Advice on what to do when results are published in August

exam-results news

Careers Information

If you fail to meet the requirements of their offer and are considering a remark in a subject it is important that you get it sent off early as universities are more likely to honour an offer after a grade change until the 31st August. If your grade goes up after this date the university may not accept you.



Students can check ucastrack ( using their unique UCAS ID from 7.00am Thursday 16th August to see if they have gained a place on either their Firm or Insurance chosen courses. Students are advised not to worry if their place is not yet confirmed – it may take some time.


Ulster University

Ulster University have set up an advice line for students who have not met the conditions of their offer and that all updates will be made on UCAS track and admissions staff will endeavour to make decisions as quickly as possible. UCAS applicants are asked to check on the progress of their application through the use of their personal identification number on UCAS Track in the first instance.



The University will be providing an Admissions Enquiry Line for applicants/enquiries to undergraduate courses. This telephone line is intended to assist students who require information and advice concerning their application.


Applicants who have met the specified conditions for admission to Ulster University will have their offer of a place confirmed by UCAS during the week following the publication of results. These applicants should NOT telephone the Helpline.


Callers will be instructed to: – Key`1` for Clearing and course enquires – Pupils Key`2` for Teachers and Careers Practitioners (The purpose of this option is to assist with queries of extenuating or special circumstances ONLY.)


The enquiry line operating times will be: Thursday 16 August, Friday 17 August and Monday 20 August: 9am to 5pm

  • `Adjustment and Clearing` enquiries will continue to be serviced until 25 August as follows: – Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 August: 9am to 5pm – Friday 24 August: 9am to 4pm – Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 August: 9am to 5pm

N.B. At results time it is important that students regularly check their e-mails/ mobile phone and UCAS track and reply to any offers/ submit evidence of qualifications promptly if requested to do so by a university. Universities work all through the weekend after results day in August and will often contact students by phone/ e-mail during that time.



Course Enquiry Form

QUB offer a course enquiry system where any student can complete a course enquiry form and request that they be considered for an alternative course. E-mail the form to ensure it is received a.s.a.p. Forms can be submitted from June onwards.


The course enquiry form can be used in the following circumstances:

  • A student wishes to be considered for a course at QUB only if they are unsuccessful in gaining admission to their CF and / or CI offer at Queen’s – this can be because they have failed to meet the grade requirements for their Firm/ Insurance choice or have simply changed their mind.
  • A student wishes to be considered for a course at QUB instead of a CF / CI offer they are holding at Queen’s – even if they are successful in gaining a place on their CF/CI..
  • A student has been accepted on their firm choice at another institution but wishes to apply for a course through the adjustment process. (Cannot be used for Medicine/ Dentistry.)
  • A student wishes to apply for a QUB course through the clearing process.


Course enquiry forms are available online at


Ulster University and QUB Advice Days:

If you are held pending on your CF or CI choice with University of Ulster and/ or QUB you may wish to go to their advice days to speak to someone in the faculty/ admissions – ring them first to make sure it is worth your while going up there.


Queens – 028 9097 3838.

Ulster –   028 7028 7028 


Queens is on Monday 20th August in the Whitla Hall 2.00pm start – advisable to get there early. This is intended for applicants who wish to discuss possible options or admission in 2019. It is not intended for applicants who have already been unsuccessful and who wish to appeal a decision.

Medical & Dental applicants – If any vacancies in Medicine are available QUB try to accommodate some of those who initially applied to QUB, attended an interview but were not made a conditional offer, provided they’re not committed to any other medical school through UCAS. If you have achieved AAA/a or AAAA or above, were interviewed for Medicine by QUB and would like to be reconsidered e-mail your results to and confirm that you would like to be reconsidered. There is no need to go to the information session at Whitla Hall unless you wish to discuss entry for 2019.


Ulster is on Friday 17th August from 9.00am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm until 4.00pm at Jordanstown campus and 9..00am to 1.00pm in Magee and 9.00am – 1.00pm in Coleraine.


What will be available at University of Ulster’s Advice Day?

Applicants attending Advice Day will receive information and help on:

  • Alternative modes of study – general advice on part-time degree opportunities
  • Employability advice – wider advice and guidance on options going forward
  • Financial support – expert advice on financial support (for both full-time & part-time study)
  • Faculty information – more detailed, course-based information and advice from Ulster’s faculties with regard to any possible places available through Clearing and/or part-time study alternatives
  • Residential Services – opportunity to discuss accommodation issues


Who should attend Advice Day?

  •  Those who already know that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on a full-time degree course at Ulster and who wish to investigate specific alternatives
  • Those who wish to study part-time at Ulster
  • Those who have been asked to attend Advice Day as a result of direct contact with one of Ulster’s faculties
  • Those looking for advice on the financial support available to them irrespective of their mode of study
  • Those who wish to examine broader life-work options


Who should NOT attend Advice Day?

  •  Those simply wanting to check upon the status of their offer (they should instead use the UCAS Track facility)
  • Those hoping to obtain a place informally
  • Those hoping to be placed on a “waiting list”


Case Study Scenarios that students may face in August:

Case 1 – You get the grades and/or points you require or higher for your firm choice.

You have achieved your Firm choice. You have honoured the contract and the university is legally obliged to take you. The University and/or UCAS will contact you within a few days. Organise your accommodation and check your finances. If you have not received a letter from your CF university asking you to sign and return to accept your place within 5 days of the A’Level results you are advised to contact them.


Case 2 – You do not meet the offer requirements of your Firm Choice:

The university is not obliged to take you even if the points total of your grades is equal to or greater than was asked for e.g. if you needed BBC and you got AAD, you have not met the requirements and you are not legally entitled to a place. The problem is worsened if the short fall is in the main subject related to your degree e.g. if you apply for BA Hons English BBB and you got ABC with the C in English.


Outcome – There are a number of possibilities:

  1. You may still be accepted for your firm choice if they have places left and want to take you.
  2. You will be held on a reserve list (pending) until the accepted students respond. You are advised to check TRACK several times a day for updates but this situation can last for up to 10 days when universities should have decided whether to accept or reject you.
  3. The university will reject you for the specific course but will make you an alternative offer either for a foundation degree or a different degree course in the same faculty. NB You do not have to accept a Change of Course Offer.
  4. The university will reject you and inform UCAS and you move on to your Insurance Choice – if you meet the requirements for your insurance choice the university has to hold onto it for you until your Firm choice has made up their mind.
  5. If you do not meet the requirements for your Insurance choice then you will go into clearing.


N.B. Do not get anxious about your Insurance choice whilst your Firm choice is still showing pending – UCAS and universities can’t move onto your Insurance choice until a decision is made about the Firm choice. This can hold you up but if you have the Grades/points required for your Insurance choice the university will have to keep this place open for you so your Insurance place will be safe.


Case 3 – You are rejected by both your Firm and Insurance choice


(a) Go into Clearing. The Queens and Ulster websites, the UCAS website at and the newspapers, The Independent and the Mirror will all have information on clearing vacancies beginning on Thursday 16th August. Be very careful and research your options fully. Degrees cost thousands of pounds so make sure you choose wisely. You will be given a clearing passport number that you must give to universities if trying to gain a place through clearing. UCAS will also send you a Clearing number and you should send this to the Institution which has agreed to offer you a place if you intend to study there.

(b) Go to a College of Further and Higher Education eg Belfast Met., South West College, etc. and do a Foundation degree which can lead you on to a degree course or straight into employment. This can work out cheaper as fees can be lower and you may be exempt from having to pay fees for any part-time courses as these are assessed on the student’s own income and not family income.

(c) Return to school and upgrade your qualifications and re-apply through UCAS next year.

N.B. You will need to ring the school and make an appointment to speak to a member of management if you want to request returning to school to re-take Year 14.

(d) Consider a different career route.


Deferring (Change of year of entry)

If, having been accepted for admission this year, you decide that you would like to defer entry until September 2019, you should put your request in writing to the university (e-mail is fine).


CAO Applicants

If you have sat an English Board A’Level exam you will need to check in August that CAO have received details of your grade(s). If not, make sure confirmation of your grade is sent to them. CAO will contact you about your application shortly after your A Level results. Round 1 CAO offers are usually made on the Monday after A’Level results. CAO and UCAS are two separate systems so you potentially can have an offer from both in August and can then take a few days to decide which one you prefer. If you are accepting a place through CAO please contact the careers department at school so we can make a record of this as CAO do not inform us of students that have been placed through them.

Final Points

  • Always have your UCAS number with you when dealing with any UCAS matter.
  • Think clearly about what you wish to find out before contacting your degree course selector. Write down any particular questions you may wish to have answered.
  • If you are in clearing have your clearing passport number ready when contacting universities
  • Write down the names of people you are in contact with so that you can ask to speak to them in further discussions about your application.


Mrs Mc Morrow will be in school on Thursday 16th August from 10.00am until 3.00pm if you have any further queries.


Remember: The earlier you begin looking at alternative courses the more chance you have of gaining a place on a reputable course at a reputable college/ university. If you are held pending for more than a few days and have not met the conditions of your firm or insurance choice it is advisable to start looking around at other courses/ opportunities as soon as possible.