Finding the right university is the first step towards higher education. Find out how you can help your son or daughter apply for their preferred university through the UCAS process and clearing.

Deciding on a University

Research plays a big part of the decision making process for any student considering going into higher education. As a parent or carer, there are a number of ways you can help with your child’s research, such as:

  • Looking at university websites
  • Ordering prospectuses
  • Speaking with teachers, advisers, friends and family members
  • UCAS fairs
  • Careers services

We highly recommend that students try to attend as many open days or taster days as possible, as this is a crucial part to the research and decision-making process. Our Open Days and Taster Days are a great opportunity to find out more about the courses we offer and speak with academic staff.


Students make applications to Universities online via UCAS. When your son or daughter’s application is received by the university, it is checked by the admissions teams to make sure it meets the entry requirements. This is then passed to the relevant academic who uses a scoring system to ascertain whether they should be invited for an interview or audition (depending on the course) or make them a conditional or unconditional offer.

Changes to the UCAS Tariff System (Sept 2017 onwards)

UCAS are changing the tariff system which some universities use. This is the number which represents their qualification grades.

UCAS has made a short video explaining why the tariff system is changing and how this will affect students. They have also provided a simple and easy to use calculator which students can use to enter their qualifications to work out their UCAS points.


Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course.

Clearing is available July to September each year. If you already have your exam results but you have no offers, you can use clearing from July. If you had conditional offers but your exam results didn't go to plan, you can use clearing from results day, when we will have dedicated phone lines open to help you find a course.

Whatever your circumstances, call us so we can help you find the best route for you.

Personal Statements

If you would like to speak with a member of our School and College Liaison Team regarding the UCAS and Personal Statements process, then please contact us on 01228 616333 or