Real Life Experiences of Clearing

View Clearing as an opportunity rather than a failure! Here is a selection of success stories about students who found their course and university through Clearing. Read what students themselves say about the Clearing experience:

Clearing choices

A last minute decision and application through Clearing brings Emma success.

  • Emma gained a place at London South Bank University through Clearing in 2009, when she made a last minute decision to go to university to study for a BA (Hons) in Theatre Practice and Creative Producing, to learn the skills needed to run her own theatre. Emma graduated in 2012 and has just successfully launched her own natural cosmetics business Agese Oils, with the help of LSBU’s Enterprise Associate Scheme. Emma, Theatre Practice and Creative Producing, London South Bank University

"After going to interviews and finding out more about the courses I originally applied for, I decided it wasn't for me.

  • "I made sure that I was free to apply for courses through Clearing and called the MMU Clearing helpline. Luckily there were places on the course and I had the entry requirements. I was put through to the tutor and was offered a place on the course, which sounded really interesting." Laura, Manchester Metropolitan University

"I rang Sheffield Hallam and they answered all my questions. They held my place for me for as long as they possibly could, and were really helpful.

  • "I was invited to a Clearing Open Day where I spoke to students and lecturers. I toured my campus and felt at home before I'd even started. Don’t get disheartened and don’t give up – clearing can be stressful but it can lead to really good outcomes." Caitlin, Sheffield Hallam University – see Caitlin's full story at 

"Getting a place to study History with Film studies at Essex through Clearing turned out to be the best accidental decision I’ve made.

  • "Even though I’m not studying Drama like I intended to, I’ve still been able to act by joining the theatre arts society and performed in a play that was part of the 2012 London International Theatre Festival." Deborah, 3rd year BA History and Film Studies, University of Essex

A change in course and a place at the University Connor really wanted to attend.

  • Connor, a second year Law student came to the University of East Anglia through the clearing process in 2011. As Connor prepares to spend his third year abroad in Belgium, he is confident that clearing offered him the chance to be on the right course. Connor says: "Although it was disappointing not to get the results I hoped for, I had already decided I might be better studying Law and, by applying through Clearing on results day, I secured a place at UEA where I had really wanted to study." Connor, Law, University of Essex
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"I was offered a university place but when I looked at the course structure I discovered that it didn’t cover the subjects I loved. Clearing gave me the chance to find exactly the right course.

  • "I spoke to people working in medical research and they recommended Greenwich. The School of Science is well respected by professionals and the facilities on the Medway campus are high quality. A lot of money has been invested in recent years.  I’ve been here for two years now and I fully recommend the University of Greenwich. The teaching is excellent. In general there is a great atmosphere on campus.
  • "My Clearing advice to others would be not to be stressed out by the whole scenario. Make sure you have read the detail of the course at each university. Look at the structure to check that it covers the subjects you want to study. Clearing is a second chance to get it right. Don’t be afraid that you are settling for something less. For me it was an opportunity to get the best."  Billy, studying BSc Hons Biological Sciences, University of Greenwich

"I've had such a wonderful time at the University of Essex, a chance that I wouldn't have had if they hadn't taken a chance on me by accepting me through Clearing.

  • "I have since achieved a first class degree in BA Philosophy and Politics, am currently working for a London MP and will begin my MSc Political Behaviour in October. I also have worked for the Clearing process, helping other students to achieve their potential through university education." Lauren, BA Philosophy and Politics, 2013 graduate

"Clearing was something I had never heard about or considered as I had always thought I would get one of my choices, but sadly I didn’t get the grades for either my firm or insurance choice.

  • "I was devastated and thought that meant my pursuit of University was over – but a friend of mine, who had applied to Middlesex for a different course, convinced me to apply to Middlesex through Clearing.  When I rang up Middlesex on Results Day I was surprised to find out that there were still places for BA Honours Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish, a combination I hadn’t come across after having initially applied for a single Honours degree in Journalism at two different universities. However the combination of the subjects meant I could study Journalism as I had initially planned but also continue studying Spanish as I loved the language and had studied it at school and college. Fortunately I did have the grades for the course so I was granted a place on the day, with my letter of confirmation arriving in the post the next day, which meant I was able to go to University after all.
  • "Looking back, to say I was disappointed was an understatement, but I believe everything happens for a reason and because of my decision to study at Middlesex I had so much more opportunities. Besides broadening my knowledge of Spanish even further, I participated in the study abroad (Erasmus) programme in which I spent five months studying at the University of Córdoba in Spain for a semester. It was one of the best experiences as not only did I immerse myself into a different culture, by living with Spanish students and joining the University volleyball team, but I also gained a lot of confidence in my speaking ability and I am now able to communicate confidently in Spanish
  • "I would advise anyone going through Clearing to not think of it as a failure; failure would be failing to get the grades and giving up at the first hurdle – Clearing gives you a second chance." Danielle Ferguson, BA Honours Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish, Middlesex University
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"I’d been at university for a year but the course was wrong for me. I thought and thought about it over the summer and finally decided to start again.

  • "I had heard good reviews of the Public Relations degree and it was recognised by the professional body CIPR so I applied through Clearing. My advice for people applying through Clearing this year is make sure you’ve put all your questions down before you phone up. Be really clear what you want, and try to get as much done there and then as you can. Be willing to hold on to talk to a tutor, or wait for information, rather than be told 'We’ll call you back', because that just drags things out. There is a lot to organise so it pays to be as assertive as possible. Basically – seize the moment." Jasmine, studying BA Public Relations, University of Greenwich

"Before Clearing, I wasn’t aware that the University of Essex even existed, but now that I’m here, I’m loving it!

  • "The quality of study is high, with loads of support from staff. There are loads of societies and clubs to get involved with. There are also lots of opportunities to work whilst studying, like the Frontrunner placements. In other words, Essex is great – a great place to live, study and have fun." Oyinsola, 2nd year BEng Telecomm Engineering, University of Essex

"My first love was midwifery. I tried for four years to get a place. I passed the exams but I don’t interview well, and it is very competitive.

  • "Then I sat down and thought: What else can I do? My other love is film and TV. I contacted the university on Clearing day and told them what I wanted to do. The tutor called me back the same day and gave me a phone interview. She offered me a place there and then. I haven’t looked back since. My advice to anyone applying this year is don’t give up! Be prepared for Clearing. Do your research and have all the information ready that you will need to give to admissions teams." Miranda, studying BSc Film & TV Production, University of Greenwich

Changed course offer after just missing grades for first choice course.

  • "With my heart set solely on Aston University, I initially felt a real blow to discover that I had just missed the ABB A-level grades to make it onto my first choice Business and Management course. I picked Aston for its great overall reputation and city campus, so was willing to look at the other options available to me through being offered an alternative course in Business. I was contacted by the Joint Honours team who informed me that I could combine a Business course with a large range of other topics. Like all other Business School students, I would still be able to complete a placement and choose a specific Business stream in my final year. After making my subject choices and speaking to Joint Honours, I was offered a place on their BSc Business and Sociology programme.
  • "Despite not being my initial first choice course, my experience has been fantastic. Being a Joint Honours student offers you a great opportunity to keep your studies varied and lets you make friends from different academic schools.
  • "Not only have the teachings from both sides benefited my experience in both subjects, I spent my placement year working in Marketing for Disney in London and now have a Graduate Job with Warner Brothers." Chris, graduate, Aston University, Birmingham graduate.

Niamh is thankful that she went through Clearing. She didn’t know she was in Clearing until late afternoon on results day, and thought it was already too late.

  • However, Niamh was offered places at several universities and had her verbal offer from Coventry University after just 20 minutes. 
  • For Niamh “the best thing was it gave me chance to think about my options and change course”. Niamh graduates this year and now works for student recruitment at Coventry University. Niamh, graduate, Coventry University

"I had my heart set on going to the University of York, and when I didn't do as well in my English A-level as I had expected, I was disappointed to find York could not accept me on my chosen course.

"I had succeeded in getting a place at my insurance offer University, but I didn't want to go there anymore. I was offered lots of support from my school, but ultimately it was my decision and I had to go and research my options. I found a course at the University of York in Clearing that I hadn't even known existed. I called the admissions tutor for the course and was accepted! Going into Clearing was the best thing that ever happened to me and I've just secured a job in an industry I'd never thought to consider when I was at school." Roberta, graduate, University of York
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