Clearing doesn't have to be a stressful process, Here, Vicki shares her Clearing experience with us. 

When people think of Clearing, thoughts of fear, dread, and failure come to mind. Let’s be honest, Clearing gets quite a bad rep. But it needn’t be a time of negative emotions and hours on the phone.

There are loads of reasons why students go through Clearing, whether it’s out of choice or not. It also doesn’t have to be a long, frustrating process where you wait to get through for hours. If the uni you’re phoning is prepared, then Clearing shouldn’t be anything to fear.

And that’s exactly what happened with social work student Vicki. Here, she shares her Clearing experience to highlight just how stress-free the process can be.

Clearing – a simple process

“I’ve worked in social work coming up ten years now, so it was always my aim to get a degree. I just looked a little too late in the year as the course filled up so quickly. My only option was to wait until Clearing.

"I had previously attended a virtual Answers Day with the Social Work team at the uni, and they had assured me that my NVQ would be enough to get me onto the course. So, all I had to do was wait.

"The University kept in touch with me via text after I’d registered for the Answers Day, so when Clearing opened, it was really easy to get the ball rolling. The communication from the Clearing team was great – they were approachable, knowledgeable, and friendly.

"It happened so quickly. I wasn’t on the phone for long. The only issue I had was with my qualifications. Because UCAS doesn’t accept NVQs anymore, the Clearing team initially offered me a foundation year.

"But I knew that the social work department would accept my NVQ, so after a bit of back and forth, the Clearing team sent my application over to the academics for them to review.

"Within a couple of days, I had been accepted and was registered to interview for the week after.

"It was just so simple, so easy. I expected it to be quite laborious, but it really wasn’t.”

Holistically reviewing applications

“I’m so thankful that the social work team reviewed my application holistically. I’m not the typical student with A levels. I’m a mature student who did a qualification that UCAS doesn’t recognise anymore.

"But the social work team at Canterbury saw all my experience and previous employment, as well as my NVQ.

"The lecturers were completely supportive of my application, and within 2-3 weeks of picking up the phone to enter Clearing, I was starting uni. It was good really because it didn’t give me time to overthink!”

Canterbury – the obvious choice

Canterbury was the obvious choice. Not only was the location great, but I knew that there would be a lot more mature students. I knew that I’d be able to create a network with people who were local and in a similar position as me.

"It was easy to find that community at CCCU because of the Welcome Week. I mean, I wasn’t going out at Freshers, but I’d already started speaking to people on my course via the Facebook group prior to the first week of uni. We created a WhatsApp group, which became our support network.

"Another reason why I chose CCCU was because of the lecturers. They really are amazing. They’re experts in their field, but they’re also approachable and friendly.

"I thought this experience was going to be like school, but it really isn’t. There’s a mutual respect between students and lecturers. They’re our mentors but they’re also our friends.

"So, it was like a newfound responsibility for my own learning, which I hadn’t considered before, because it’s up to you to get the work done. The lecturers are here to impart knowledge and support you, not tell you off if you haven’t done the reading.

"I have real respect for the lecturers because they share so much of their personal experiences in the sector. They make it real. They share a lot about their lives related to social work. And we do the same. So, we’ve really got to know our teachers on a personable level, which is fantastic.”

Advice for students

“My advice to students going through Clearing is to just ask questions. The team on the other end of the phone are so knowledgeable and approachable. They genuinely want to help and support you through the process, so don’t be worried.

"Also, make sure you have a look online before speaking to Clearing. Get prepared with all your questions so everything’s covered.”


We’re so pleased to hear that Vicki had such a stress-free experience when applying for her course with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Her Clearing story is one of ease. It’s an example of what Clearing can be like if the Clearing team are ready for your phone call, questions, and any issues that may arise.

It’s also a story that goes against the stereotype of Clearing. So, don’t be worried if you’re about go through the process yourself. If you have any questions or you just need a chat, don’t hesitate to email our Course Enquiry Team

If you want to find out more about Clearing, keep an eye out on our website.