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Clearing Stories

Meet students who came to Portsmouth through Clearing

Livia Fierro

International Development Studies

I was three marks away from making the cut for my initial offer from Portsmouth. At first I felt destroyed that I hadn't quite made it. But after picking myself back up I decided to call the University and explain to them why I would be a good student and a good investment for them.

A few conversations later I was in. It worked! Clearing isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. I understand how you can lose hope when you don’t get the right marks, but honestly it’s not the end of the world. I was paranoid while going through it, calling the University over and over to check things, and they were always so reassuring and kind.

Clearing might feel like a huge deal at the time, however, once you’re on the course and earning your degree it’s nothing, it’s in the past, and all you focus on is how good this place is for you.

I feel like I’ve found a University that cares about me and who I am, not what my A-Level grades or UCAS track was. It’s a community and everybody is welcome.

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Karim Khazari

International Relations and Language

I started out planning to study Maths and Spanish. Thing is, I don’t like Maths. Honestly I’m not even that good at it... I think my parents just wanted me to do it. When clearing came around I saw it as my opportunity to get on a course that I actually want to do. Looking through everything available, Portsmouth was one of the very few universities that paired the two courses I love and so it was a no-brainer really.

Fast forward and it’s been a great first year. I’ve made it through, finished all my exams, and am having the best time. Portsmouth has got everything I could have wanted. Yes all the amazing lecturers and facilities that you want from a uni, I mean I pretty much live in the amazing library, but also I’m by a beach! I’ve always wanted to live by the beach.

I can’t deny that it was scary moving here, away from home and all my old friends. Those worries soon disappear though. By the time freshers fair closed I’d joined, like, 20 societies and met loads of interesting new people. Seriously, I’m in the choir, I’m going to be in a short film, there are sports clubs. Now I’ve got friends from Australia, Dubai, Brazil... it’s been completely eye opening and welcoming.

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Jade Redrup

Sociology with Psychology

My clearing experience is maybe a little different to other people’s. I got what I needed to attend my first choice, but on the day I opened my grades, I realised that studying drama wouldn’t be the right thing for me. I’d completely changed my mind on what I wanted to do, so into Clearing I went.

It was a stressful time but also kind of fun; I didn’t know where I was going or what I’d be doing, and that journey into the unknown was more exciting than anything. Not that it wasn’t a relief once it was over. Changing my mind last minute was a risk that might have backfired. I didn’t even tell my parents I was going through Clearing, I just cancelled my other university place and took a leap.

Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it, haven’t you? I was so happy to get the place at Portsmouth and look forward to what is next... and like most people who go through Clearing, it’s all worked out perfectly!

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Chandni Shah

Biomedical Science

I’ll be honest, Portsmouth was my second choice. I didn’t pick up my A-Level results until getting back from holiday in mid-August and so there wasn’t much time to decide what I’m doing. So when my place at Portsmouth got accepted it felt amazing. What a relief!

I had the grades I needed to get in and just thought, “you know what, why not?” Turns out it was the best decision I could’ve made. A year in and I’ve got good friends, good lecturers and I’m loving the city. It’s totally been worth it.

Got any questions? Get in touch

Dominic Reynolds

Mechanical Engineering

I came to Portsmouth through Clearing because I didn’t get the grades that I’d been planning for. I remember first opening up my results and thinking, ‘oh no, I’m not going to get in anywhere’. So the fact I’m here, at an amazing university, just feels like the best luck.

At the time I had an insurance offer for another university, but really I’d picked that early in the application process, before even researching it properly. Then I learnt a bit about Portsmouth from mates who came here on Open Days and through things I saw online, and it looked like a much better fit for me.

I phoned the university to see what the process was and they were so helpful. They could see what I was going through and were there to reassure me about everything. I got offered a place there and then and was even given 24 hours to decide, so it’s not like I was put on the spot. Now I’m a year in and I’ve no regrets at all.

Studying for a degree has opened up so many different options for me that simply weren’t there a year ago. More than that it’s given me time to work out what I want to do. To anyone currently going through Clearing I’d just say be calm, there are amazing places like Portsmouth out there with amazing opportunities and friendly, helpful people who are just a phone call away.

Got any questions? Get in touch

Amber Wieland


Last summer I’d got to a point where I wasn’t really sure what I was doing with my life. I’d loved illustration at GCSE and A-Level, but had made the decision to pick a more ‘sensible’ course when I first went to university, and had always kind of regretted it.

So there I was with no real plans until my boyfriend suggested finally giving illustration a proper go. At first I was stressed about the Clearing process as it’s got such a bad reputation. To be honest I didn’t even know what it was. But from the very first email, the team at Portsmouth have made it such an easy process. They helped me through application, let me know what to expect and were there straight away to confirm my place.

So thank god I listened to my boyfriend last August, because it’s turned out to be the best decision I could’ve made. A few weeks later and I was being shown around the university print studios and facilities and it really stuck in. I’m finally in a place where I can do what I’ve always wanted to do.

Got any questions? Get in touch

Dee Oteng-Agyei

Business Management & Entrepreneurship

I had a bit of a difficult time choosing universities. I had a confirmed place at Portsmouth, but after getting my grades wanted to see what options were available. After looking around though, it was clear that Portsmouth was the best university for me.

I was nervous that, because I hadn’t snapped up their offer, I might not be welcomed back onto the course, but the university was really friendly and invited me straight back. I’m so glad they did as I love the atmosphere and the peace and the people here. The course is perfect for me too. Like I know I want to be my own boss one day and run my own business, but I don’t know exactly what that business is, and so what I’m studying is giving me the flexibility and the knowledge to make that decision later.

If anyone else is in a similar situation to mine, don’t be afraid. Clearing doesn’t have to be a negative thing. At the end of the day you’re still going to university to develop yourself and get a better idea of what you want to be in the future. So just go with your gut and do what feels right for you.

Got any questions? Get in touch

Kelly Cole


Originally I applied to go to university in 2012. That was until I found out that I was having a baby and my life plans changed a little.

Four years later I was visiting Barcelona and found myself falling in love with the architecture there. It inspired me to have another go at university. Problem is, it was already August and I’d obviously done zero preparation. Thankfully Clearing gave me the option to apply late and, even better, this amazing course as Portsmouth was still available.

UCAS and the university were so helpful and reassuring. They made the whole process pretty quick and painless. In less than two weeks I’d gone from a tourist who liked some buildings to an enrolled student! It didn’t feel like it was real.

Now, a year in, I feel a real part of this amazing student life. I’m meeting people from all over the world, going to events and really just making the most of it. I’m so glad that I didn’t wait another whole year to apply and that I gave Clearing a go. It’s got me to where I want to be.

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