04 Jul Case study: Entering Clearing with IB qualifications
The University of Sheffield caught my eye early on while I was researching universities as it is a top university, a member of the Russell Group, and one of the highest ranked in the Student Experience Survey. When I went to an open day the summer before I made my applications, I found that everyone was very kind and friendly throughout the university and city, which was an important factor for me. The location of the university also appealed to me. While the University of Sheffield is not technically campus-based, the main buildings are close together in one section of the city. This gives the university a sense of closeness while also giving ample space. Sheffield is also a decently sized city – not too small and not too big – and it doesn’t take long to get to the countryside, including the beautiful Peak District. While I did not make Sheffield my firm or insurance choice – primarily because I felt I needed an option with lower entry requirements – it was one of the five original universities I applied to.
Months passed and IB results came out. To put a long and rather painful story short, although I did very well in most of my subjects, HL maths did not go nearly as well as predicted. I started a frenzied search through UCAS clearing, hunting for any university that would accept me into a chemical engineering course with a lower maths grade. Eventually, I decided that taking chemistry at a top university would be better than settling for chemical engineering at a university that might not be quite as good in the long-term. Besides, chemistry was my real passion in the first place.
I called up a few admissions services at various universities and was mostly told I would have to wait until A Level results were released. Then I phoned up the admissions service at Sheffield and had my call answered by a particularly pleasant admissions officer. He was patient and caring and exactly what I needed during this stressful time. He wished me luck and connected me through to the head of undergraduate admission in the chemistry department. Once again, I was met with patience and kindness on the other end of the phone, and, after going over the scores that I received, I was told that I would be accepted into the department if I were to apply. About a week later, having found nothing that came close to the University of Sheffield, I applied through clearing and was accepted within a few days. I cannot overstate how important it was to me that the university knew how to handle IB applicants and made everything so much easier. I was even guaranteed university accommodation, even though I was an applicant through clearing.
I have just finished my first of four years here in Sheffield and I have enjoyed every minute of it.