Finding an Optometry Course through Clearing


As all students know, Clearing is the UCAS process of matching A Level students without university places to universities that have course vacancies. Essentially this is your second chance to get into university if things don’t quite work out on A Level results day.

You’ll be entered for Clearing if you apply for university after 30th June 2023, you haven’t applied for university by A Level results day, you weren’t made any offers by universities, or you didn’t meet the requirements of your offers.

Clearing officially opens on A Level results day and things move quickly – many courses are full within the first week, and sometimes the first day, of Clearing being open so it’s important to be prepared.

Worried you’ll be entered for Clearing? Firstly, don’t panic, and secondly – get yourself to our dedicated Clearing section for top tips, advice, and a Clearing checklist that will get you to university without breaking a sweat.

How to find Optometry course vacancies

There are three ways you can find Optometry course vacancies once Clearing officially opens on 17th August 2023.

The easiest way to find vacancies is to get on the UCAS website as they have a full list of universities and vacancies are updated regularly so you won’t end up applying for a vacancy that is already gone.

The second way you can find course vacancies is The Telegraph newspaper. This is the only paper in the UK that publishes a full list of course vacancies. It also has important phone numbers and great advice so it’s worth a read.

Finally, you can also phone a university directly to ask about vacancies if there is a particular course you’re interested in but you haven’t seen them advertise.

Not sure what to say when you call? Here are our top tips for calling universities during Clearing.

Applying for Optometry

Unfortunately Optometry is one of the most oversubscribed university courses in the UK.

In fact, there are only 9 optometry schools in the whole of the UK and the grades needed to get in range from AAA to ABB – so it can be tough to get in.

Optometry courses are offered at the following universities:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • University of Bradford
  • Aston University
  • Cardiff University
  • City University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Ulster

Because the courses are so popular universities don’t usually have course vacancies to offer during Clearing, they usually have a waitlist, so apply as early as you can if you want to study Optometry.

However Anglia Ruskin, Glasgow Caledonian, and the University of Bradford have previously had Optometry vacancies on offer during Clearing.

Alternatives to Optometry

Worried you won’t be successful during Clearing? Being open minded and considering other courses is the best way to ensure you get a university place during Clearing.

One of the most popular alternatives to Optometry is Orthoptics – where you’ll deal with issues such as muscular problems in clinical situations and usually be based in a hospital setting.

The University of Sheffield and the University of Liverpool both offer Orthoptics courses.