7 Top Tips To Prepare For Clearing

By Kath Hartley

Updated Posted

Download our clearing guide 2020

Clearing: Key Information

What is Clearing?

Clearing is an application process which starts in July and continues through August for students wishing to start undergraduate courses in the coming September.

Who can apply through Clearing?

Clearing isn’t just for those who miss their target grades. If you have changed your mind about what or where you want to study, or if you weren’t going to apply to Higher Education but would now like to, you can find your place through the Clearing process. We are accepting applications for a variety of courses through Clearing . If you are waiting for your results you can send a Clearing Enquiry and get our Clearing Guide. If you already have your results, you can send us a Clearing Application Enquiry straight away!

Either way, the run up to results day can be a stressful time, so read our guide below to make sure you’re prepped for clearing. 


1. Start your clearing shortlist early

If you don’t feel confident that you’ll get your required grades, or are thinking of applying for a course through Clearing then it’s a good move to start planning your Plan B early. “It’s a good idea to make a shortlist of alternative institutions and courses in advance” explains Emily from the student recruitment team at Leeds Conservatoire. “Results Day can be challenging if you didn’t get the grades you expected, but having a solid backup plan and list of places to contact will help you stay calm and focussed if things haven’t quite gone to plan.”

2. Not currently holding an offer on a degree? Apply Now

If you are not currently holding any offers or have changed your mind about your firm choice you can apply now rather than wait until A Level results day. Leeds Conservatoire accepts clearing applications from July onwards – so there’s no need to wait to apply and you can secure your place early!


3. If you don’t get the grades, don’t panic

If things don’t go to plan on results day, don’t panic. Your first port of call should be to check UCAS Track, as your chosen institution may still accept you on your chosen course. If you have applied to Leeds Conservatoire and not gained the grades you expected, you can contact us for advice on next steps and other possible opportunities, such as a place on a different course. For example we offer integrated Foundation Years in Classical, Jazz, Popular Music, Songwriting and Film Music, and Foundation Degrees in Music Production and Electronic Music Production. If you want to find out more about Foundation Years, read our handy guide to Foundation Year

4. Think outside the box

If you didn’t get a place on your chosen course, think about other pathways related to your degree. “It’s important to think about what kind of career path you want to take” explains Dale Perkins, Director of the School of Pop & Production at Leeds Conservatoire, “Your chosen institution may offer another course which offers the chance to build relevant skills and experience for your future career, albeit by a different route.” Read up about different course options and speak to the staff at your chosen institution to see if another course could work for you instead. 

5. Be clear on the requirements

Access our Clearing guide - by filling out our Clearing Enquiry form - and you can find out what you need to prepare for your application to your chosen course. For Leeds Conservatoire courses, this might be audition tapes, a portfolio assessment or a Zoom interview. Whatever is required, it will give you a head start to have as much as possible in place before results day to make your clearing application go smoothly. 

6. Research your chosen institution

Try to research the institution you are thinking about applying for through Clearing. If you’re thinking of applying to Leeds Conservatoire, why not look at our Online Open Day, which includes plenty of information about studying here, including video course talks, student services information, a student Q+A panel and a Virtual Tour. “Clearing can often feel like a mad rush to find a suitable course,” says Leeds Conservatoire Students' Union President, Hollie Arnold. “However it is vital that you still choose a place that is right for you.” Visiting in advance will give you a good idea of whether the institution is the right for you.

7. Don’t forget the details

Whilst it’s a priority to find a course during Clearing, it’s important to remember other details such as what the location is like, and what accommodation is still available for Clearing applicants. Find out more about living in Leeds, and our accommodation options. Even if on-campus accommodation is full, our friendly Accommodation Team can help you find the right place for you.

Contact Us

For more information on what courses are open for Clearing, and how to apply visit the Clearing Pages on our website.

For any other queries or to discuss your options before results day get in touch via our contact form or by email at clearing@lcm.ac.uk.


By Kath Hartley

Looking for Leeds College of Music? You can now find us at @LeedsMusicDrama under our new name - Leeds Conservatoire!
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