Thousands of A-Level students will be looking at alternative options through the Clearing process after getting their results this week.
Clearing is a fantastic opportunity for students whether they did or did not get the grades they expected or passed with flying colours.
It allows students to apply for a course in any subject and to any university with vacancies, including those that have previously rejected them.
Students with firm and insurance offers can apply for alternative courses through Clearing once they have negotiated a release from their choices
Here, three Middlesex University students who went through Clearing reveal why they are delighted with their decision to choose MDX.
“Very happy, cheesy to say but coming to Middlesex has been one of my best decisions,” said Celia Duncan , 20, a Biomedical Engineering student, when asked if she is glad to have picked MDX.
Celia’s first choice was a product design course at Queen Mary University of London, but she would have needed a foundation year and changed her mind.
“People believe that Clearing is just used for those who fail to get their predicted grades, but this could not be further from the truth. I went through Clearing as I found a course more suitable for my needs and interests.” Jessica Hall, MDX student.
Explaining why she plumped for MDX, Celia said: “It was mainly coursework based courses, and that suited me as I'm terrible at exams.
“It also had lower grade boundaries and spaces on the course I wanted, meaning the grades could be negotiated.”
And Celia, who is hoping to go onto a PhD in a biomedical subject area for research like rehabilitation, has not regretted choosing Middlesex University.
She said: “The best thing about studying at Middlesex is the close community feel on the course and amazing campus.
“There's always something to do and someone to ask. Loads of help from SLAs and lecturers.
“There’s places to study and socialise, and it's all in one place, not a split campus like most London universities.”
Child nursing student Sianne Chinwuba is equally pleased with selecting MDX through Clearing when her first choice was King’s College.
Sianne, a 20-year-old from East London, said: “I chose Middlesex because my aunties were telling me it was a good university. One said she knows a few people who went whilst the other said her son went and graduated from the university.
“I love the vibe of the university because it’s very diverse, which was what I was looking for, and also because the lecturers are very nice and straight.
“I have had more opportunities at Middlesex, such as being a student voice leader and a student learning support assistant.
“I also managed to be part of the 2020 cohort of the council of deans student leadership programme, thanks to some of my colleagues who suggested I apply, alongside some of the lecturers encouraging me to do so because they believed in me."
“It’s given me more grounds and opportunity to explore my horizons and knowledge.
“I don’t think I would had these opportunities if I’d gone to a different uni.
“They (the lecturers) do push you to be the best you can be.”
Sianne has had placement at the Barnet Royal Free, in community work and at Whittington Hospital in North London where she hopes to work after graduating or a similar diverse work location.
Although it was far from stress-free, Jessica Hall was delighted with opting for LLB Law with Human Rights at MDX after missing out on the University of Kent.
“I realised last minute — through panic searching on UCAS before results day — that there was actually a course perfect for me elsewhere which allows me to have a greater in-depth study in Human Rights Law over the course of 2 years (1st year is used to study the fundamentals/learn legal skills) rather than just enjoying the last year of my degree at Kent, “ said Jessica.
“People believe that Clearing is just used for those who fail to get their predicted grades, but this could not be further from the truth.
“I went through Clearing as I found a course more suitable for my needs and interests.”
“The Human Rights modules that we have covered so far have really heightened my interest in specialising in the subject.
“The MDX community and overall experience is unique compared to other universities that I viewed on Open Days as there is a real sense of community.
“I think this is due to the care given by all staff, the quality of lecturers and the student social life too.”
MDX Director of Marketing and Recruitment Paul Woods' recommendations to Clearing hopefuls are:
Jessica, who is a big fan of “all the coffee shops on campus”, continued: “The School of Law really go above and beyond to make sure we are prepared for life after the degree — they even gave me a life coach for doing well in my first year which I have reaped the benefits of, never mind attending events with top law firms and internship opportunities.
“ I feel like I have had the best stepping stone to the start of my career, alongside meeting lifelong friends that make the whole process that bit easier!”
Jessica is in the process of applying to do a Masters (LLM) in Human Rights Law.
Despite the current uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, Jessica has urged students not to be put off from applying for university.
“The world does not stop even though the pandemic has made it feel like it, and we should make the most of all the opportunities we are presented with,” she added.
“A lot of my internship experiences are still occurring online, meaning that they are still accessible so you can continue to better your CV even in lockdown, and learning online has not stopped lecturers from providing constant support.
“We have previous students supporting the facilitating of learning for first years as part of the Student Learning Assistant team so you can rest easy knowing you will be well supported.
“MDX are doing everything they can to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible so you should not let this factor stop you from applying/going through clearing.”
Rohan Reddy, a BA Film graduate., originally planned to join the RAF and did A Levels in Maths and sciences.
Then he decided he wanted to switch to film, which he realised he had been passionate about all his life.
Going through the Clearing process was "straightforward" he says. "Once I decided to do film at MDX, I contacted the Clearing department, they put me in touch with Senior Lecturer in Film Production Helen Bendon and I went for an interview".
He saw other universities and felt MDX had "a lot more to offer - it had editing suites that were really cool. I liked the balance between theory and practical that this uni was providing".
Rohan encourages other potential students who have a change of heart about what they want to study to follow their instincts, whatever the challenges of the current climate.
"Absolutely - if you know what you want to do, go for it," he says.
While film and TV production has been impacted by coronavirus, he is currently writing a short film and a feature.
Among work he made at MDX, school drama Isabella was screened at three film festivals (Aesthetica, Encounters and Kinofilm) while Nice to Meet You, Florence!, about a young man plucking up the courage to confront his birth mother, won the Writing prize at the Royal Television Society London Student Awards 2020.