Get Clearing application advice from current student Natalie
14 June 2023
This piece was written by Costume Design for Film & Television BA(Hons) student Natalie about joining Falmouth through Clearing.
Applying to university through Clearing can seem like a distant, abstract concept until it isn’t. So much so, that they often don’t teach you much about the subject at school. Whether results day doesn't go the way you planned, you have a change of heart regarding what you want to do, or you just apply really, really late, like I did, here is what to expect when applying through Clearing.
Find your Clearing number
Firstly you need to get a “Clearing number.” If you have already made an application in UCAS for that academic year, then you will get this via your existing account. This will come about if you have rejected all your offers or they have rejected you. If you didn’t apply before the deadline, you must go through the process of making a UCAS Clearing application. This will involve uploading your personal details, results, a personal statement and references, usually from your school.
Contact the university
When applying through Clearing, you first apply to the universities directly. Leading up to results day, you can do this on the website by registering your interest. You simply need to select the course you are interested in and provide contact details. Make sure you have a portfolio ready if it is needed for your course, as well as being prepared for an interview, as, from my experience, they get back to you quite fast.
If you are applying on results day, you can call up Falmouth’s Clearing hotline (+44 (0)1326 213730). Don’t worry if you get put on hold, they will get to you, but I would say that calling earlier is better, as there are more likely to be spaces available. At the same time, don’t let this rush you into a decision that you aren’t confident about, as where you go to university is big decision.
Do your research
My best advice to avoid rushing would be to prepare for results day in advance. You can remain optimistic, whilst also having a back up plan for if things don’t turn out the way you expected or even if you have a change of heart. Research some alternative universities or courses you might be interested in and note down the numbers of their Clearing hotlines. Familiarise yourself with the content of your personal statement and your portfolio and maybe even practice doing some phone interviews with your friends or family, if you are nervous. If you follow these steps, Clearing doesn’t have to be the stressful experience that people often build it up to be.
Ask for support
Another very useful resource for results day can be your school. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask for advice, as they will have helped many people apply to university through the Clearing process. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, then surrounding yourself with supportive people is really useful. For example, if you want to call all your options as soon as possible, you can get your parents or friends to call other universities up at the same time as you and they can then wait on hold for you.
Make sure that, at the end of the day, you celebrate whatever outcome you achieve, as getting into university is a big achievement! Whichever university you end up at, you will be exploring a new place, meeting new people and learning new things.