Law and order in the Metaverse: legal expert warns how you could be at risk. Find out more
Conflict in Israel and Gaza – support for students. Find out more


My Clearing experience: An interview with Carmen Crick Nicholls

Current London Bloomsbury LLB student Carmen Crick Nicholls joined us through Clearing. When she didn’t get her predicted grades, we offered her a new route into law with a Foundation Year. We caught up with Carmen to discuss her Clearing experience and get her advice for parents of students in the same position.

By Cara Fielder. Published 9 September 2022. Last updated 24 March 2023.

I applied through Clearing as my A-levels did not go well. Even though I had applied to ULaw, I knew they were not going to accept me onto the LLB I originally hoped for. I received an email saying the University would call me, and I had a telephone interview with a lecturer. It was then they said I could join ULaw through Clearing if I did a Foundation Year. I have always had an interest in law, so if adding a Foundation Year was my only way to study the LLB, I was willing to do so. The fact that ULaw spoke to me about what the course entailed, as well as the facilities and support the University had available, was really helpful.

I’d originally chosen to study at ULaw because I liked how organised it seemed and the variety of electives available.

At the time, I didn’t know much about Clearing, just that it existed. The process was nerve-racking. When you get told you have not been accepted, you feel like you are stuck and going nowhere. I think you are scared that nowhere will take you or that you will end up somewhere terrible. It was scary as all my friends already had their places and were very excited to be going to the university of their choice.

I prepared for Clearing by returning to the list I made when I was initially picking universities and I went through their grade requirements.

I would definitely say that the Clearing process worked out better than I thought it would. I got to attend the university that I applied to, and I do not regret that choice.

My advice to other students going through Clearing is do not stress too much. Wipe the tears away and start researching. Check your emails and talk to your teachers as they will have the right advice for what you could do next. Get back on the UCAS website if you need to and apply again. Even if you have to change your course, your goals are still possible - it just might be a detoured path.

Parents wanting to support their kids through Clearing should just ask if you can help because it is very stressful. Maybe offer to make your student meals and drinks whilst they try to figure out their next steps. See if you can help with their research of any kind, but do not make any phone calls without them because this is a decision that they need to make mainly by themselves.


Visit out dedicated Clearing webpage for more student experiences and details of the Clearing process.