Highest-ranked universities in Clearing 2020

University of Exeter

Need a uni place? Want a better one than your current offer? These top universities all have places in Clearing for 2020

More than 73,000 students found a university place through Clearing last year. Every year, there are scores of universities to choose from in Clearing, including some of the most prestigious. 

In recent years, it's become even easier to switch into one of these Clearing spaces. Last year, Ucas introduced an option on Track that enables students to release themselves from unconditional firm offers.  

Here are the 15 highest-ranked universities offering undergraduate places in Clearing on A-level results day this year.

All university rankings on this page are sourced from Times Higher Education's 'Table of Tables' which is based on the combined results of the UK’s three main domestic university league tables – Good University Guide (published by The Times and The Sunday Times), The Guardian University Guide and The Complete University Guide.

We've also listed each university's rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – a system that rates the teaching quality of universities as either gold, silver or bronze.

And, for each university, we've picked out a handful of courses that are available in subjects where that university ranks highly in The Guardian's university subject league tables. These courses are just a sample - there are many more to choose from. 

Clearing vacancies are updated regularly throughout the Clearing period (which runs from July through to October). For the latest vacancies, check the Ucas Search page or visit the specific university website. 

This article was last updated at 1.30pm on Thursday 13 August 2020.

Hot air balloon with Loughborough University logo

Loughborough University

Uni ranking | 5th
TEF rating | Gold

Based on the UK's largest campus, Loughborough University is known in particular for engineering and technology, as well as its sport-related courses and achievements. 

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Sport science, coaching and physical education
  • Accounting and financial management (with placement year)
  • Politics 

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Read more about Loughborough University in our guide

A Lancaster University building

Lancaster University

Uni ranking | 7th
TEF rating | Gold

A research-intensive institution established in 1964, Lancaster University is home to around 9,000 undergraduates. 

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • History
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

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Read more about Lancaster University in our guide

University of Warwick

University of Warwick

Uni ranking | 10th
TEF rating | Silver

Warwick is as respected for boundary-breaking research as for teaching and business collaborations, and renowned for its entrepreneurialism and cosmopolitan outlook.

Courses in Clearing include:  

  • Global sustainable development
  • Automotive engineering
  • History and politics

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Read more about University of Warwick in our guide

University of Exeter

University of Exeter

Uni ranking | 11th
TEF rating | Gold

Founded in 1955, the university also has a campus in Cornwall maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Human sciences
  • English
  • Politics

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University of Leeds

University of Leeds

Uni ranking | 12th
TEF rating | Gold

A founding member of the Russell Group, the University of Leeds has more than 30,000 students. Former students include politician Jack Straw, astronaut Piers Sellers and triathletes the Brownlee brothers.

Courses in Clearing include:  

  • Chemical engineering
  • History and sociology
  • Sports science and physiology

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University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Uni ranking | 14th
TEF rating | Gold

A large red-brick university founded in 1900, that achieves consistently high student satisfaction ratings.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Sport, exercise and health sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Engineering

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University of Glasgow building

University of Glasgow

Uni ranking | 15th
TEF rating | Did not participate in TEF

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Its main campus is at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Nursing
  • Physiology and sports science

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Read more about University of Glasgow in our guide

University of Bristol

University of Bristol

Uni ranking | 16th
TEF rating | Silver

Bristol is at the cutting edge of global research; as a relatively small university, it has an impressive 40 Fellows of the Royal Society and 13 of the British Academy.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Modern languages
  • Music
  • Veterinary nursing and bioveterinary science

Discuss University of Bristol in the forum 
Read more about University of Bristol in our guide

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

Uni ranking | 17th
TEF rating | Gold

A truly international university, Nottingham has campuses in both Malaysia and China. Closer to home, its leafy main campus is set around a lake, and often voted the greenest in the UK. 

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Agriculture
  • Economics
  • Electronic and computer engineering

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University of Southampton building

University of Southampton

Uni ranking | 18th=
TEF rating | Silver

A research-intensive university and founding member of the Russell Group, Southampton's focus on excellence has seen it move up the league tables in recent years.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Business management
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy

Discuss University of Southampton in the forum 
Read more about University of Southampton in our guide

University of Manchester

Uni ranking | 18th=
TEF rating | Silver

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Archaeology and anthropology 
  • Geography
  • Chemistry

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University of Edinburgh

Uni ranking | 20th
TEF rating | Did not participate in TEF

As of 1.20pm on A-level results day, Edinburgh has just two undergraduate courses available in Clearing.

Courses in Clearing include: 

  • Chemistry
  • Medicinal and biological chemistry

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University of York

University of York

Uni ranking | 21st
TEF rating | Gold

York is one of the newest universities in the UK, but it is also part of the Russell Group. It has heavily invested into its facilities over recent years to ensure that it maintains its impressive reputation.

Courses in Clearing include:  

  • English
  • Sociology with social psychology
  • Music

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royal holloway university

Royal Holloway University

Uni ranking | 22nd
TEF rating | Silver

Courses in Clearing include:  

  • Classics
  • Film, television and digital production
  • Physics

Discuss Royal Holloway University in the forum
Read more about Royal Holloway University in our guide

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

Uni ranking | 23rd=
TEF rating | Gold

Courses in Clearing include:  

  • Accounting and finance
  • Journalism
  • Economics

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Read more about Nottingham Trent University in our guide

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