view the potential property and did it look safe? Were there any uneven floor boards or loose wires?
  • Gut feeling – When you have spoken to the agent, do they seem professional, friendly and, in a nut shell, do you trust them to look after you as a tenant?
  • Reputation – Do you know anyone else who goes to or went to the Uni? If so, do they know of the agent? Find out what is being said online about them.
  • Paperwork – Enquire as to what you need to do in order to secure a room. Always ask for copies of the paperwork to read through before committing to anything. If you don’t understand something, query it with the agent or speak with a more experienced adult. In some cases, a Guarantor may be required as part of the sign up process. Ask the agent what their requirement for a suitable Guarantor are. Lastly, does the Tenancy Agreement tally up with what they have said in previously?
  • Property location – Is the property near Uni? Are there local amenities nearby so you don’t have a 30-minute walk to the nearest supermarket? Is the local area safe? How close is it to the town centre?
Clearing - A large student accommodation kitchen rented by JG Student Lets

A large student kitchen rented by JG Student Lets


In summary, Clearing is not the doom and gloom some consider it to be. With the right amount of research and application, you are highly likely to find the course and accommodation you need. Who knows, you might even end up better off than you would have been with your original plans!

If you find yourself being offered a place at University in Canterbury or Medway, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at JG Student Lets and we will do all we can to help.

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