If you meet and exceed the conditions of your first choice and are thinking about an alternative course or university, UCAS Adjustment may be the right option for you. But what exactly does the UCAS Adjustment process involve? And where can you find UCAS Adjustment vacancies? Find out more below.

What is Clearing and Adjustment?

Civil Engineering student

So, what is Clearing and Adjustment? To put it simply, both UCAS Clearing and Adjustment give you another chance to find the best course for you – just in slightly different ways.

The main difference between UCAS Clearing and Adjustment is that Adjustment allows you to apply for alternative courses that have higher entry requirements, without risking your unconditional offer.

So if you secure a place at your firm choice university, but decide to reconsider where or what you want to study and are interested in a course at Salford, you can still apply here through Adjustment 2021 – as long as you have met and exceeded the conditions of your original offer.

Here is an example of how Adjustment works:


Meeting and exceeding your offer

Not meeting and exceeding your offer

A level BBB

A level ABB

A level BBC or A level BBBB

96 Tariff points including C in French

96 Tariff points including B in French

112 Tariff points including D in French

SQA Higher BCC

SQA Higher ABC

SQA Higher ACD

UCAS Adjustment 2021

UCAS Adjustment 2021 is available from A-Level results day until 18 August 2021. It’s entirely optional, and it’s important to note that most competitive courses will be full – but other applicants might have missed their conditions or swapped their course too, so it’s always worth checking what’s available.

How does UCAS Adjustment work?

So how does Adjustment work? The first part of the UCAS Adjustment process is to register for Adjustment in UCAS Track. If you think that Adjustment may be the right option for you, there are some important factors to consider:

  • You only have five 24-hour periods, including weekends, to use UCAS Adjustment. These 24-hour periods start from when your conditional firm offer changes to unconditional firm, or on A-Level results day – whichever is latest. 
  • Adjustment is available until 18 August 2021. This is the last date you can use Adjustment if you're eligible to apply via this route.
  • It’s important to talk to universities that you’re interested in. There isn’t a vacancy list for Adjustment, so you will need to check course details on UCAS or university websites and contact them about their UCAS Adjustment vacancies.
  • If you decide to contact us, have your UCAS ID ready and tell us that you are eligible for Adjustment (we won’t be able to see your application unless you’ve registered). If you’re just gathering information about different UCAS Adjustment courses at this stage, tell the call handler this too. It’s important to confirm that you’re just gathering information at this time – only verbally agree an offer with a university if you’re absolutely sure you want it.
  • If you receive an offer over the phone, tell the call handler if you would like to accept this. Remember that you only have one Adjustment offer and you have time to gather different offers, so make sure that you accept the right one.
  • Your original choice will be safe while you're looking for a different course – you'll only lose it if you confirm you'd like to go elsewhere, and the new university adds themselves to your application.

Once you accept an offer, the university will add themselves to your application on UCAS. Your UCAS Track screen will then be updated with the new choice, and UCAS will send you a confirmation letter.

If you don’t want to accept an offer, you can keep on looking. Or once your Adjustment time limit is up, you’ll just keep your original place.

Things to keep in mind when using UCAS Adjustment

  • You can only use UCAS Adjustment if you have met and exceeded the conditions of your firm offer.
  • If you’re thinking about using Adjustment, it’s worth asking for advice beforehand. Speak to an adviser at your sixth form, college or careers office who can help you decide if Adjustment is the best option for you.
  • Applying through Adjustment is time-sensitive, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the UCAS Adjustment process beforehand.
  • If you’re simply enquiring about Adjustment, make sure you let universities know that you’re just gathering information when you speak to them. Only verbally agree on an offer if you’re absolutely sure you want to take it!
  • And don’t worry – if you decided to use UCAS Adjustment but don’t find an alternative course, you will still keep the course you were offered on results day.

Ready to contact us?

Call our Clearing 2021 team

If you'd like to learn more about Adjustment or apply for a course, contact our team on 0300 555 5030 or request a call back today.