SQA Results Day 2023: Navigating Your Next Steps

Navigating Your Next Steps

SQA results day is an important day for students across Scotland. Receiving your results can be daunting, and there are big decisions to make about your future. Though with the right guidance, you can stay prepared and navigate your next steps with confidence.

This guide provides tailored advice to help widening access students, including those from priority or SMD20 postcodes, navigate your next steps with confidence.

Whether you have achieved the results you were hoping for or not, this resource helps you make informed decisions about your future. We’ll cover everything you need to know about SQA results day 2023, how to apply to university through clearing, and more. 

So, let's dive in and explore your options.


When do students in Scotland get their SQA results?

Students in Scotland receive their SQA results on Tuesday 8 August 2023. You’ll receive your certificates via post on the day with official documentation of your achievements. If you have signed up to MySQA, students can receive their results via text or email, also on the same day. 

What to do if you haven’t received your results

If you haven't received your SQA results via text, email, or post, don't worry. Simply contact your school or college for assistance. For any issues with your certificate, call the SQA Candidate Advice line at 0345 279 1000.

What happens after you get your SQA results?

After receiving your SQA results, the next step is to check your university acceptance status via UCAS. UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) will automatically receive your results from the SQA on results day - you don't need to personally inform your chosen universities of your results. 

Your UCAS university choices will either confirm or reject your place depending on whether you meet the entry requirements.

To check your acceptance status, log in to UCAS on the morning of SQA results day. If you have successfully met the entry requirements for your chosen university, you will be able to view and accept your offer. Remember, this process eliminates the need for direct communication with the universities regarding your results, as UCAS handles the entire acceptance process for you.

What if I haven’t got into my chosen university?

If you haven’t been accepted into your chosen university, it’s important to be prepared and consider your next steps. Firstly, remember that lots of students find themselves disappointed on SQA results day, but there are plenty of options still open to you - such as clearing.

UCAS clearing is specifically designed for students who did not get into any of their chosen universities. It provides students with the opportunity to apply for alternative university courses if they do not meet the entry requirements for their original choices. 

Applying to university through clearing

To apply through clearing, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the UCAS website to explore available courses and universities that still have spaces through clearing. Additionally, research university websites. Most will have a dedicated clearing page that tells you more about the process, such as clearing at Heriot-Watt
  2. Review the entry requirements for each course that catches your interest. Make sure that you meet the minimum qualifications or any specific subject requirements mentioned on the university website. 
  3. Make a list of universities and courses you want to apply to. Note down their clearing hotline numbers and any additional contact details provided on their websites.
  4. Gather your UCAS ID and grades, though it’s a good idea to have your personal statement to hand to refer to when contacting universities.
  5. Call your chosen clearing universities one by one. Introduce yourself and explain that you’re interested in applying through clearing. You’ll likely need to provide your personal details, qualifications and the course(s) you are interested in.
  6. Log in to your UCAS Track account and add the university and course you want to accept as your clearing choice. Follow the instructions provided on the UCAS Track website. It is worth noting that you can only apply for one course at a time. UCAS will notify the universities and they will contact you with further instructions.
  7. Accept your offer via UCAS Track.

Prepare early

To stay prepared, familiarise yourself with the clearing process before SQA results day and keep an eye on the clearing search for available spaces. If your results don’t go as planned, you can use the clearing process to contact universities that still have open vacancies.

It can take several days to receive a successful offer via clearing. So, stay calm, be persistent, and remember that the process could lead to the start of your university journey in just a few weeks.

Widening participation for care experienced and SIMD20 students

We understand that not everyone has an equal chance to showcase their full potential. Many universities, including Heriot-Watt, consider SQA results in context. As part of this, we extend a minimum entry requirements offer to students from the following groups:

  • Care experienced students: anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short.  This care may have been provided in one of many different settings, such as in residential care, foster care, kinship care or looked after at home with a supervision requirement.
  • From a priority postcode area: those from priority or SMD20 postcodes.

At Heriot-Watt, we understand the importance of providing the right support to help you achieve your academic goals, and support a wide range of widening access students. Explore our approach to widening access to learn more about how we can support you, or call us on results day on the Clearing helpline.

Are there SQA appeals in 2023?

If you have concerns about your SQA results, you have the option to make an appeal. Should you choose to appeal your results, you can either submit it directly to the SQA yourself or request your teacher to submit the appeal on your behalf. 

The appeals process is completely free and opens at 9 am on SQA results day. The 2023 process is slightly different from previous years’, in that alternative assessment evidence will not be looked at. 

You can find the full details for the SQA 2023 Appeals Process on the official SQA website. 

Clearing at Heriot-Watt

Clearing can offer a fresh perspective on what you want to get out of your university experience. At Heriot-Watt, we recognise the importance of helping you take your next steps with confidence, and are here to help you with a range of support services and study opportunities. 

Here’s why to consider Heriot-Watt:

Get in touch

Have questions about clearing? Register for clearing support to access our clearing hotline number and receive timely updates.

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