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Clearing 2017 – Clearing success stories


If you haven't even thought about going to university this year, relax – there's still time. Just give us a call on 0191 515 3000 and we may be able to offer you a place over the phone!

Here are some of our students who joined us through Clearing and have gone on to have fantastic career opportunities!


Clearing success stories

Don't just take our word for it that the University of Sunderland will change your life.

These students all joined us during Clearing, graduated with flying colours and are now forging ahead with successful careers or further study.

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Lisa Frost

Lisa Frost admits that university was not right for her first time around, and so she took a break from academia to concentrate on family life.

But never giving up on her dream of returning to the University of Sunderland to pursue a career in science, she contacted the Admissions team during Clearing and was delighted with the help and advice she received.

She was accepted onto a Chemical Pharmaceutical Science degree and enjoyed the course so much, graduating with a 2:1, that she was motivated to take on a PhD.

As a result of this PhD project, she is now working as a full-time researcher in the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

“After A-levels, I went straight into university, but knew the time was not right. So I left and took time out to decide what I really wanted in life. By age 25, I decided to bite the bullet make the call to Sunderland once again and couldn’t believe how helpful the admissions team were. They gave me useful advice about the course I should take.

“Students should make that call to the Clearing team, once they feel ready, they’ll be surprise at how much support is out there for you.”

“I loved the degree course and the whole atmosphere at the university, I also got the chance to work as an undergraduate with Professor Roz Anderson, who has an outstanding reputation, and she has been inspirational and incredibly supportive.”

Calum Hider

Having just missed the A-level grades needed for his first choice university, and almost on the verge of giving up his dream to study Broadcast Journalism, Calum Hider entered the Clearing process reluctantly.

“I started looking around at various university websites and when I looked at the facilities at Sunderland’s that was it. I decided that Sunderland was where I wanted to be and I successfully applied through Clearing.

“To be honest, I’d never originally considered Sunderland, simply because I had made a firm decision about my first choice and didn’t know much about the area - I only knew about the football team.

"But in fact, it turned out to be the best decision I ever made - I just had to travel a little further north!

“It’s a brilliant place and I’m a huge advocate for the city and university, it was my first step to independence also.”

Calum threw himself into university life and went on to achieve a 2:1 in Broadcast Journalism. He also gained invaluable experience on the university’s very own community radio station, 107 Spark FM. He now helps produce content for the afternoon shows, researching features from news and music to up-and-coming new bands and artists.

“Never give up. It was a horrible feeling not getting the grades I wanted, especially on results day. You see people putting things on Facebook and celebrating and you are there stuck indoors not knowing what to do, I even contemplated whether or not to get a job. But I’m so glad I took the opportunity at Sunderland.”

Kathryn Hutchinson

Taking time out to consider her options after A-levels proved a smart move for Kathryn Hutchinson. Still unsure whether she wanted to go to university at age 18 after completing her A Levels, Kathryn decided to take a call centre job until she’d fully decided which direction to take.

That time away from academia for a few short years helped her decide what she wanted to study, so Kathryn entered the Clearing process at the University of Sunderland.

"I was delighted to be accepted on the degree course. I’d heard Sunderland’s business school had an excellent reputation, it was on my doorstep and I was still able to work part-time. It seemed like a win-win situation, and couldn’t have happened at a better time."

"Taking a break from education allowed me to decide which direction I eventually wanted to head into. By the time I did go through Clearing at age 20, I was ready for university and ready to put the effort in." 
And put the effort in she certainly did, graduating with a First Class degree in Business and Human Resource Management and with a full-time HR job already lined up with Paragon Group UK, a national print provider.

She added: "I feel very fortunate to have been given these opportunities thanks to the University and would suggest students who were in my position also consider their options to decide what course is right for them.

"I felt confident when I finally joined Sunderland, and I enjoyed the HR core modules so much in my first year that helped shape the career path I would take."

Johnathan Goswell

Twelve potential employers have been clambering at Johnathan Goswell’s door since he completed his computer Science Degree at the University of Sunderland.

But roll back the clock four years ago and it was a different story; at the time Johnathan was not sure university was for him, felt he did not have the confidence to get a degree and set plans in motion to get a job. However, college lecturers recognised his talent for computer programming and encouraged him to apply to university.

When the 22-year-old, from Reading, did not quite reach the A-level grades he needed for his chosen university in the south, he began a new search through the Clearing process.

He found himself with a number of offers from universities but after a visit to the University of Sunderland’s campus during an August Open day event he was impressed by the facilities and lecturers he spoke to and his mind was made up.

He chose to study a Computer Science degree at Sunderland and achieved a First Class degree.

He immediately updated his professional profile on business social networking site LinkedIn and as a result was head-hunted by up to 12 companies and he found himself with three firm job offers.

He is now about to begin work as a software programmer with BT at their innovation research site in Ipswich in September.

Johnathan says: “I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed the first year at Sunderland and found the work so straightforward. From then on my confidence grew year on year. Of course there are challenges you face, but there were more high points and the fact I have a great job at the end of it proves it was the right thing for me.”

He added: “I would tell any student in the Clearing process to just jump in and go for it!

“Open days are a great way to see what a university has to offer, it helped my decision, and certainly don’t panic! A friend of mine has now been accepted on the Computer Science degree next September as a result of my recommendation.”