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By Emma Craig

3rd year BU student, BA (Hons) Events and Leisure Marketing


I had always wanted to go to university since I started college as I realised how many doors it could open for me.

I started college with 4 A-Levels, Health and Social Care, Maths, Human Biology and Sport but after my first term I decided to drop Health and Social Care and carry on with the other three. However, I still found that I really didn’t have any passion in the A-Levels that I had chosen. As a result of this I ended up finishing my first year of college with the grades D, E, U. This meant that I couldn’t proceed onto A2 of my courses. This is when I realised that I needed to choose subjects that I actually enjoyed and wanted to pursue. So I started Business and Accounts A-Levels and I carried on my Sport at A2. So after already spending 2 years at college and having to start my third year with just 2 A-Levels I was ready to start applying to universities.

I knew I wanted to stay by the coast so I applied for Bournemouth, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Brighton. After an open day at BU I realised that Bournemouth was where I wanted to be. However, because I had a D in Sport and was applying for Sport Management I got declined from Bournemouth in the early stages of my university application.

I then made Portsmouth my firm choice and Brighton my insurance choice and I was on target to get the predicted grades for both. In my third year of college too much freedom due to only doing 2 A-Levels meant I ended up working way too many hours at my part-time job. I didn’t realise this was affecting my grades until A-Level results day when I found out that I was 20 UCAS points from my firm choice. I did have enough UCAS points for my insurance choice but I was told when I phoned them up that they wouldn’t be accepting my 20 UCAS points from my A2 Level. This is when I started to worry that I wouldn’t be going to university and that all my friends would be going but I would have to stay at home.

From this point I was determined to do whatever I could to get to university. My tutor reminded me of Clearing and I was straight on the Bournemouth University website as this had been the uni I had really wanted to attend from the very start, to see if they would be accepting applicants via Clearing. When I didn’t see BU on the Clearing list I panicked but being determined I phoned BU and indeed I was greeted with a message saying that BU wouldn’t be accepting applicants via Clearing. Despite this I was persistent and I stayed on the phone anyway. Once I had got through I explained my situation and realised that although I had applied for Sport courses I actually had an A in Business and figured I should probably enrol onto a course which was more business focus than sport.

The lady on the end of the phone asked me to tell her about myself as well as my studies and this is when she suggested I may be suited to an Events and Leisure Marketing degree. I quickly thought on the spot and researched the degree online while still on the phone and finally, a smile was on my face when I realised this degree would tie together my leisure interests with my business strengths. I agreed and after discussing my other results I was accepted at Bournemouth University through Clearing. Although I didn’t exactly know what the degree was at the time of accepting the offer, I have had the best three years of my life so far at BU and I am just approaching the end of my placement year actually working for Bournemouth University as well.

My advice would be not to panic and to always be persistent and try to get to where you want to be, even if it means adapting your route slightly, it will probably work out better for you like it did me. Good luck!

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