From Clearing to PhD: Andie's Clearing story

Andie Riches

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Psychology and Sport Science
Category: Sport

25 May 2023

PhD student Andie originally applied to ARU through Clearing. She shares her university journey, from undergraduate degree to her current research work.

In September 2013, I found myself in a situation that was not uncommon among students in the UK, I had missed my grades for my chosen university courses and was left with few options. However, I was fortunate enough to discover Clearing, a process that allowed me to find a place at ARU to study sports science in Cambridge.

New opportunities

At the time, I didn't know what to expect. I was nervous and unsure of whether I had made the right choice. But looking back now, I can confidently say that Clearing was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It opened up new opportunities and paved the way for my academic journey.

Discovering a passion for research

During my undergraduate years at ARU, I discovered my passion for research. I was fortunate to work with some amazing lecturers who introduced me to the world of research and showed me how to approach research questions critically. I was fascinated by the process of designing experiments, collecting data, and analysing results. This experience encouraged me to pursue a career in academia.

Pursuing a PhD

After completing my degree, I worked for a year abroad in the sports industry. However, I couldn't shake off the feeling that I wanted to continue my academic journey. After completing my Masters degree at a different institution, I made the decision to return to ARU to pursue a PhD in the School of Psychology and Sport Science. I was excited about the prospect of conducting research in an environment that I was familiar with, and that had already played a significant role in my academic journey. The decision to pursue a PhD was not an easy one. It required a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment. However, I was confident that this was the right path for me. My experience at ARU during my undergraduate studies gave me the necessary foundation to pursue a PhD. Additionally, the familiarity of the university environment and the support from my former lecturers made the transition into my PhD program much smoother.

Success is about more than grades

My research as a PhD candidate is still ongoing, though looking back at my journey up to now, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that Clearing and ARU provided me. The experience has taught me that academic success is not just about getting good grades, but also about persistence, resilience, and a willingness to take risks.

Pursuing a PhD has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope that my journey can inspire others to pursue their academic dreams, no matter how daunting they may seem.

Be sure to have a look for more information about Clearing at ARU:

By Andie Riches
PhD researcher

What is Clearing?

Clearing is an opportunity to reconsider your options, and join a university where you can study a subject you're passionate about.

You can apply through Clearing if:

  • you didn’t apply before the UCAS deadline
  • your grades are different to what you expected
  • you’ve only just decided to go to uni
  • you’ve changed your mind about what or where you want to study since you originally applied.

Find out more about Clearing at ARU


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.