Get a headstart on Clearing – a guide for Btec students

Student happily working on laptop

If you're getting your results earlier than A-level students, make the most of the extra time

Depending on the Btec qualifications you've taken, you might get your grades several weeks before A-level students do.

If you're planning on going to university in the autumn, this gives you some handy extra time to work out your next steps - and perhaps to consider Clearing.

Clearing is a service provided by Ucas where universities advertise courses that still have spaces. It can be useful if your grades are much higher than you expected, as you can look for alternative courses that previously seemed out of reach.

You can also start a brand-new application in Clearing - perhaps if you've had a change of plans and now want to go to uni this year.

And you can also use it if your grades weren't enough to meet the terms of your firm or insurance offers. In that case, you can find an alternative course.

What entry level options do I have with a Btec qualification?

In general, universities have become far more flexible around course entry requirements. It's common now for universities to accept Btec qualifications, so you should find most undergraduate degree courses available to you.

Do all universities accept Btec qualifications?

Most universities will accept Btec qualifications, but it will vary depending on not only the university but also the course. 

You'll need to check the entry requirements that are specific to each course, to make sure your qualifications will meet what's required.

The entry requirements for each course will be shown on the course pages of universities’ websites.

Some courses, vocational in particular, might prefer the skills that students with Btec qualifications have developed, while other courses may require at least one or two A-levels along with a Btec qualification.

When does Clearing start for Btec students?

Clearing opens on the same date for everyone: 5 July 2024. Everybody can search through the available courses spaces from that date. But - you can only apply for a uni place through this route once you've actually your results.

For some Btec students, that will mean waiting until the main results day on Thursday 15 August. But, depending on the type of Btec qualification you have taken, you may be getting your results in mid-July.

If you get your results and decide to look for a place through Clearing, head onto the Ucas website to see what's available. You'll then need to ring up universities that have places, to see if they will offer you a place.

How can I demonstrate the skills that I have developed whilst studying for my Btec qualification?

Btec students develop a number of important skills such as time management and research skills. You’ll already have used examples to highlight your skills when you wrote your personal statement but you can emphasise these in any Clearing phone calls you make.

Before you make any calls reread your personal statement and highlight any examples which show off your skills. Make sure you keep it close to hand when you make the call.

Think about those skills you have gained during your Btecs and how they would be relevant to the course you want to do – Clearing advisers want to know if you’ll be a good fit.

For example, if part of your Btec assessment was a written piece of work, you could use this to highlight to the Clearing adviser how you are able to meet deadlines and your capacity to follow the instructions provided by tutors.

For science-based Btecs, you could discuss how you conducted experiments and synthesised the results of your investigations in order to draw conclusions.

For more advice on Clearing, check out The Student Room's Clearing Hub.