Whether you're in Clearing, Clearing Plus or applying to uni next year, you'll need to know how to ask uni admissions teams about entry requirements
Usually, when applying to university, the entry requirements for the course you apply for will be clearly shown on the university webpage for that course. However, sometimes it isn’t as clear, or you may have a specific question about the requirements, so you’ll need to call up the university admissions team to check about course-specific requirements.
For many people, ordering a takeaway dinner or booking an appointment over the phone is stressful enough, so calling up a university can be really daunting. That’s why we wrote this blog – you’ll know how to talk to a uni admissions team and, hopefully, feel much more confident in doing it.
Clearing is what universities and colleges use to fill up the remaining spaces they have on their courses. You can use clearing if:
- you’re applying after 30 June
- you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
- you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
- you’ve paid the multiple choice application fee of £26.50 (the fee you pay to be able to apply to more than one university)
- You’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in your application
Clearing lets you search for courses that have spaces on them and are open to someone with your grades. You should be aware that there aren’t always universities on clearing that are offering your specific course, but there may be options to study a joint honours course or even a completely different course from the one(s) you initially applied to.
After you have selected the courses you’d like to be considered for on clearing, you just need to wait for the universities to call you. When they do this, use our top tips below to have a successful call.
Clearing Plus is only available if you’re unsuccessful with your application or are applying for the first time for a place in Clearing.
While regular clearing lets you search for courses you’d like to enrol onto, Clearing Plus takes your original application and uses it to suggest some courses you might like. When you open your applications, if you were unsuccessful then you’ll see a button saying, ‘see matches.’
This button shows you a list of the top 50 courses that UCAS thinks you’d like based on your application and what previous students like you have done. If you express interest in a course in the list, by pressing the ‘interested’ button, then the university can call you to ask you a bit about why you’d like to study there.
The university then offers you a place and boom, you’re off to uni. Keep in mind that your place isn’t secured by clicking ‘interested,’ you have to wait until you’re offered a place by the university.
1. Prepare your questions beforehand. ✍
Before you call, write down all the questions you want answering. If you do forget what to say, at least you’ll have direction with what to say.
You might think your call is going to be short and simple, and hopefully it is, however, you should write down your questions and anything you want to say on a piece of paper beforehand just in case you forget a little detail while on the phone.
2. Check the university website. 💻
Like we said in the introduction of this blog, the entry requirements are usually pretty easy to find and are fairly straight forward. So, if you end up having a question related to the entry requirements, chances are somebody has asked that question before.
Make sure the answer to your question isn’t on the university website. You don’t want to waste the admission teams time or your own. Universities often have an FAQ page, which may be worth a visit.
3. Speak Clearly
When you get through to the admissions team, make sure you’re speaking clearly so they can properly understand you, otherwise they may not understand what you’re asking and you won’t get the answers you’re looking for. Ways to ensure you’re easy to understand are:
- Don’t speak too quickly
- Don’t mumble
- Keep your phone/mic still and near your mouth
Remove any background noise (don’t be near traffic, turn off any nearby fans if you’re inside, etc).
Take a deep breath and relax. Remember, the person at the other end of the phone is just another person and they know exactly how scary applying to university/going through clearing can be.
They are there to help you, so don’t feel like you’re going to annoy them if you mess up your words or forget what you were saying – just stay calm and have a relaxed conversation with them.
5. Do a practice call. 📞
If you’re feeling super nervous why not do a practice call? This could be with your parent, friend, or even on your own! If you practice what you have to say, then you’ll feel more relaxed saying it when you actually call.
These top tips will help you in a wider variety of phone disucssions! As long as you’re confident on the phone and have done the necessary research beforehand to make sure you’re not wasting anyone’s time, there’s no reason to be nervous.
Before you leave, take 5 mins and reflect on what you’ve learnt from this
- Have you thoroughly researched different course requirements?
- Can you practise a quick clearing call with friends or family?
Make a note of these reflections to help you on your journey towards your future.