It looks like you have JavaScript turned off

Pretty much everything should work. But you may find some components look slightly off as a result. You can find out what JavaScript is here. If you don't have JavaScript turned off, or if something doesn't work that you think should do, please get in touch.

News: A level results not what you expected?

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.

Although A level results day should be a time for celebration, we know that if you don’t get the results you we were expecting it can be a really stressful time.

Take it from us though, no matter what your results are, if you’re willing to make the effort then there is a course or training option out there to suit you! Whether you missed out on the grades you wanted, or even did better and are now considering uni, it’s not too late to get something sorted for this year!

Below are 4 ways to help give yourself the best chance of success

1. Get going early

Alarm Clock Small

Firstly, if you’ve not quite made the grades but were holding a conditional uni offer, check UCAS Track. Your firm choice college or university may still allow you onto the course, or you may be able to go with your insurance choice. The UCAS website can tell you exactly how to check and you can also contact the unis that have made you an offer.

2. Keep your cool

Shutterstock 71162944

If you’ve already applied but been left without a place on a higher education course, or have decided at the last minute that you wish you’d applied, don’t panic. Take a few minutes to think things through then get some expert advice. Your school or college staff will be happy to help. Remember, they’ve dealt with similar situations lots of times before. 

3. Plan of attack

Girl Making A Phone Call

If you have decided at this point that university-level study is still what you want to do then get your Clearing number (from UCAS Track or by registering at so you can get yours). You’ll need this when contacting the uni or college that offers the course you want.

Then visit either the UCAS Clearing search or, if you know where you want to study, the website of the college or university you want to join. Search for the course you want to study. Places at this stage of Clearing can fill up very quickly, but starting a university-level course is a big decision, and they will expect you to have a specific course in mind when you ring.

4. Uni isn’t the only option

Choices Crossroads Arrows

If, after careful consideration you decide you’d like an alternative option, there are loads of other options available!

Have you considered, for example:

A foundation degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) at a local college.

These can be a great pathway to a career but are also full university-level qualifications in their own right. They often have smaller class sizes, with fees typically lower than unis. If you choose, you can then usually go on to top up your qualification to a full undergraduate degree (with further study on a relevant course). Find them on or the website of where you want to study.

At Nottingham College we also offer top-up degrees in a range of subjects, so after completing a foundation degree, you could choose to stay on and top-up to a full honours degree right here.

An apprenticeship 

Becoming an apprentice means you’ll get you direct experience in the industry you want to work in and pay a wage, all while working towards a recognised qualification. If you do well you could even progress to a higher apprenticeship, which involves degree-level study. Find out more at


You could choose to approach a college or sixth form that offers resits. You could then use the time to get a part-time job or work experience to boost your CV and UCAS application for next year. 

Published on:
  • 17th August 2017 (8:00 AM)
Media enquiries

If you are a journalist and would like to contact us about this news story, our PR and Communications team will be happy to assist you.

Contact our press office on:
0115 884 2304

Email our PR team View more news stories