Why Clearing is a positive time to rethink your plans

BA (Hons) History with English graduate Ella Graham Goodman tells us how Clearing gave her more options

“Initially, I was extremely stressed and worried – battling being disappointed with some of my grades and having a negative perception of Clearing. I hadn’t expected to go through it so had no knowledge of the process, nor had I prepared anything.”

Ella Graham Goodman

Clearing gave me more options


I didn’t get the grade I wanted in the subject I’d initially chosen to study, which made me rethink my options. Although I could have still gone to my first choice university on a slightly different course, I didn’t feel too sure about it. Going though Clearing meant I had more choices and could explore changing my subject.

Initially, I was extremely stressed and worried – battling being disappointed with some of my grades and having a negative perception of Clearing. I hadn’t expected to go through it so had no knowledge of the process, nor had I prepared anything. If I had to go through it again I would definitely have done some research before results came out, as this would have alleviated a lot of panic.

I thought it was bad to be going through Clearing and I would be judged going through the process. Once I started looking through the openings available, and saw how many there were, I started to relax. There are so many different options in Clearing, though. It is important not to panic and or just choose the first one.

The course at Plymouth appealed to me the most out of the ones I had been looking at. Plus, I had heard good things about Plymouth from a friend who was already studying there.

The process was clearly explained to me and I was put at ease very quickly. I was invited to a Clearing open day and was able to meet with the Head of History to discuss the course in more detail.

After I visited Plymouth, I began to feel really excited at the prospect of studying there – this ultimately swayed my decision. I don’t think there was much more the University could have done to improve the process.

Clearing should not be viewed as a negative – it’s a great way to explore different options that previously wouldn’t have crossed your mind. There’s such a large period of time between making your choices with UCAS and getting your results. A lot can change. 

Clearing gives you the ability to re-evaluate your options and you can find yourself going to a better university or doing a course you’re more suited to that you didn’t know existed!

Studying at Plymouth helped my application when applying for a masters. The opportunities I had at Plymouth – from spending four weeks in China with the Shanghai Summer School, to getting involved in societies – have all strengthened my CV and overall employability.


Ella recently finished a masters at the University of Bristol in International Relations and is about to move to London to start work there.

If you’re worried about your university place, or want to consider your options, you don’t have to wait until A level results day to apply for Clearing.

If you haven’t yet applied to the University of Plymouth, you can register in advance to receive priority treatment on Thursday 16 August 2018 with our dedicated team of advisors.

Already made an application to Plymouth?

If you have previously made an application with the University of Plymouth you will not have to pre-register for Clearing. Simply follow our advice on our Clearing pages to find out what you should do next.

Pre-register for Clearing at Plymouth