Shona McQuillan is a senior adviser and manager of the Course Enquiries Team at Birmingham City University. Shona has experience of over 16 years in Higher Education and has advised thousands of prospective students about course options and applying to university.

Are your grades not as you expected? Are you unsure as to whether your current qualifications could be considered for entry onto a course? Here are some options to consider.

Education you have previously completed

If you have previously completed qualifications and are looking to apply for a course but they don’t meet the minimum entry requirements, or do not have any formal qualifications, you may need to consider undertaking further study in order to be able to then proceed with applying for your course of choice. This is often dependent on the individual entry requirements of the course you’re thinking of applying for, whether there is any entry policy relating to non-standard entry (e.g. on the basis of work or life experience) or whether it is essential for all applicants to demonstrate specific academic qualifications in preparation for admission onto the course.

It may be worth contacting the University to discuss you qualifications with them before deciding on what you should do next. Birmingham City University have advisers on hand at the Course Enquiries Team you can talk to with any questions you may have about our course entry requirements – so you can contact them online or call them on 0121 331 5595 if you’d like further help and information. If you do need to take any further qualifications, they can often advise about which options are most appropriate to your individual situation and the specific course you are interested in.

Just received your exam results and they’re not as expected?

If your exam results aren’t as good as you expected when you receive your results, keep calm as the right course for you may still be out there. There’s a good chance that you will be able to secure a place at university.

If you have been offered a place on a full-time undergraduate course or a PGCE course and narrowly miss the grades you require, check the status of your application on UCAS Track before contacting universities to enquire about courses through Clearing. If you are only slightly short of the required grades the university may still be able to confirm your place, but this will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. If you are unsuccessful with your firm and, where applicable, insurance choices, the next option is to apply for a course through Clearing.

If you’re been offered a conditional place on a part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course, contact the admissions office at the university or universities you’ve applied to as they may require you to submit a copy of your exam results to them before they can make any final decision.

Keep an open mind

If you don’t secure a place on your original course of choice but are flexible about considering courses that perhaps weren’t your first choice there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a course to suit you. You may find you have a passion for something you hadn’t considered before! Try taking the questionnaire available through UK Course Finder to see what subjects it suggests for you if you’re not sure what other subjects might be suited to your interests and abilities.

The following two tabs change content below.

Shona McQuillan

Senior adviser and manager of the Course Enquiries Team at Birmingham City University.

Latest posts by Shona McQuillan (see all)