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Returning to education: Eden's Clearing story

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Computing and Information Science
Category: Computing and digital technology

25 May 2023

Eden studies computer science at ARU Peterborough. As a mature student, Eden applied through Clearing - here's how the process worked.

So, like a lot of people I decided to apply for university through clearing. As a mature student – having left school in 2007 – with no qualifications past GCSE, Clearing was the perfect opportunity for me to get onto the course I wanted.

Doing my research

The first thing I did was attend an Open Day, to talk to lecturers in the field I was interested in and see if they thought I would be a good fit, or if there was anything else I could do to bolster my chances of getting an offer. Open days are the perfect time to figure out your options and get a feel for the campus and whether you feel the course is going to work for you.

Computer Science student Eden Peacock


How Clearing applications work

Clearing at ARU opens on 3 July this year [2023]. I decided to apply directly through the ARU website, which was a very quick and simple process. I actually sent in my application on the train on the way in to work! Once your application is received, you will get a confirmation email informing you that your application is ready to be processed.

After this, you will be asked to provide any supporting evidence required if it is available to you (such as GCSE certificates), so if you are thinking of applying and you have already received your exam results make sure you have these available – copies can be obtained via the awarding bodies you took the exams with – and submit them as soon as possible.

After this, you wait! Once your application has been processed you will receive an email informing you of your offer status. If you are not waiting for results, then successful candidates can be given an unconditional offer straight away; however if you are still waiting on your grades then the offer will be conditional until after results day.

My top tips for Clearing

  • Apply as soon as applications open so you can secure your offer, this way if there is any further evidence required (or even an interview) there is no delay in your application being processed.
  • Don’t be nervous – applying for anything can be a daunting experience, and a lot of people will put it off or not do it altogether out of fear of rejection. You never know unless you try, and ARU is a friendly and welcoming place for people at any point in their life.
  • If you have any questions, ARU has an incredibly responsive and welcoming team on hand through phone, email or live chat that can help provide you with answers.
  • Make sure you have your documentation ready! Be it GCSE/A level/NVQ or other awards, or photo ID, make sure you have it in order as soon as you can. If you’re returning to education and have all results needed, now is the perfect time to rummage through your files to find them. Think about other things you may need as well – for example, I had to provide a copy of my deed poll due to a name change. You can never be overprepared.
  • Try to relax and understand that the process takes a little time. Universities receive thousands of applications during Clearing, and ARU is no exception. It will take a while to process everyone, and offers come out in waves. You will get confirmation of your offer status as soon as it is available.

By Eden Peacock
Computer Science student

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.