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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

The Ulster University Parents' Guide to Clearing

Students outside university smiling

Results Day is almost upon us and as nerves and excited anticipation sweep across the Northern Ireland, Ulster University recognises this is a stressful time both for the young people receiving their results, but also their parents and guardians who have been supporting them along the way.

Ulster University don’t think that just two years of A Level study should define a young person’s future. Therefore, the university is putting over 100 courses into Clearing to ensure young people across the province and further afield have the opportunity to reach their potential and continue their studies in whichever field they wish to pursue.

If you’re a parent or guardian wondering what ‘Clearing’ is and how best to support your young person transition into the next stage of their academic career, then look no further. Below we list our top tips to navigate results day clearing and help your young person realise their potential.

1. Be prepared

Good news – Clearing at Ulster University is open now! Visit the Clearing website to discover how the process works, available courses, and how to apply for an excellent student experience at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus.

When contacting us to discuss options, make sure your young person has all relevant information to hand including UCAS number, UCAS points, exam results and GCSE grades.


2. Don’t panic

Clearing is a great opportunity to review the options now that results are out. Last year over 70,000 students in the UK found a place through Clearing.

Ulster University offers over 100 courses available across a wide range of subject areas across our Coleraine, Derry~Londonderry and Belfast campuses.

3. Do your research

Compile a shortlist of universities. Talk to your young person about what and where they want to study, then look at each of your shortlisted university’s reputation and advantages, and how well the course could support their future career.

4. Consider all options

It’s vital that prospective students consider all options including courses they might not have thought of or applied to previously. They might even discover a passion for something completely new. It’s not too late to reconsider direction and course choice. Studying part-time is another great option for students who want to combine learning with other personal and professional commitments.

5. Think about the type of campus experience you prefer

Are you a lover of the great outdoors and green space or are you a culture vulture, happiest in the city? Ulster University is continuously investing in learning spaces, cutting-edge technologies, and social spaces which foster life-long friendships and communities. Each campus differs in size and has its own distinctive, vibrant atmosphere.

You can opt for city living in Derry~Londonderry or coastal living in Coleraine. Students voted Ulster 5th in the UK for campus facilities for both campuses, so no matter the location, the experience will be the same.

Ulster University

Katie, a Psychology student, came to Ulster from further afield and studies on the Coleraine campus shares her experience:

“I’m originally from County Carlow and when doing my research I realised that the Ulster University Coleraine campus is so close to the North Coast. Being close to beaches, countryside and beautiful scenery is something I always wanted to experience as part of university life. I’m so close to landmarks like the Giants Causeway for days out with my friends, but I'm not too far from home when I want to see my family. At the Coleraine campus I’ve met so many students from all over the world, it’s been a great experience and I’m very glad I came here to study.”

Ronnie, a recent Accounting graduate from Derry/Londonderry picked a course close to home:

“I chose to go to my local campus, I got to study subjects that I wanted to. The fact the Derry~Londonderry campus is a five-minute walk from my house in the middle of a walkable community was a real advantage for me: it’s great to be able to stay in the city near my family and friends. I also found that there was a wide variety of practical experiences, the tutors were very supportive, and there was other support available from student wellbeing and careers.”  

Devon a current student at Derry~Londonderry campus moved here from Lancashire in England to study:

“The people here are really nice, as soon as I moved here, I felt really safe and comfortable.

“I study in the Derry~Londonderry campus and live in Derry city which is great because it’s only a five-minute walk away for early morning lectures. Town is really close by so I can pop out for lunch, there’s a lot of great shops and I feel it’s great for raising a family here as there aresome really great beaches and lots of outdoor activities nearby. 

“All my lecturers here know me by name, it’s a great course, I really love it here. I would advise anyone to just go for it, take the leap.” 


6. Get in touch

Entry requirements for courses with vacancies during Clearing can change so visit the Ulster University website or complete an online enquiry form for guidance through the process and to secure a place at Ulster University for your young person.

7. Attend a webinar

If you’re still not 100% clear about Clearing, attend one of our free webinars where the Ulster University student recruitment team will help prepare you and your young person for results day and all eventualities. Visit to find the link to join a webinar and hear more about studying at Ulster University and the student experience.

Clearing as an opportunity

Matthew O’Neill, a student on the Derry~Londonderry campus who went through clearing said:

“I was in full time employment and was struggling to know what I wanted to do and so I looked into clearing one day to see how I would get on and what would be available to me. I stumbled upon Business with Education and it was a course that I thought I would like to explore. I applied on the Friday after A-Level results and within an hour had an email from admissions asking for my details. As a mature student, I was so nervous coming up the road on my first day but from the minute I landed in, I just integrated so seamlessly which was great.”


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