Clearing the path to success

Overseas-education | Samuel Chan 26 Jul 2016

SECURING A place at a first-choice university may be plain sailing for many - but others may have to look to UCAS Clearing as a means to find a course.

Clearing does not solely function to rescue students who receive worse-than- expected grades. In fact, the system springs into action well before results day in July, serving to assist those who make later applications (after June 30). Furthermore, students may not find a suitable course when applying originally and use Clearing to secure a place once they have a better idea about what study path they wish to follow.

Clearing should be viewed as a viable means to get on the right career path. It is important for students to overlook the "underachiever" stereotypes and misconceptions. In 2015, around 64,000 students went on to university courtesy of Clearing - not a figure to be overlooked.

Courses commonly entered by universities for Clearing include those in business and administration, engineering and social studies. Less common and highly selective options include economics and pharmacy, both of which flourish at the University of Nottingham.

Embarking on the four-year MPharm course at Nottingham is a particularly worthy option owing to the institution's reputation for the quality of its research in the design and use of medicines and drugs. Nottingham is also ranked sixth in the world for the subject. During the first year, students learn about the essential skills required by pharmacists, while the third and fourth years offer modules related to cancers and advanced drug discovery.

Graduates could go on to become hospital, industrial or community pharmacists, while postgraduate study is also an exciting possibility.

Top universities such as Nottingham, Durham, Sheffield, Southampton and Warwick made hundreds of courses available in 2015. Even more courses look set to be offered through Clearing this year.

Samuel Chan is the managing director of Britannia StudyLink.

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