Get clear on Clearing: Advice from Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University (BU) will be on hand to support and guide students whose A Level results are not what they expect.

Trained advisers will be available at BU from 8am on results day (Thursday 14 August) to talk students through the Clearing and Adjustment process, and help them pick the right course for them.

Clearing is the last point in the UCAS admissions cycle and offers students who have been unable to secure their first or second choice course, or haven’t yet applied for university, the chance to find a course that starts in September.

Karen Pichlmann, Head of Admissions at BU, advised people to prepare in advance of exam results – thinking about what universities and courses they might like to approach if they find themselves in Clearing.

“Choosing a place through Clearing is no different to choosing a place through choosing a university place full stop, only it takes place over a shorter period of time – so preparing your Plan B and thinking about who you want to go to is key,” she said.

“At Bournemouth University we’re here to support the students through that process.

“We’ll have a large team of trained and helpful staff to take calls from potential students.

“We’ll discuss with their exam results, what opportunities we have and potentially give them an offer – so there’s plenty of people to help and support and encourage students through that process.”

Karen added that, when going through Clearing, potential students should not rely on parents to make the calls on their behalf and should be prepared for a mini-interview on the phone.

“Once they know they are in the Clearing process, my top tip would be to get on the phone early to talk to the universities, because some will only have a small number of places and they can go really quickly,” she said.

Be prepared for a mini-interview – so think about why you want to do that course, what interested you about that institution and what you think you’re a good match.”

She added: “We really do need to speak to the student in this and while it might be difficult for them to make that phone call, we really do need to talk to them and not their parents.”

Students who exceed the conditions of their original offer can choose to study on a course with higher entry requirements, through a process called Adjustment.

Karen explains: “If students find that they receive better results than expected, and they are still happy with their firm choice, they don’t have to do anything more than go and celebrate.

“However, if those results mean that they are now qualified for something they never thought they could achieve, there’s the UCAS Adjustment process which enables students who have exceeded the conditions of their firm choice to discuss with other universities the option to go and study there.”

Clearing and Adjustment toolkits, which explain the process and what to do if you find yourself going through it, are available to download from the BU website.

A BU Clearing helpline will be available from 8am until 8pm on results day, 8am until 6pm on Friday 15 August and from 9.30am to 4pm over the weekend.

We will have trained advisers there ready to discuss opportunities and to help people through the process,” said Karen.

“We do understand that it can be very stressful and we’d really like to help students make the right decision for them.”

To find out more about Clearing and the opportunities available at BU, visit or call 01202 966777 from 8am on Thursday 14 August.