My Clearing Story: Finding accommodation for my architecture degree
For a bit of background about me, I have always wanted to come to university, as personally it looked like the best pathway for what I wanted to study. I have known I wanted to study architecture since I was a little girl as I was always fascinated by it and by the dream of designing my own house one day.
Why I went through Clearing
I ended up coming to study Architecture BA(Hons) through the Clearing process, as I unfortunately did not get the A-level grades required for my first and second choice universities.
I was quite heartbroken, but have since learned that it didn’t matter and have had a great time attending University of Brighton and am honestly glad I didn’t get into my choice universities as I feel that Brighton is a much better fit for me.
In truth, I did not really hear about the University of Brighton until I came into the Clearing process, previously looking at universities further north or in the London region. I ended up choosing the University of Brighton as they had the spaces when it came to applying through Clearing so I jumped on it, and I’ve not regretted it.
The Clearing process
I applied through the Clearing process on results day after unfortunately not achieving the grades for my choice universities. After I retrieved my grades from my school, I started looking on the UCAS Clearing lists and calling up the universities as I went down the list.
I also checked certain university websites which I had previously been interested in to see if they were taking part in Clearing and if they had space on the architecture course.
Get support from the university staff
A couple of the universities I called had already filled their spaces, which was a bit scary, but Brighton still had room on theirs, so I started the application process with them straightaway. I found this to be quite straightforward and the staff at the end of the phone were incredibly supportive and patient with me throughout.
I did not really have anyone to talk to at home about going through Clearing, so I did my research and application independently. I got a lot of support from the university staff who advised me on which steps to take through the application.
Call universities to find out information
Personally, I didn’t do much research before calling the universities, as I wanted to ensure I had a place to study come September. I found it easier to just call the universities up and ask them any relevant questions on the phone.
I still stand by this method although I would recommend finding a contingency university just in case the Clearing application might be unsuccessful, but I didn’t do this, which in hindsight was a bit risky!
Getting accommodation through Clearing
The main challenge I faced during the Clearing process was the search for accommodation. Unfortunately, since the new accommodation had not yet been completed, there was not enough space in Halls of Residence for me.
I did apply for the waitlist but in the meantime looked into private rentals. I also signed up to some Facebook groups for students looking to fill spaces due to people dropping out of their tenancy agreements.
There ended up being a lot of available rooms to rent, even with it being so late in the year (I was looking in August). I ended up booking some viewings and making a day trip to Brighton and found my home for the year on the day, which was lucky. This was not in private halls, but renting a room in a house like you would in second and third year, which was a much cheaper alternative.
My tips for Clearing
My main tips when it comes to Clearing would be to start looking early to better guarantee that courses have spots available (since lots of people across the country will be in the same position) and to not panic.
I thought that not getting into my choice university would be the end of the world and I would not enjoy my time as much, which was completely wrong! And even if you hit some bumps in the road (like I did with the lack of accommodation), there are always solutions to be found as long as you have a place on the course – that should be your main concern with everything else being secondary which you can figure out afterwards.
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!
We’ve people who can help you find accommodation during Clearing and lots of advice. Get in touch!