Get a head start on Clearing – a guide for BTEC students

BTEC Students

Find out the expert answers to commonly asked questions around BTECs and Clearing

If you’ve sat BTECs instead of A-Levels the wait for results can be just as nerve-wracking. But as a BTEC student you’ll usually receive your results several weeks earlier giving you the jump on your A-Level counterparts.

If you’ve got what you need, relax and celebrate! But don’t panic if you didn’t – there are plenty of uni courses you can find through Clearing. You could even discover a course that’s better and more suited to you than your original choice.

The experts over at Edge Hill University have answered some of the commonly asked questions around BTECs and Clearing to make sure that if you do have to go into Clearing, it’s plain sailing for you.

What entry level options do I have with a BTEC qualification?

Typically a Level 3 BTEC will allow admission on to an undergraduate degree programme.  A Level 4 HNC (Higher National Certificate) or Level 5 HND (Higher National Diploma) may provide direct access onto the second or third year of an undergraduate degree programme.

When does Clearing start for BTEC students?

Anne Wilson, Head of Admissions at Edge Hill University, says: "UCAS Clearing opens on Friday 5 July. Once you’ve received your results you can apply for a place in Clearing anytime from 5 July. Depending on the type of BTEC qualification you have taken you will either receive your results in mid-July or on the main results day on Thursday 15 August.

"As soon as you receive official notification of your results and are looking for a place in Clearing, contact the university’s Clearing helpline and speak to an adviser.  Even if your results are not quite as you expected, contact them anyway as they will be able to talk through what options may still be open to you.  Don’t be nervous, we’re all very friendly and here to help you make the right choice for you."

BTEC Results

Do all universities accept BTEC qualifications?

"Most do," says Anne, "but it depends on the course and university you are interested in. Most will indicate their entry requirements on their website and whether they'll accept BTEC qualifications, either on their own or alongside other qualifications such as A-levels. Some programmes will also have specific subject requirements."

BTECs can make you an ideal uni candidate because you’ll have gained skills other university students haven’t. Whether unis will accept BTEC qualifications will depend on individual courses and universities, and different unis will accept different types of BTEC depending on their individual admission processes. The entry requirements for each course will be shown on the course pages of universities’ websites.

Some courses, vocational in particular, will prefer the skills that students with BTEC qualifications have developed, while some courses may require at least one or two A-Levels to accompany an applicant's BTEC qualification.

How can I demonstrate the skills that I have developed whilst studying for my BTEC qualification?

BTEC students develop a number of important skills such as time management and research skills. You’ll already have used examples to highlight your skills when you wrote your personal statement but you can emphasise these in any Clearing phone calls you make – that’s the time to sing your own praises and really make an impression.

Before you make any calls reread your personal statement and highlight any examples which show off your skills. Make sure you keep it close to hand when you make the call.

Think about those skills you have gained during your BTECs and how they would be relevant to the course you want to do – Clearing advisers want to know if you’ll be a good fit.

For example, if part of your BTEC assessment was a written piece of work, you could use this to highlight to the Clearing adviser how you are able to meet deadlines and your capacity to follow the instructions provided by tutors. For science-based BTECs you could discuss how you conducted experiments and synthesised the results of your investigations in order to draw conclusions.

Clearing call

Will having BTECs hold me back?

"Absolutely not!" says Anne, "BTECs equip you with a broad range of skills which are going to help you through your degree studies and beyond graduation and are widely accepted by many universities."

"Here at Edge Hill, a large proportion of our students come to us having studied a BTEC qualification. We are dedicated to supporting our students to achieve their goals, through a great student experience, a wide variety of opportunities and a focus on employability. 97.3% of our graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduating.”

For more advice on Clearing, check out TSR's Clearing Hub.

About our sponsor

edge hill logo

Edge Hill University is a gold rated institution (TEF 2017) which delivers consistently outstanding teaching and a great student experience, leading graduates to a rewarding career. The University is based on an attractive, award-winning campus in Lancashire, close to Liverpool and Manchester. Edge Hill has been providing education since 1885, with a mission to create opportunity from knowledge. For more information about Clearing from Edge Hill University, call the Clearing hotline on 0800 144 66 44 or visit their website.

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