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News: A Level results not what you expected?

Student with their exam results.
Student with their exam results.

Although A Level results day is a time for celebration, we know that it can be a really stressful time if you didn’t get the results you we were expecting, however it’s important not to panic!

No matter what your results are, there will be a course or training option out there to suit you! The answer you’re looking for could be right on your doorstep. Did you know we have lots of options including university-level courses such as Foundation Degrees, HNDs and top-up programmes, or you could earn while you learn with a higher level apprenticeship. 

Here are four ways to help find an alternative course:

1. Stay calm

Person sat rubbing their head, looking at a laptop as they are stressed with work

If you’ve already applied but have 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 and don’t panic. There will be an option for you!

2. Get up and get going

Person smiling whilst typing on a laptop

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 universities that have made you an offer. 

  • If you’ve done better than expected – well done! In that case, you might be eligible for UCAS Adjustment if you’d like to consider an alternative course.

3. Get organised

Person smiling at home whilst writing in a journal

If you have decided at this point that university-level study is still what you want to do make sure you have your UCAS Personal ID to hand. You’ll need this when contacting the uni or college that offers the course you want. 

There are still places available at Nottingham College for university-level courses starting in September. You can visit our clearing pages or call our clearing hotline on 0115 838 0610

If you are looking further afield then you can search all available courses on UCAS Clearing search or, if you already know where you want to study head to their website and search for the course you want to study. (Places at this stage of Clearing can fill up quickly so universities and colleges will expect you to have a specific course in mind when you ring up.) 

It’s important that you make the phone calls yourself, as they will want to chat to you about your qualifications and interest in the course. 

4. Consider all your options

Person sat thinking about something whilst holding a pen in front of a notepad and laptop

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

Have you considered, for example: 

A foundation degree or Higher National Diploma (HND)?

  • 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). 
  • 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. If you’re interested, check our Clearing vacancies.
  • You can visit our course pages.

An apprenticeship

      • Becoming an apprentice means you’ll get you direct experience in the industry you want to work in and will get paid 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.
      • We currently have over 100 apprenticeship vacancies on our website at the moment! Find out more on our apprenticeship pages.


      • If you had specific grades in mind then there is the opportunity to resit your A Levels. You could then use the time to also get a part-time job or work experience to boost your CV and UCAS application for next year. 
      Published on:
      • 10th August 2022 (9:00 AM)
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