Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

Getting into university through Clearing: How I did it

Most of my decisions regarding university have been driven by gut feelings. After A-levels I was struggling to decide between psychology and geography as I had loved both subjects. I had no idea what career I wanted so I went with Geography because it’s a much broader discipline, so I’d be able to specialise and make up my mind as I went.

How I chose my course

I was drawn to Brighton as a city before I looked at the university, but I ended up loving the geography course – particularly how current the content is, and how flexible the module options are. I spent a few days researching the course structure in detail before I applied, but I pretty much made up my mind to choose the course when I saw how much the modules aligned with my personal values and interests. 

Why did I apply through Clearing?

I ended up applying through Clearing because I hadn’t actually been planning to go to university yet; I wanted to take a second gap year and travel, but COVID foiled my plans.

By that point I had missed the typical application period, but I didn’t want to sit around doing nothing for a year, so I decided to apply to Brighton a few days before results day (I had already taken a gap year so getting into university through Clearing was possible as I was able to apply with my actual results).

I was also concerned I’d be too late and the course would be full, or the staff would think I was unprepared, but when I called the Clearing line I was immediately offered a place and had all of my questions answered.

Getting into university through Clearing: A good move?

In hindsight I’m so glad I chose Clearing; it’s not the right decision for everyone (it doesn’t give you a huge amount of time to organise things before the start of term, and I did have to choose private accommodation because the university flats were full) but I was delighted to be able to skip the months of anxious waiting that I would have had to suffer through with a regular application. 

So, how are my studies going?

The learning is a big step up from A-levels, but in a way that I think is much more enjoyable – there’s so much more flexibility not just in terms of what you learn but also what you’re assessed on.

Most of the learning is independent, which definitely takes some adjusting to (and some serious self-discipline!) but tutors are supportive and encouraging, and easy to contact via email or Teams if you need help.

My favourite module this year has been human geography, particularly the second semester lectures on class, race and gender. I really enjoyed how the seminar discussions forced me to reconsider my perspective and challenged knowledge I took for granted, and I’m looking forward to taking the social and cultural geography module next year which will explore those subjects in more depth. 

If you’re thinking about getting into university through Clearing the university has a frequently asked questions about Clearing page which  has lots of useful info.

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Sophie Marley • July 27, 2021


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