3 min read

A UK parent's guide to Results Day & Clearing 2024

A UK parent's guide to Results Day & Clearing 2024

by Judith Charlton

Results Day – the culmination of months of hard work, when your child receives their exam results and life changes with the opening of an email.

Our Parent's Guide to Results Day and Clearing is here to help answer any questions you may have about what happens on Results Day, and how the university admissions process works.



  1. When will results be released this year?

  2. What does UCAS Hub show on Results Day?

  3. The right results

  4. What if my child doesn't get the grades they expected?

  5. UCAS Clearing

  6. The next chapter


When will results be released this year?

Scottish Highers results will be released on Tuesday 8 August, 2024. A Level results will be released on Thursday 15 August.

In Scotland, if your child registered for MySQA – a direct link with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for viewing qualifications – they’ll get their results by text or email. A-Level students normally pick up their grades from school.

On Results Day, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) also updates your child’s Hub account – this is their personal online space where they prepare and submit their application.


What does UCAS Hub show on Results Day?

UCAS Hub doesn’t show grades; it shows the changes to your child’s university offers.

Prior to Results Day, they will have received responses to their university applications and selected both a firm and insurance choice.

Firm is their first choice; if this is a conditional offer, they will need to get the required grades. An insurance choice is in case they don’t meet the conditions of their firm choice. Again, if this is a conditional offer, they’ll need to meet those conditions.

If they accept an unconditional offer as their firm choice, their place at university is guaranteed and they won’t have an insurance choice.

On Results Day, the Hub updates the status of their offers to show:

  • their university place is confirmed 
  • they are in Clearing – either because they didn’t meet the conditions of their offers or didn’t receive any offers 
  • they've received an unconditional changed course offer – this is when one or both of your child's university choices offer an unconditional place with substantial changes to their original choice




The right results

If your child has selected an unconditional offer as their firm choice, they’ve got their university place, as it isn’t dependent on specific grades.

If their offer is conditional and they’ve got the required grades, it’s time to celebrate, too – they’re off to university!


What if my child doesn't get the grades they expected?

If your child doesn’t get the grades they need it can be heartbreaking for them, so it’s vital they know you’re still proud of them, how hard they’ve tried and the work they’ve put in.

They also need to understand it’s not the end of the world, or the end of their dreams for the future. They’ll need your support and you need to encourage them to stay calm and take a step-by-step approach to what happens next.

First, they should talk to their firm and insurance choice universities; they may suggest a place on another course.

If that isn’t an option, they can enter UCAS Clearing which lists thousands of course vacancies from universities across the UK. Your child will need to identify a course they’re interested in, contact the university and confirm whether they’ll offer them a place.

Your child has other options, too – they can appeal against their results, resit their exams or reapply to university next year – so, make sure they have a clear grasp of all the choices they can make.


UCAS Clearing

Your child will know they’re in Clearing because their status in their application will read ‘You are in Clearing’ and they will be given a unique Clearing ID number.

They’ll need this number, together with their UCAS ID, when they contact universities via their Clearing hotlines to discuss course vacancies.

If a university makes your child a verbal offer, this will be followed by an email explaining their next steps and how to enter their choice in their application before the offer expires.

Once your child adds this offer as their Clearing choice, this counts as them accepting the offer. When it’s confirmed, it’ll show as an acceptance on their ‘Choices’ page in their application.

It’s important not to panic during Clearing. Although it may feel like places are being snapped up, your child still needs to take their time and consider their options, so they can make the best decision for them. University hotlines are manned by trained advisers and they will be guided through the process.


The next chapter

The most important result of all is that your child finds the right path for them. So, whatever grades they achieve, plan to do something positive on Results Day. You’re witnessing the start of the next chapter in their lives and no matter what they go on to do, it will be amazing.


Although we use the terms parent/child in this blog for simplicity, it is intended for anyone fulfilling a parenting role.