Why Clearing is an opportunity worth investing in

BA (Hons) Acting star Alphonso Brown tells us how he transformed his initial disappointment with a positive attitude

“I never imagined myself needing to go through Clearing. In fact I would have put myself top of the fictional list 'of people who will never need Clearing’. When I started my last year at my sixth form college I was on course to achieve a triple distinction star.”

Alphonso Brown

BA (Hons) Acting

Clearing is an opportunity worth investing in


'Clearing is an opportunity that is worth investing in.' That was my thought process as I called numerous universities, and it is a sentiment I firmly stand by to this day. 

There is this strange stigma that dangles around the idea of going through Clearing. People think it is only for failures. People who perhaps did not achieve their desired grades, people who are desperate or unorganised. I feel obliged to call all those labels out as false. 

The fear of falling into that nonsense ‘category’ should not hold you back from chasing your degree, even if it is in a different location than originally planned.

I never imagined myself needing to go through Clearing. In fact I would have put myself top of the fictional list 'of people who will never need Clearing’. When I started my last year at my sixth form college I was on course to achieve a triple distinction star. I was enjoying my lessons, I had a great relationship with my teachers, and I was growing ever more confident in my craft and had applied to five theatre schools/universities. 

The world was at my feet, and I was tap dancing all over the globe. That was January. By April I had been kicked out of college and the three – I naively decided to only attend three out of the five auditions – theatre schools/universities I attended rejected me. Life was looking mighty tight upon my chest.

Every time I went on to the internet I saw advertisements from various universities reminding me about the possibility of Clearing. I was not keen. In my eyes I deserved the pick of the bunch. 'Why should I be in a position where I have to chase them? If this lot knew how talented I was... where the hell is my Oscar???'.

Once I managed to get over myself and started to apply and phone universities, I realised how helpful people were, and the support and encouragement I got from the UCAS was refreshing. I quickly realised they deal with hundreds, if not thousands of people in similar situations to me yearly, and they only want to get you into the best course and university for you.

I can only stress how important it is to persevere through the initial disappointment of not getting your preferred university. But I can guarantee you, whatever your reason for not applying through Clearing is; it is not good enough. Pursue the course you want and work even harder once you get it. 

I have no idea what life would be like had I not been brave enough to go through Clearing, and I am grateful that I will never know because the experiences and people I have met at University have been priceless.

Alphonso is now approaching the end of his course, looking to graduation and the future.

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.

Already made an application to Plymouth?

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.

Pre-register for Clearing at Plymouth