Shona McQuillan

Shona McQuillan

Shona McQuillan – Manager of the Course Enquiries team  at Birmingham City University

If your exam results aren’t as good as you expected remember to keep calm; 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 through Clearing.

If you 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 a few UCAS tariff points 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.

Check course vacancies

Find out which courses are available in Clearing by checking the vacancy listings on the UCAS website.

Keep an open mind

If you have reasonable qualifications and 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 through Clearing. You may find you have a passion for something you hadn’t considered before!


When you call be prepared – you might suddenly find yourself in a telephone interview with an admissions tutor. Make sure you have all your grades to hand so that you can confirm them if necessary. If you have some questions ready, you’ll feel more confident and have the chance to impress the admissions tutor by demonstrating that you’ve thought about what you want to study.

Pick up the phone

Contact the universities’ clearing helplines. Lines at Birmingham City University are open from 8am until 8pm on Thursday 14 August and you can call us on 0121 331 6777. If you already have your exam results, you can call our Course Enquiries Team before then to see if places are available by telephoning 0121 331 5595.

Weigh it all up

Your decision could determine what you will be doing for the next three or four years and possibly beyond – so it’s important you make the choice that’s right for you.

There’s every chance that you’ll find a course to suit you, but don’t rush to accept the first place you are offered if you’re unsure about it. Think things through and talk to someone if it helps. For advice about courses offered at Birmingham City University, contact our friendly course advisers on 0121 331 5595.

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Shona McQuillan

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

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