What you need to consider before choosing a clearing offer

Doing your research now and ensuring that your decision is the right one will save you a lot of money, time and effort and will make sure that you're happier in the long run.

This year the list of Clearing vacancies will go live on UCAS course search at 6pm on the 12th August. Applicants then have the opportunity to enter their Clearing choice at 5pm on Track on 13th August once receiving a verbal offer from a university. This means you'll have the majority of the day to do your research and make sure that you make the right choice.

We have prepared some advice on what you should consider before you make a decision on choosing a Clearing course, and to make things even more simple Roving Fish has created a print out so that you've got everything in front of you to make the decision, which you can access by clicking this link.

The Course

  • Is the learning style good for you? 
    Is the course a full week of 4 hour long lectures or a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops with a ton of further reading? Everyone learns differently, so consider this.
  • Is the assessment style good for you? 
    Is the assessment just continuous essays or is it presentation and practical work? A mix of exam and coursework or just exams? Check out the course pages and contact the university to find out more about both the learning and assessment style.
  • Does the university offer modules that interest you? 
    Modules across different universities differ massively and some can allow you to specialise in your subject area - a massive employability boost. Check out the modules (usually advertised on the course page on the uni website) and see if they're what you want to look at.
  • Will the course get you to where you want to be? 
    If the course is similar to your original firm and insurance then your graduate options should be fairly similar. If you've decided on a totally different subject then make sure you do your research and don't make a hasty decision in a panic. It might even be worth deferring a year and taking the time to consider what it is you really want to study.
Some advice on Student Finance
Tip: Don't forget that you'll need to change your university details for your Student Finance payments! This is really easy to do - just log in to your Student Finance account and change the details or alternatively you can call them to let them know.


The University

  • How long do you have before the verbal offer expires? 
    Will you need to put your verbal offer into Track on the 13th? Do you have a deadline or can you have a day or two to make a decision?
  • Is it going to be feasible to get to the uni and home easily? 
    Will you be able to get the train home without a 24 hour round trip of the country? Will your parents be able to pick you up or will you be able to get a coach home with ease? Will you be comfortable this far/close to home?
  • Will there be guaranteed accommodation at the university? 
    Many unis now offer guaranteed accommodation for applicants that confirm their place before a certain date. Will you be able to get into halls or will you need to go to a private provider? Know your options.
  • Is the area somewhere that you can see yourself living? 
    Will you be happy in the area? Is the town or city too big/small for you? This can massively impact your happiness at uni!
  • Is reputation a big factor to you? 
    Check out a range of university league tables and make a general assessment of where the course is. Unistats has great data and has data from the National Student Survey, where third year students answer honestly about their course quality and experience.
  • Is any additional support that you will need available to you? 
    If you're going to need support then check out their student services and see if it will be available to you.
More on TSR: 
Clearing contacts directory 
Finding accommodation after Clearing 
How to cope with Clearing 2015