Clearing 2023: The University of Bolton


As Clearing 2023 gets closer, we want parents/carers and future students to know what to expect from the process. Our Clearing 2023 guide for parents/carers is below and if you’re a prospective student, click here.

A Clearing 2023 guide for parents/ carers

We all want to be supportive of our Young Person, but the Clearing process can be a confusing one. So, at the University of Bolton, we want our students and their families to understand how Clearing 2023 works and what steps to take.

students outside Chanellors


What is Clearing?

According to UCAS, “Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. From 5 July – 17 October, you can apply for a course using Clearing if you're not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places.” Many students use clearing to apply to university for the first time so This is a great choice if your Young Person wants to attend the University of Bolton but hasn’t applied to university yet or hasn’t achieved the grades to get into their first choice. but didn’t get the grades needed or wasn’t accepted on their first application.

During Clearing 2023, they can use the UCAS website to see all the vacancies for September 2023 at Bolton. UCAS is the only official list of vacancies, so it will be the most up-to-date. But if the course they want isn’t listed, they can ring 01204 903030 for help or advice on considering similar subjects, and encourage them to keep checking. The course they want might be full right now but have vacancies later in the summer.

Supporting them on results day

  1. Before results day - Talk about Clearing in a positive manner. Help their plans for how to approach their higher education. Remind them that this is an exciting time and you’re so proud of them no matter what they decide to do. It’s also a nice idea to plan some distractions the day before (like a day trip, dinner out or cinema) to help keep their mind off things.

  2. On results day - If they didn’t get what they were hoping for, reassure them that this isn’t the end of their journey. Keep them from panicking by preparing their UCAS ID number, log-in details, personal statement, a list of their qualifications (including GCSEs) and something to write with and on. They should talk to us right away about what courses they’re interested in. We may still be able to offer them a place. Don’t forget, if they’ve not applied to university at all yet there is still time and they don’t have to apply through UCAS. If you don't have a UCAS application already you can apply to Bolton directly via our website.- 

  3. Making a Clearing Call - You can help them sell themselves over the phone by doing practice calls. There’s a great guide on how to do this here. Assure your Young Person that they don’t need to be nervous, at the University of Bolton we’re here to help. Encourage them to have the details of the course they want to study (along with a few alternates close by). 

Most importantly, don’t rush them. Clearing at Bolton is open from Tuesday 5 July until late 19 September 2023, so it’s more important that the course they choose is a great fit for their interests.

Helping them choose courses in Clearing

Your Young Person probably has a good idea about the kind of subjects they want to study. With that information, they can do a search on our website for available courses. Encourage them to jot down the name, course code and details from UCAS. They’ll then need to make that Clearing call to us on 01204 903030. It will either be a quick chat to review their grades and accept a place or, if the course requires an interview, we’ll book them a slot there and then for a telephone or zoom interview within 24 hours.

Helping your Young Person accept a course

Following the phone call, your Young Person may receive a verbal offer. If, so we’ll send a few emails on how to apply so they can accept their course.

There are two routes to then making the application formal:

  1. If your Young Person already has a UCAS application and is in clearing, they will need to log into UCAS MyApplication. Then, they'll need to update the course selection and accept it on the system.
  2. If your Young Person has not made a UCAS application this cycle then they can apply directly to the University of Bolton. We'll send them a link to do this after the phone call or they can just visit our website.

Next, instruct your Young Person to advise Student Finance England online or over the phone so their application is against the correct course. If they've not made a student finance application yet, they must do so quickly. There can be a delay of up to 10 weeks at this time of year and that delay might impact on them receiving their student loan on time.

Bolton students

Why should they call before applying?

Your Young Person can only apply to one university for one course at one time through Clearing. So, to save time, they should call and check that the course they want is available at Bolton. Then they can make their application via UCAS on our website and accept their place. Once we’ve made them a verbal offer, we’ll be in regular contact via email to help them understand what to do next. So, it’s a good idea to encourage them to check their emails regularly, including the spam folder.

Should I encourage my Young Person to attend an Open Day?

Absolutely. If your Young Person is wondering if Bolton is the right choice for them, then visiting the campus can be an eye-opening experience. They’ll see what attending the University of Bolton might be like and they can talk to students, lecturers and advisors about student finance, student services, careers services and much more. Learn more about our Study Advice Days for Clearing 2023 and book a place here.

Upcoming dates are:

Clearing admissions drop-in - Thursday 17 August 2023
Clearing admissions drop-in - Friday 18 August 2023
Clearing Open Day - Saturday 19 August
Clearing admissions drop-in - Tuesday 5 September 2023
Clearing admissions drop-in - Friday 15 September 2023

A Clearing 2023 guide for students

First off, breathe. The choice about what university you go to is a big one and you shouldn’t rush it. If anyone is pressuring you (friends, parents or another university), remember that you need to look after your interests first. Don’t panic. Don’t just pick the first place you’re offered. And take some time to think. We’re a great university, and we pride ourselves on putting our students and their needs first. We want to make sure the University of Bolton is the right choice for you and your long-term goals. So, we’ve pulled together this guide to help you navigate Clearing 2023 and the next few (crazy busy) weeks.

Take your time!

Yes, places go fast. And that might make you feel stressed. But new places can and do open up over the Clearing period, so you don’t need to panic accept. If you’re thinking about Bolton, why not have a look at what student life is like. Research the many subjects that we offer and talk to one of our helpful advisors about your options before making your decision final. Can you see yourself at Bolton? Do you link the idea of studying in a small, friendly and supportive way? What about employers? Do you see a career path? All these are important considerations. 

Focus on the course

You’re at Bolton to learn, first and foremost. So we want you to dig into the modules of the course you’re considering. See which courses align with your passions. We have some pretty great state-of-the-art facilities. We’ve invested over £50m in them in recent years. So, think about what it will be like to attend lectures and complete practicals in that environment. Remember to consider the teaching style, amount of independent study and assessment patterns when making your choice.

Think about the area

We’re fortunate here at Bolton to have a small-town feel only 20 minutes outside one of the biggest and most vibrant cities in the country; Manchester. But not every university you’re considering will have that. Think about the commute if you’ll be living off-campus or at home. Spend some time in the nearby area if you can or attend one of our Study Advice Sessions to visit the campus. The latter is great because you can also talk to our student finance, student services and careers service about tuition fees, funding, social events, on-campus support and your future employability.

Think about what matters to you

There are a lot of ways to compare the institution you’ve shortlisted but think about what really matters to you and then try and find out more by attending a Study Advice Session or chatting with our students and staff.

Some questions you might want to bear in mind:

  1. What do students think of the teaching on the course?
  2. Do they give you good feedback?
  3. What is their approach to teaching and learning?
  4. How are they going to support me through my studies?
  5. What are the facilities like?
  6. What connections do they have to the industry?

Finding answers to these questions can help you go into Clearing 2023 with more information. But you’re still a unique individual. You might love how Bolton puts a huge focus on employability and leverages our links in the North West to help our students succeed. Or you might already have your eye on a social club or sporting team to supplement your academic learning. Your university journey should be personalised to what you like both academically and socially. 

Think about extracurriculars & support

How can you make more out of your time at uni? Not only do we assign each of our students a PAT (personal academic tutor) but we want you to go beyond academia too. There are so many things you can get involved with at Bolton like the Gaming, Christian Union, Football, Geek Culture, Graphic Design, Islamic Life, Law, Mediaeval, Mood Matters, Online Debating and so much more. So, you shouldn’t look at just the learning side of your life at Bolton. When making your Clearing 2023 choices, think about the full breadth of your university experience before picking a course.

Bolton Uni Students

Circle back to your choices

Remember why you made your original UCAS selections. What is it about them that you loved? What do you want now? Has anything changed? Do you see more of a career path at Bolton versus some of your other options? What about the community or on-campus experience? Has anything swayed you? Would you be able to save money and live at home? Some compromise is okay, but it’s probably good to remind yourself what your ‘must haves’ look like before you make your final Clearing 2023 decision.

Clearing 2023 course search

If you’re ready to see what we have on offer for Clearing 2023, you can visit the clearing pages on our website or you can log in to UCAS here and start searching for courses.

More help with Clearing 2023

Hopefully, this guide has helped you take a breather and think clearly about your university options for Clearing 2023. But, if you still want a bit of help and advice, you can reach out to us at 01204 903030 – we are here to support you. It’s a good idea to have your UCAS number (if you have one), a list of your qualifications (including GCSEs) and something to take notes with when you speak to us. We might be able to give you a verbal offer over the phone and we can help you with what comes next. Since you can only apply to one course at a single university at a time, talking to us if you have any questions can speed up the process for you. Lastly, if you do decide to join us at Bolton, we’ll guide you through the whole journey. Just make sure to check your emails regularly for updates and information at each stage of the process (spam folder too, please.)


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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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