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A mother and son's Clearing journey

The lead up to results day can be an anxious time for students and their parents and supporters. Our tips show how to help your student to prepare for and survive results day. University Clearing helplines are on hand, with friendly staff available to give advice, talk students through the Clearing process and support their applications. 

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Clearing can be a great opportunity for your student. Whether they haven’t applied to university already, didn’t quite make the required grades, changed their mind about the offer they’re holding or have achieved better grades than anticipated, Clearing can enable your student to apply for other courses and universities. 

We talked to Andrea and her son Matthew about their experience of Clearing and what they each learned.

Andrea and Matthew's Clearing experience

Matthew, tell us about your journey to the University of Sunderland. What did you study at school and what was your original plan?

Matthew: I always wanted to study Law at university and studied Law at A level with History and IT. I applied to another university to study law and after my first year found I disliked the university and the course and didn’t know what to do. My mum suggested I go through Clearing and apply to Sunderland, which meant changing my uni, and I decided to change my course to Cybersecurity.


Andrea and Matthew sitting together outside on a wall at City Campus smiling and talking

Andrea, what did you know about Clearing and how it worked before your young person got their University of Sunderland place? 

Andrea: I knew students could apply to university through Clearing if there were still places on the course. I wasn’t too sure about the process, so my son rang the university for help and they guided him through how to apply. 

Matthew, were you aware of Clearing and how it worked?

Matthew: No, I was not aware it was my mum that guided me to this, I was so disheartened and didn’t know what to do, I knew I wanted to go to university.

As a parent, how did you find the Clearing process?  

Andrea: It was very straightforward, I think I was more apprehensive for my son, making sure he got everything he needed and wanted. I know he is an adult but as a mother I still like to know everything! The staff explained everything and made my son feel at ease. The instructions were clear and if he needed anything he was given contact numbers to call. 

Matthew, how did you find the Clearing process?

Matthew: I found it easy to apply through Clearing. The staff at the uni were helpful, explained everything thoroughly and guided me step-by-step about what I needed to do. There is a lot to take in but I just wrote everything down.

Andrea and Matthew standing together outside looking at a phone at City Campus

How did you feel while your young person was going through Clearing?  

Andrea: Apprehensive, nervous, excited and then relieved once everything was sorted! My son really wanted to go to university, and we were so pleased once he was sorted. 

Andrea and Matthew hugging each other outside at City Campus

What advice would you give to other parents and supporters who find their young person in the Clearing process?  

Matthew: Choose your university based on the course you want to study then speak to the staff, they’re all so friendly and helpful. It’s ok to feel nervous but they’ll guide you all the way. Don’t think just because you didn’t apply months ago it’s too late, just give them a ring. 

Andrea: If your child decides to apply to uni in Clearing, encourage them to ring and chat to the staff, everyone is very helpful and explains everything fully. They are calm, friendly, caring and informative. They won’t be the only person joining in Clearing either, embrace it and enjoy it! 

How do I apply through Clearing at the University of Sunderland? 

The University of Sunderland Clearing number is 0191 515 3000, and you can also apply online

You can find out more information about Clearing, and sign up for our parents and supporters’ newsletter. You can also join us at an open day.