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Clearing student Eva who took an alternative route to university

Alternative routes to university: Eva’s Clearing journey

Eva, who is studying Pharmacy MPharm with integrated foundation year, tells us all about their student Clearing experience and how they took an alternative route to university.  Their video shows how Clearing opened up their path to uni and how their life is now.

Why did you apply through Clearing?

After applying to uni through UCAS in 2018 and being rejected on results day for not having the right grades, I’d lost hope that uni would ever be for me. I started an apprenticeship course instead, and it was okay at first but I was having trouble with my employer and wasn’t progressing as fast as I wanted to be.

So I went online and had a look at other courses in my field to see if anything inspired me more than staying on the apprenticeship, and that’s when I found out about doing a foundation year.

It was June 2019, so I’d missed the UCAS admission deadline by several months, so Clearing was the only option to try in order to get a place for September of that same year.

What steps did you take when applying through Clearing?

I phoned the Clearing helpline during ‘early Clearing’ and was given the email address of the Pharmacy admissions tutor.

I emailed him with a personal statement detailing my situation, my health issues, my subpar A level results, how dedicated I was to studying pharmacy and what I’d been up to on my ‘gap’ year.

Eva working in a pharmacy lab

He got back to me to let me know I’d have to do a brief phone interview and a small maths test. I passed the maths test, and we spoke on the phone and he was happy, so he offered me a place on the spot.

“Think of rejection as a path to new opportunities, not as a failure. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

Eva Martin

Did you experience any challenges when you applied through Clearing?

None at all, it was far easier than I expected. The challenges came after Clearing…

Alternative routes to university: Tips for other students

Stay confident and stay strong. Once the rejections come in it’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough and that it was all for nothing and uni will never be for you, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Pharmacy student Eva walking into university

There are so many routes you can take, both into uni and outside of it, like Clearing, Access courses, foundation years, apprenticeships… Think of rejection as a path to new opportunities, not as a failure. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

How did you hear about the University of Brighton?

I heard about it while at sixth form, came to visit and loved the city, so I put it down as my insurance choice when I applied through UCAS in 2018.

Why did you choose the University of Brighton?

At the time it was one of a very limited selection of unis in the country who offered the course I wanted with a low enough grade boundary that I had a chance of getting in.

I also have always loved the city of Brighton – coming from London it’s got all the things I love about being at home (the vibrance, the multiculturalism, the freeness and acceptance) with none of the downsides (having to sit on trains and buses for ages to get literally anywhere, extortionate cost of living), plus it’s got the beach and is surrounded by nature. Brighton really is the best of all the worlds you could possibly want.

How did you find the Clearing process at the University of Brighton?

It was fine. Everything was speedy, nothing took longer than it needed to take.

Jenny and a friend holding their results

Word from the uni

Do grades matter in Clearing? Well, yes but we always look at you as an individual with a variety of talents and strengths. It’s never only about your grades!

Interesting reads: Learn about Seniz and her route through Clearing.

Find out more about Clearing 2022

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Eva Martin • 8th August 2022


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