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Applying for courses after the UCAS deadline

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Most students who want to study an undergraduate course at a university or college in the UK apply via UCAS. UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a centralised application system for UK undergraduate courses.

The first round of undergraduate applications closes on the 15th of January (click here for all key dates and deadlines), although some courses will still accept applications after this date.

However, if you miss this date or don't get an offer from any of your chosen universities or colleges, Clearing provides you with another option.

What is Clearing?

In the UK, Clearing is the second round of undergraduate applications open to prospective students. It offers both students and universities/colleges a chance to find the right match. Students can start a new application or reapply to find an available course.

Clearing takes place between July and September every year. During this period, you can apply for courses which still have places open for the academic year starting in September.

Who is it for?

If you applied via UCAS earlier this year but didn’t get any offers, if you declined your offers, or if you didn’t meet the requirements (for example, if your final exam results were too low) – then you can apply again through Clearing.

If you haven't yet applied via UCAS and you've missed the 15 January deadline, it’s not too late! You can still study at a UK university or college this year – simply go to the UCAS website and register, and your application will automatically go into the Clearing process.

How can I find out which courses are still available?

You can find out what courses are still accepting applications from UCAS, from the Telegraph’s guide to Clearing, or by contacting universities/colleges directly – click here to search for your chosen institution, then click the ‘Send an email’ button, or click ‘Download prospectus’ or ‘Visit website’ to get the phone number.

Some of the most searched-for courses during Clearing this year have been law, psychology, economics, nursing and business studies. You can read more about these subjects and UK qualifications in Subject profiles.

When does Clearing end?

Clearing closes on 21 September. If you're applying for a course starting in autumn 2016, for example, your application must be received by 21 September 2016.

Remember that if you need a visa to study in the UK, you will need time to apply. Find out more in UK student visas. You should also ensure your institution can sponsor international students before applying there – check the UK government’s register of licensed sponsors for students.

What if my applications are not successful?

If by the end of Clearing you have not been made any offers, you will need to reapply next year. Check out Your study options to find out about courses and qualifications, and Practical advice for tips and information about studying in the UK. When you know what you’re looking for, click here to find courses and click here for scholarships to fund your UK studies.

Read more: How to apply through Clearing in 2016