Charlotte Semmens

BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology student Charlotte talks about her clearing process.

Had you considered coming to Plymouth before you got your grades?

I'm currently studying on the BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology, 3rd year. I took a somewhat circuitous route to this course, with some hiccups along the way but it all worked out, and I feel better and wiser for it. The first hiccup was my A level results, not being able to get into my first choice, my second was a course run by Plymouth University at Exeter College. The foundation degree in mechanical engineering gave me the time I needed to sort myself out for university and get the right attitude, while the course itself bridged the gap between A levels and a degree.


Did you panic when you didn’t get your first choice?

It felt like my delicate plans were falling away, and I ended up further away from home. But I got into Exeter College as my second choice through Clearing, made my preparations and moved. The support from my family was invaluable, knowing that no matter what happened they would do their best to help me.


How did you find the Clearing process?

Clearing is a shuffle. It’s a bit scary and nerve-wracking at times. But what this can do is change your attitude; use it as motivation to do better next time, to work harder so your choices in the future are more concrete. The fact that the place you end up may not be your first choice? It’s about what you make of it. Going through it with Plymouth, there is a lot of support and advice available but you have to show some initiative and take control of the situation. 


Are you glad you ended up at Plymouth doing the course you’re on?

In the end the foundation courses and the degree I eventually ended up on have been some of the best years of my life, both academically and personally. I transferred from mechanical to marine engineering on the advice of a really helpful tutor, who is a great example of the flexibility that I have seen within Plymouth University.


What advice would you give to other students about Clearing?

Things aren't over if you don't get that letter you were hoping for – there are other ways to get where you want to go. There are so many options, but you won’t know if you don't ask.