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Highest-ranked universities in Clearing 2021

Need a uni place? Want a better one than your current offer? These top universities all have places in Clearing for 2021

More than 70,000 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. In 2019, Ucas introduced an option on Track that enables students to release themselves from unconditional firm offers.  

Here are the 15 highest-ranked universities that are offering undergraduate places in at least five different courses in Clearing in 2021.

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). Now that A-level results have been released, Clearing spaces at these universities can be expected to fill up quickly.

To check on the latest vacancies, check the Ucas Search page or visit the specific university website. You can also find a list of university contact details (including universities no longer offering spaces in Clearing) over on our sister site The Student Room. 

Loughborough university logo on a hot air balloon

Loughborough University

Uni ranking | 7th
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 for 2021 include: 

  • Natural sciences
  • Physics
  • Sports technology 
Discuss Loughborough University in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about Loughborough University in our guide

Lancaster university

Lancaster University

Uni ranking | 9th
TEF rating | Gold

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

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 

  • Economics
  • English literature
  • Philosophy
Discuss Lancaster University in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about Lancaster University in our guide

University of Warwick campus

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 for 2021 include:  
  • Classics
  • Modern languages
  • Psychology
Discuss University of Warwick in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Warwick in our guide

University of Bristol

Uni ranking | 12th
TEF rating | Silver

Bristol is a university that consistently places highly in uni league tables. As well as offering a range of well-regarded courses, Bristol might be a good choice if you fancy yourself as an up-and-coming comedian. Among its alumni are David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Chris Morris and Simon Pegg.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Accounting and finance
  • Geology
  • History of art
Discuss University of Bristol in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Bristol in our guide

University of Exeter

University of Exeter

Uni ranking | 13th
TEF rating | Gold

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

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Film and television studies
  • Geography
  • History
Discuss University of Exeter in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Exeter in our guide

The University of Leeds campus

University of Leeds

Uni ranking | 16th
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 musician Mark Knopfler.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Chemistry
  • Civil engineering
  • Pharmacology
Discuss University of Leeds in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Leeds in our guide

An aerial view of the University of Birmingham campus

University of Birmingham

Uni ranking | 17th
TEF rating | Gold

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

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Mathematics
  • International relations
  • Politics
Discuss University of Birmingham in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Birmingham in our guide

University of Southampton

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 for 2021 include: 
  • Electrical engineering
  • Geology
  • Law
Discuss University of Southampton in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Southampton in our guide

A University of York building

University of York

Uni ranking | 19th
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 for 2021 include: 
  • Robotic engineering
  • Linguistics
  • Interactive media
Discuss University of York in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of York in our guide

Looking up at a University of Manchester building

University of Manchester

Uni ranking | 20th
TEF rating | Silver

The University of Manchester is the third largest university in the UK, with more than 40,000 undergraduates and postgraduates studying there in 2019/20.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Adult nursing
  • Sociology
  • Earth and planetary sciences
Discuss University of Manchester in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Manchester in our guide

University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde

Uni ranking | 21st
TEF rating | Gold

Around 15,000 undergraduates study at the University of Strathclyde. It's particularly renowned for its engineering courses, but also ranks highly for courses such as business, law and pharmacy.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Biological sciences
  • European politics
  • Neuroscience
Discuss University of Strathclyde in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Strathclyde in our guide

A sign that reads Welcome to University of Dundee

University of Dundee

Uni ranking | 22nd=
TEF rating | Gold

The University of Dundee is one of two universities in Scotland's fourth-largest city (the other being Abertay University). Stephen Fry and Sir Clement Freud are among its previous rectors.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • Education and law
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing
Discuss University of Dundee in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Dundee in our guide

One of the historic buildings of University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

Uni ranking | 22nd=
TEF rating | Did not take part

One of the four ancient Scottish universities (alongside Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow), the University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495. It ranks highly for various courses including sports science, law and physics.

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • International business
  • Marine biology
  • Theology
Discuss University of Aberdeen in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Aberdeen in our guide

A building of UEA

UEA

Uni ranking | 24th=
TEF rating | Gold

Located on the outskirts of Norwich, the University of East Anglia's campus includes the eye-catching Sainsbury Centre which has doubled as the home of the Avengers in several blockbuster movies. 

Courses in Clearing for 2021 include: 
  • American studies
  • Business economics
  • Computing science
Discuss University of East Anglia in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of East Anglia in our guide

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

Uni ranking | 24th=
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 for 2021 include: 
  • Food science
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
Discuss University of Nottingham in the forum on our sister site The Student Room

Read more about University of Nottingham in our guide

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