UCAS Adjustment

UCAS Adjustment was a system that used to let prospective students, who received higher grades than expected, to apply for a course with higher entry requirements.

From 2022 onwards, this scheme will no longer be offered, but students can opt for self release instead.

Now that UCAS has removed the Adjustment process for entry in September 2022 and beyond, you will need to use the UCAS Self Release system on the UCAS Hub if you'd like to change your firm choice university after receiving your results in August 2022 (July for some qualifications) .

Please note that this will mean you decline your firm choice place immediately and enter Clearing.

You’d also lose your automatic insurance choice place, so make sure that you check with your insurance choice if you wish to go there instead. This option became available in 2019 and now replaces the Adjustment process.

Adjustment was removed by UCAS in the autumn of 2021 because not enough students were taking up the opportunity, and the Self Release process became a more popular choice instead for those who found their plans had change, e.g. if they wanted to stay closer to home or achieved better grades than anticipated.

Before you use the Self Release option, always check and receive assurances from other universities and courses that an alternative place in Clearing is available.

Once you’ve released your place, you’re in Clearing, and your obligation between you and your original firm/insurance choice is removed.

Remember, it's also vital that you check carefully about other important issues such as student accommodation, including available places either on or close to the campus.

What was UCAS Adjustment?

For students who achieved better grades than expected, Adjustment meant they had the opportunity to try and secure an alternative course and/or university to your original firm choice (although they could not change their insurance choice).

For example, you may originally have had a firm offer at the University of Newcastle to study Geography, but your achieved grades meant you could try to obtain a place to study the same course at a more highly ranked university, such as Warwick.  

The Adjustment process lasted from A level results day onwards, up until 31 August.

However, students were only given 5 days (including weekends) to find an alternative course.

How did Adjustment work?

Registration for Adjustment took place through the UCAS Track system.

Afterwards, you then had 5 days (including weekends) to use it, starting from when your conditional firm (CF) offer changes to unconditional firm (UF), or on A level results day – whichever came later.

If your offer went to Unconditional Firm less than five days before 31 August, you only had whatever time was left between then and 31 August to use Adjustment and find another university place.

Further information

For more tips and advice on getting into university, please see: