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Gabriella Compton has just finished her BSc (Hons) Anthropology degree after coming to BU through Clearing.


I was originally planning to do something like English or Psychology at university, but then I didn’t do as well in my A-levels as I initially thought.

I didn’t meet my predicted grades to get into the universities that I’d applied for, so I found myself on the Clearing list.

It was quite devastating and I was really upset about it. I was in a massive flap and rang my mum, who told me it wasn’t that bad – but, obviously, your mum has to say that.

Still in a bit of a flap, I rang up Bournemouth University and they were so helpful, nice and welcoming. The guy at the end of the phone was so nice and calming and told me not to worry.

He asked me what it was I wanted to do and gave me a list of similar courses I’d still be able to do. He sounded really genuine and understanding.

With Anthropology, it was something completely new – so I threw myself in at the deep end, but it’s ended up being really good.

Anthropology is basically looking at the evolution of humans and the different cultures as well. I look at biological anthropology, so more at the science and the physical evidence.


The course has been pretty demanding, lots of contact hours and it’s been a lot of work but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed the challenge.

And then with Bournemouth University in general, the lecturers are so helpful; my lecturers specifically have just been so great – I can’t sing them enough praise.

I’m actually going out to Belgium this summer with one of my lecturers to an archaeological dig. He asked me if I wanted to help dig at a famous Neanderthal cave site and obviously I jumped at the chance.

I’m going to stay on and do a Master’s in Osteoarchaeology next year. I am still so interested in the subject and I have so much more to learn, plus I want to pursue a career path in it and to do that I felt I would need the Master’s.

Bournemouth is a really nice place to live too. It’s small enough to pop over to your friend’s house for ten minutes and it’s not a waste of time. The weather is great and, obviously, the beach is great.

I’ve been on the lacrosse team for two years and have been the social secretary this year and will be next year as well. It’s been a really big part of coming to university – I’ve made a whole new group of friends and it was great to get involved with something I’ve never done before.

For anyone who finds themselves in Clearing, I’d say definitely give it a go – don’t think it’s the end of the world or you have to redo A-levels or go straight into a job.

Give clearing a go and look at universities you didn’t think of before.

I’ve had such a good three years and I wouldn’t swap it. I’m really happy I went through Clearing and found Bournemouth – I think it’s worked out for the best.



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