Wednesday, 2 August 2017

My experience at Northumbria University - The Clearing Process

My experience at Northumbria University - The Clearing Process

University always scared me, I remember being in sixth form at school and they were adamant everyone should go. I was clueless to what I even wanted to do never mind being forced into university, so I went to college instead. After doing college for one year I realised I didn't want to do art at university like I initially thought, but if I had listened to my school I would've spent an absolute fortune going and doing something for the sake of it. Instead I did an apprenticeship for 2 years in a job I'd never thought about, which then led me to apply for a degree at 21 knowing what I wanted to do for a career rather than what class I enjoyed at school. I feel so much better for waiting to find something I loved before going to university, and now I'm going into a job that I wouldn't have even knew I existed.

I'm studying at Northumbria part time and working full time along side it, which is hard work. But it's also the best idea I've had, rather than going to uni full time from school and getting no relevant work experience, I'm working in the role I'll be doing once I'm qualified. If you were to do surveying, I'm studying Bsc (Hons) Real Estate, you will study full time for 3 years and do a placement year if you want, placements are always super handy if you're doing full time so you can get connections and relevant experience you would struggle to get otherwise. I found university taught me all the knowledge of the role I wanted to get into but not so much how to apply it when actually in the job. Our placement girl at work this year has realised how different it is using all the things you learn in practice! Super hard, but shows how good it is to get a job alongside university too!

My experience at Northumbria University - The Clearing Process

If you thought about university but didn't get through initially, why not try clearing? I applied to university last minute after frantically trying to find the right degree and I wouldn't change it for the world, although I didn't go through clearing I would have considered it had I missed the cut off day. After trying to find alternative courses before I considered university and being unsuccessful I thought I might as well jump straight in! My tutor has been so helpful throughout it all and I couldn't fault her! Yes it's hard work, but as long as you do something you love and know what job you intend to do when you leave why not try it? It's the best but hardest thing I decided to do. If you didn't quite get the grades you expected, or didn't get onto the course you wanted, why not try and get through on clearing!

Need some information about clearing?

1. How do I apply for a place using clearing? 
If you’ve found you are in clearing, don’t panic. Go to the UCAS website where you can view the full list of vacancies available through Clearing at all universities. If there’s a particular university you’re interested in e.g. Northumbria University, you can go direct to their website to see their available courses. After doing a bit of research, you should start drawing up a shortlist of universities and courses you might be interested in.
The next step is calling the universities you’re interested in to find out if they would be willing to make you an offer. It’s usually a first come first served basis so you need to be organised and have all the relevant information to hand to help make the process as streamlined as possible. This includes your UCAS personal ID number, details of your qualifications (including GCSEs) and it’s also important to be ready to explain why you want to go to that university and why you want to study that course. Universities need to speak directly to students - not to parents or teachers.

2. Do I have to look for the same subject I originally applied to? Could I be accepted on to a different course through clearing? 
You don’t have to look for the same subject. Clearing is a great opportunity for you to find a place on another course - it could be a chance to go for something you might never have thought of.

3. How long do I have to decide whether to accept a place offered through clearing? 
At Northumbria, if you’re offered a place through Clearing, we’ll confirm this by email. The offer will then be held open for 48 hours to allow you time to consider your options before making a final decision.

4. I got better results than I expected — can I use clearing to find a different course? 
Yes. If you have done better than you expected, you have the option to apply to another course or university with your higher points through the Adjustment process. If you've met and exceeded the terms of your conditional firm offer and have been accepted on that course, UCAS Adjustment allows you the opportunity to look for a different course at a different institution while still holding your confirmed place. Therefore, if you register for UCAS Adjustment, but don't find anything, you'll still keep the course you gained on results day. You are only eligible for Adjustment from the day you are confirmed at your firm choice. You have five calendar days to make an adjustment choice and your place is held for that time.

5. I'm taking a gap year but haven't got the place I wanted for the following year, can I still use clearing to get a place for after I finish my gap year? 
Yes, you can look for a deferred university place through Clearing – although it is at the university’s discretion as to whether they make you a deferred offer for the following academic year.

6. I've met the conditions of one of my offers, but want to see if I can find something better through clearing. Do I have to accept my offer straight away, or can I try to get a place on a different course through clearing while keeping hold of the offer I've got? 
You can only apply through Clearing if you have no other offers so you need to ask the university that has confirmed your place to release you into Clearing, however this will be at their discretion. You might want to make sure you have a verbal offer somewhere else before you do this. Many universities will ask you to confirm the request in writing before they release you so be patient, it’s a very busy time but most will try to reply as quickly as possible.

7. Why do universities offer places through clearing? 
The Clearing process can be beneficial to both students and universities alike. Clearing allows universities to match up vacancies on its courses with students who, unfortunately, haven’t got into their first or second choice universities.

Northumbria University has a limited number of places available for high quality students through Clearing this summer. For more information, visit or call the Clearing Hotline on 0800 085 1085.

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Did you go to university? What are your thoughts on it?

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*These images and Q&A were provided by Northumbria University, all other views are my own.

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