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We’ve had a chat with the Admissions Team of University of Liverpool about what happens on that  important day in August…

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You’ve opened the envelope in August and just discovered the results are not what you expected. You were made an offer by your first choice University and the results you see don’t make the grade.

While we hope this doesn’t happen, it’s good to have a plan B. We talked to University of Liverpool’s Admissions Team to give you a heads-up about your options in the event you don’t perform as well as you hoped.

Students have been going to the University of Liverpool since it was founded in 1881. It gained its Royal Charter in 1903 one of the six ‘red brick’ civic universities, the first to be referred to as The Original Red Brick. It is a founding member of the Russell Group. Coupled with the fact it is in one of England’s most exciting cities, it’s no wonder this University is often the first choice for students looking to get a degree.  

About now you’re probably focussed on revising and sitting you’re A-Levels. Or your BTEC or Access course. You’ll have offers from both your first choice and your second choice, known as an insurance choice, Universities.

So, what happens if you don’t make the grades for your first choice university? What do you do now?

We’ve had a chat with the Admissions Team of University of Liverpool about what happens on that  important day in August. Students that meet the entry requirements are sent an email by the University congratulating and welcoming them to study on the course they applied for. You need do nothing more than open a bottle of champagne and wait for your email. Well done.

Is it best to resit?

If you have missed the grades narrowly there are two possible options at this stage, depending on a number of factors. Check the UCAS Hub, as if you have met the University minimum acceptance levels you may still have been accepted for your programme of choice.  If the programme is very popular however this may not be the case and you may need to look at other options such as resitting. 

However, if you had an off day sitting your exams but you are set on a particular university and course their general advice is not to panic. It might be worth investing in another year at a college, to resit the exams you need to get the grades you need. 

Off to clearing

If universities have courses that don’t have enough applicants with the required grades, they will advertise these courses and grade requirements in clearing. 

So, if your results aren’t what you were hoping for, it’s very important to get on to the UCAS system quickly. This will show you the courses that have places and their entry requirements.  If you meet the grades advertised to study Biological Sciences at University of Liverpool, for example, then you should go to the university website and make a clearing application. If you don’t have the grades you will be wasting your time applying. No university will take you on a course without the advertised grades in the clearing system. There will be lots of competition and places get filled quickly with people who are looking for places and who have the grades. 

Don’t panic and rush 

It’s not the end of the world if you are set on getting to university and you don’t have the grades. This is just a temporary blip in your career plan. You should not panic. Think carefully and don’t rush into going to a university to do a course that you might not be happy with. If you want to go to at a Russell Group university, for instance, then look at how to get the grades, rather than settling for a different university to study at this year.   

Other options available to you include taking a HND qualification at a college and then using this to top up to a degree. Be aware that not all universities offer this option including the University of Liverpool. 

If you do not meet the standard entry requirements for a degree, then you may want to think about applying for a University Foundation Programmes which is an option for applying for Science and Engineering, and in Health and Clinical Sciences courses. 

This adds an additional year onto getting a degree and is spent studying at a different campus. For students over 19 years’ old, there are Higher Education Diplomas that provide an access course to a degree. The University of Liverpool’s ‘Go Higher’ access programme offers a range of diplomas which give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue a degree and are ideal for people who are returning to learning, switching career paths or lack traditional entry qualifications for a degree. 

Good luck with your exams and remember to think through all the options if you don’t get the results you want.