Student Advice

12 of the Best Ranked Universities in Clearing 2024

Ben Maples  · Sep 26th 2023  · 7 min

A common misconception is that only the worst universities enter into Clearing. It could not be further from the truth and these twelve universities prove it.


University Clearing runs throughout July, August and September before concluding in October. After A Level Results day, Clearing spaces begin disappearing left, right and centre.

But what are the best Clearing universities? Ultimately, it’s down to you, the student and what you want most from the university you apply to. However, using Uni Compare’s university rankings system, we have the eight best Clearing universities for 2023.

Edge Hill University Clearing

Edge Hill University

TrophyRanked #1 for university accommodation

Based in Ormskirk, Lancashire, Edge Hill University is a campus-based public research university. The university opened in 1885 as a teacher-training college but did not receive full university status until 2006.

The university ranks as the best university in the UK for student accommodation. The university’s accommodation includes free WiFi, en-suites and shared bathrooms, 24-hour campus support, and spacious communal areas.

Newman University Clearing

Newman University

TrophyRanked #1 for course quality

Newman University is a public university based in Bartley Green, Birmingham. The university is a member of the coveted Cathedral’s Group of Universities in the UK. Initially founded in 1968 as Newman College of Higher Education, the institute gained full university status in 2013.

Newman University ranks as the number one university for overall course quality in the UK. This means that the university’s courses and potential post-graduation employment opportunities for students are ranked exceptionally well.

University of Bath Clearing

University of Bath

TrophyRanked #5 overall for graduate employability

The University of Bath is a public research university located in Bath. Initially, the University of Bath started off as the Merchant Venturers Technical College in 1886. The college underwent several transformations before becoming the University of Bath in 1971. The university is part of the Universities UK and the Wallace Group of Universities.

The university is the highest-ranked Clearing university for employability. This means that students have a good chance of finding industry placements or work post-graduation, either through the university’s connections to specific industries or the prestige of the courses on offer.

University of Liverpool Clearing

University of Liverpool

TrophyRanked #1 for student life

Students are constantly asking whether Russell Group Universities ever enter into Clearing. The University of Liverpool will be entering into Clearing for 2023, and they come very highly recommended.

The University of Liverpool is a public research university based in the city of Liverpool. It is one of the six red-brick civic universities in the UK today and comprises three faculties organised into 35 different departments and schools.

As a university, it is currently ranked as number one for student nightlife. Of course, the city of Liverpool is renowned as one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK, even if you are not a student. However, its bustling nightlife with a near-un-ending selection of nightclubs, pubs, restaurants and anything else imaginable makes it the best place for students who want the best social life possible.

University of Sheffield

TrophyRanked #2 overall in England

The University of Sheffield is ranked as the second-best university in England. This ranking takes the university’s accommodation, course quality, social and careers ranking and overall recommendation rating to find where it sits among the best in England. The university is second only to yet another Clearing university - the University of Liverpool.

The University of Sheffield is a public research university based in South Yorkshire in Sheffield. Like the University of Liverpool, it is a part of the illustrious Russell Group of Universities, the White Rose University Consortium and the N8 Group.

University of Strathclyde Clearing

University of Strathclyde

TrophyRanked #3 overall in Scotland

The University of Strathclyde is a public research university based in Scotland. It is one of the oldest universities in the UK and is considered one of the most prestigious to study at.

Established in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, it did not become a full university until 1964. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, the university is considered to be the best Clearing university in Scotland, based on their overall Uni Compare rankings in accommodation, course quality, social and careers ranking and overall recommendation rating.

Swansea University Clearing

Swansea University

TrophyRanked #1 in Wales

Swansea University is ranked as the number one university in all of Wales by Uni Compare users. The university was founded in 1920, then known as the University College of Swansea, then the University of Wales, Swansea in 1996, before changing its name entirely to Swansea University in 2007.

Swansea University ranks high in all areas of Uni Compare’s ranking categories. Achieving no lower than a 4.11 out of 5 in accommodation, course quality, social and careers ranking and overall recommendation rating.

Ulster University Clearing

Ulster University

TrophyRanked #1 in Northern Ireland

The best university in Northern Ireland, voted for by Uni Compare users, is Ulster University. The university comes with a staggering 95% recommended rating and high scores in accommodation, course quality, social and career ranking.

Ulster University was initially founded in 1865 as Magee College. After receiving its university status, the university underwent many name changes and, despite its current name, is still legally known as the University of Ulster, the name it formally adopted in 1982.

It is the largest university in Northern Ireland. Across the whole of Ireland, it is the second largest and has one of the highest further study and employment rates in the UK.

Nottingham Trent University Clearing

Nottingham Trent University

TrophyRanked #3 overall in the Top 100

The highest-rated Clearing university in the UK is Nottingham Trent University. Founded in 1843 as the Nottingham Government School of Design, it did not receive university status until 1992, when it became Nottingham Trent University.

The university currently sits at a dizzying 99% recommendation ranking across the UK. This is also supplemented by its high scorers in accommodation, course quality, social and career ranking.

Northumbria University Clearing

Northumbria University

TrophyRanked #6 overall for student life

Located in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England, is the public research institute, Northumbria University. First established in 1877 as Rutherford College of Technology, it became Newcastle Polytechnic in 1969 and gained university status in 1992.

The university has a very impressive ranking of 6th overall for student life. This is a hugely impressive achievement for the university, making it one of the highest-ranked Clearing universities in this area.

Cardiff Metropolitan University Clearing

Cardiff Metropolitan University

TrophyRanked #8 overall for employability

Originally established in 1865 as Cardiff School of Art, this university has seen lots of transformations. In 1976, it was renamed to South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education, then Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (CIHE) in 1990, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) in 1996 and finally, Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2011.

Cardiff Metropolitan University is ranked as one of the best universities in the UK for employability. It ranks as one of the highest in this area for universities entering Clearing for 2023.

University of Surrey Clearing

University of Surrey

TrophyRanked #5 overall for accommodation

The University of Surrey is ranked 5th overall for accommodation in the UK. One of the highest scores for a Clearing university. The university boasts a selection of accommodations available to students of all financial backgrounds and catering to those with specific needs along the way.

The university was founded in 1966, receiving its university status immediately. It is a member of the Association of MBAs and is one of only four members in the University Global Partnership Network.

Anglia Ruskin University Clearing

Anglia Ruskin University

TrophyRanked #6 overall for course quality

Anglia Ruskin University is a public university based in East Anglia. The university has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Writtle, Peterborough and London.

The university focuses on four main areas of study:

  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.
  • Faculty of Business and Law.
  • Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care.
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Anglia Ruskin University is ranked as the 6th best university in the UK for overall course quality. This means the university offers some of the best courses and educational programmes in the UK.

All in all, the best university to study at during Clearing is the one that best suits you. Uni Compare’s university rankings will give you a good idea of the best places to study for certain things. However, the overall decision should be made on what is best for you.

You should still attend some university open days. Find out what it is that each university offers and what their unique selling point is, and make your decision from there. It is important to make the decision based on what you want. Do you prefer universities with ties to the industry you are looking to work in? Do you want a university that has a better nightlife? Do you prefer a university with the best teaching standard? Take all of these into account when you enter into Clearing.

View all universities in Clearing 2023 on Uni Compare and search for Clearing courses and degrees.

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