Entering Clearing can be daunting, but you can still find a great university place and have an amazing university experience. Becky went through Clearing and found a place at the University of Salford. Read here story below.
"When I didn’t get the grades I needed for my original university choices, my head of sixth form sat down with me and said “right, do you still want to go to university?” and I was like “yes, definitely, I can’t imagine anything else!” She talked me through what I needed to do, then I contacted different universities to find out what was available in Clearing.
I called lots of universities, including one I'd originally applied for. But after looking at different university comparison sites I really liked the location of the University of Salford and the Zoology degree course sounded good. I was interested in the trip in the final year, which was to Brazil. Because I was offered a place at Salford I went on the Clearing visit day and I made my choice from there.
I felt really nervous before I called Salford's Clearing hotline because I thought I might have missed out on my chance to go to university. But the people on the other end of the phone made me feel a lot better. They were really kind and they helped calm me down. When I called up, I knew I was interested in Zoology but I was willing to go for anything Biology or Zoology based, so I told them what I was primarily interested in and we also discussed related courses. But after talking through my options I knew that I still had my heart set on Zoology.
Looking back, the whole process was much easier than I’d thought. I thought I’d have to answer lots of questions but it wasn’t like that at all. The person I spoke to just wanted to get to know me and find out whether I’d be the right person for the course. They were really kind, too. They asked me how I was doing, which was something other universities didn’t, and that made me feel really supported. When they asked me if I’d like to apply, it was just a few questions over the phone. Then after a quick chat with the tutor I was offered a place.
Studying at Salford is probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t expect to come here but I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else now. The course itself was wonderful and the lecturers were fantastic – really supportive and approachable. I loved every part of my degree and I’ve even progressed onto postgraduate study.
I stayed on at Salford to do a research master's in palaeontology – a topic I gained an interest in through the modules I studied during my undergraduate degree. When I was writing my undergraduate dissertation one of my lecturers suggested this route to me, and said he’d be happy to take me on as a student. I’m now in the final stages of my master's and I've loved the challenge of doing a research qualification. It's been great to work on this niche topic within my field, with an academic who shares my interests."