Questions to ask yourself before choosing a Clearing course


If things don’t go your way on A-level results day, you can enter Clearing to find and enrol on an alternative university course.

But with so many options available, how can you focus your search and ensure you choose wisely rather than in a panic?

These are the questions to ask yourself before settling on your new course.


Picking a Clearing course


1) What learning style does the course require?

Are you more of a hands on, practical learner? Or are you more theoretical with a knack for written assignments and exams?

Being aware of the course’s assessment style and structure is a must before confirming your decision to do any course.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to get there and find that your marks are largely based on something like group presentations if this is something you struggle with.


2) Do the modules match my interests?

Take a course like Psychology, for example.

There are so many areas of psychology to learn about, and different university courses will vary in terms of the areas they choose to teach you about.

Therefore, make sure you look at the different available modules over the course of your degree and consider whether these align with your particular interests.

Of course, no one course will be perfectly and exactly tailored to you but it’s good to opt for those which have at least a few modules you’re intrigued by. These will keep you motivated and interested for the full length of your degree.


3) What job am I interested in doing after uni and will this course help me get there?

If you know the career you want to embark on after uni, it’s important to choose a course that will help you to get into the relevant industry.

Some courses are very obviously vocational (e.g. Nursing or Architecture), and others allow more flexibility but can help you to develop and hone skills that would come in handy for the jobs you’re interested in doing.

Data analysis, excellent writing ability, or fluency in another language, for example. Choose a subject that will help you stand out to employers in your preferred industries.

And on that note, does the course you’re looking at involve a placement year and/or career mentoring?

If you want to jump into a job straight after uni, having work experience opportunities offered as part of the course should be a huge selling point.


4) Where is the university?

Of course, choosing a degree also means choosing the uni it’s taught at!

So, things to consider:

  • Would you prefer a university based on a campus or one in the city?
  • Would you like to live and study in a big, bustling city, or a quieter town?
  • Is it close to home if you plan to travel back and forth frequently?

Try and find a university location that’ll make you feel comfortable and happy.


5) What else does the university offer?

Universities offer so much more than their courses.

Some have incredible facilities, initiatives, impressive links with industry employers, or a strong focus on extra-curricular areas like sport or music.

Ask yourself: what experiences, opportunities and memories do I want to walk away with after 3-4 years and how can the university (as well as the course) deliver these?

Studying is a huge part of going to uni, but it’s a good idea to think holistically about your uni experience.


Keep reading: Clearing: 5 things to do before A-level results day