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Final year

BA (Hons) Social Work

This blog will take you through the opening of Clearing, what to expect, how to approach universities and choose a place. I’ll also go into detail about what to consider and how to negotiate with universities and how to handle Clearing if it’s unexpected!

Clearing 2023 is open from 5th July until 17th October.

Clearing is the way that universities fill their vacant spaces that haven’t yet been filled for the upcoming academic year. To be eligible for Clearing you would need to either not have achieved the grades you needed for your firm or insurance choice, received better grades than expected, and wish to apply to a different course or university now, you’ve changed your mind about your course or university, you didn’t receive any offers through UCAS, or you just didn’t apply before 30 June but want to attend university this September.

You can search and compare courses and filter using a ‘Clearing tool’ on Whatuni. This means you can compare and view universities and courses all in one place, which can help you stay organised and on task.

  1. Don’t rush! If it’s results day and you are now unexpectedly finding yourself using Clearing, remember to take your time. Clearing is open until mid-October and most universities will give you a few days to accept or reject an offer. When ringing universities to ask about their entry requirements, remember to take a pen and write down all the information they give you. Some universities can make you immediate offers, and it’s best not to rush straight in. Take your time to ask them about the course, the modules and what they can offer you for an academic experience. Remember to ask how long you have to accept or reject this offer to.
  2.  Make the decision that’s right for you. It’s hard not to compare yourself to your peers and friends going through their results day journey, but this is yours and you have the opportunity to choose what path you wish to follow that suits you. You don’t have to make the decision to attend university if the course you hoped for isn’t available. What might be right for someone else, isn’t always right for you.
  3. Be prepared and adaptable. When calling universities, be prepared your Clearing call may turn into an interview. Sometimes the call involves confirming your grades and checking there’s a vacancy available, however they may want to test your skills on the phone to check your suitability for their course. Some questions you may find yourself being challenged with, involve why you want to study that course and why at that university, so preparation is key. Learn about the course and university you’re applying for through clearing and be prepared to answer some questions on the day.
  4. Remain positive. When approaching universities to apply through Clearing, it’s good to remember you are trying to sell yourself to this university. Even if you didn’t quite get the grades you hoped for, you can still try and negotiate your way into courses that would usually ask for higher results. Consider all you have to offer to the university, including your life experience, work experience and qualities you can bring to their course. Showing passion and an understanding of what you’re applying for, as well as demonstrating your abilities to study at this level could be what gets you the offer you hoped for.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Amongst all the panic of trying to find a place, you might feel a lot of pressure and overwhelming emotions. After shopping around some other universities and courses, take some time out for yourself to celebrate the fact your exams and wait for results are officially over. You may not have the original grades you had hoped for but you can still celebrate what you have achieved and take some time out to do what you enjoy most.

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