Case study

Masters student — Becky Emmerson

By going through Clearing, Becky managed to land a place on a zoology course at the University of Salford. She's now studying a Masters of Research (MRes) in Biological Sciences, with a focus on palaeontology

How did you feel on A-level results day?

Nervous. I wasn't sure how I'd done, seeing as I really struggled with the exams. I got my results and hadn't done as well as I'd hoped. At the time, I thought this was the end of the world. I was so worried that that was it - I wouldn't be going to university and would be staying at home while all my friends went away to study.

I then spoke to my school advisor at sixth form about applying for Clearing places and she recommended that I start calling round universities to check on their availability. I rang the University of Salford and spoke to a lovely advisor who took my details and referred me to the tutor to make the decision on my application. I was made an offer for the course, which I was really grateful for.

What steps did you take to end up with the course you finally settled on?

I made a pros and cons list for each of the universities I'd been made a Clearing offer for and went on an applicant visit day at Salford to try and make up my mind.

Why did you choose this institution?

I chose Salford after visiting the campus, looking around the accommodation and by speaking to a course tutor. I just knew this was where I wanted to be.

I really liked the fact that I could choose from a range of optional modules, as I knew I was interested in zoology as a general area but wasn't sure what I wanted to do within that field. I found that I had an interest in palaeontology/evolution, which is what lead me to my choice of Masters degree.

I was also impressed by how close to Manchester it was. Coming from a town, I'd never had the chance to live near a big city before - so I was excited to do that as a part of my university experience. I also spoke to some of my family members, and one of my aunts told me that I'd love Salford because she knew Manchester and thought it would fit me well - she was right.

What support did you receive at the time in making this decision?

I spoke to my sixth form advisor and my family members who really helped me make my final decision - they gave me lots of different advice that was helpful in deciding exactly where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to get out of university.

How has Clearing impacted your career direction and what are your plans now?

It made me consider new options that I hadn't previously thought of, such as coming to Salford, and I'd never thought of Palaeontology as an option before, but now I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather do.

By going through Clearing, it completely changed what I thought I was going to do with my future. I ended up in a new city, in a new part of the country, meeting people I never would have met if I hadn't have gone through Clearing. I also might never have found palaeontology as an interest, as I wouldn't have met my current tutor.

What advice would you give to other students thinking of using the Clearing process?

  • Make a pros and cons list of your Clearing options - it's helpful in deciding what's important to you when there are so many possibilities.
  • Call universities to see if they have vacancies on the course - it's always good to have lots of choices for you to narrow down.
  • Speak to people about your concerns - family, friends and college advisors can be really helpful in providing a new perspective, but make sure your final decision is your own.

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page