How Clearing offers a world of opportunities

BEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering graduate Allan Walker tells us how Clearing helped him travel the world

“Try and not be too disappointed if you don’t get in quite where you wanted and just keep an open mind about other opportunities. This change in direction ended up being one of the most unexpected and best choices of my life.”

Allan Walker

BEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering

Clearing helped me travel the world

I didn’t get quite the A level results I was hoping for and had to reassess my options. This ended up dramatically changing my undergraduate pathway and subsequent career – for the better! 

So try and not to be too disappointed if you don’t get in quite where you wanted and just keep an open mind about other opportunities.

I was contemplating what course to go for, and where, and one of my friends had started the HND in civil and coastal engineering at Plymouth and suggested I check it out. So I did and I liked the look of the vocational nature of the course, and the diving and coastal aspects which were pretty unique. Also, I knew Plymouth, coming from Taunton in Somerset, and loved the city and the proximity to the countryside and beaches.

I was a bit uncertain about my options without any first round offers, but it all came together quite easily. The process was very simple. 

I just called the University to apply for the HND and sent my transcripts, and that was it. I was accepted and had to get down to Plymouth pretty quickly to find some digs before the commencement of the first semester. 

In no time at all I was meeting great people – some of them are still amongst my best friends today – and making wonderful memories on the many trips out onto Plymouth Harbour on a dive boat.

It was great fun living in Plymouth. I was in a shared house off Mutley Plain for the whole time I was there – convenient for the town centre and lectures and close to the main campus.

This change in direction ended up being one of the most unexpected and best choices of my life. Plymouth was a fantastic place to work and study and my HND, and subsequent degree in civil and coastal engineering, have really helped me with my chosen career. 

Studying at Plymouth opened all the right doors to start my career in construction. It provided the platform for further undergraduate study in quantity surveying and I am now part way through my MBA in Sydney, Australia. 

The future will probably take in more study and travelling, because once studying is in the blood, it’s hard to stop.


Allan is now Commercial Manager at Macquarie University.

If you’re worried about your university place, or want to consider your options, you don’t have to wait until A level results day to apply for Clearing.

If you haven’t yet applied to the University of Plymouth, you can register in advance to receive priority treatment on Thursday 16 August 2018 with our dedicated team of advisors.

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If you have previously made an application with the University of Plymouth you will not have to pre-register for Clearing. Simply follow our advice on our Clearing pages to find out what you should do next.

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