A level results day may feel like a distant memory for those of you who have been successful in getting in to your first or insurance choices. However, there are still some who are battling through Clearing, confused over which is the right path for them.
UCAS deadlines can be an additional strain on students who are debating between courses, institutions, or even whether to go to university at all. What many don’t know, though, is that there are certain higher education institutions that, as independent organisations, don’t have to conform to these deadlines and can therefore be much more flexible when it comes to student admissions. Met Film School, for example, allows admissions right up until the course start date.
This is particularly useful for those of you wanting to study subjects that are more creative or vocational. Students following a more traditional academic route are often comforted by the idea that a Physics degree at one university isn’t going to differ too greatly from the offering at another. After all, what goes up must come down is true wherever you learn it. Creative subjects, however, are much more open for interpretation, and being in the right environment to let your creative juices flow is of great importance. So the last thing you want when making the decision between universities is the additional stress of application deadlines.
Environment is key here, as many students of a more creative tendency will find that the traditional university timetable doesn’t work well for them. Maddy Storer, for example, came to Met Film having started studying Cinema and Photography at a well-known redbrick university. However she found that the traditional student lifestyle lacked the discipline and direction she desired. When you’re paying £9,000 a year in fees, minimal contact hours can leave you with a bit of a sour taste in your mouth.
“I feel like it’s definitely a more adult environment here. For example, we’re in from 9:45am to 5pm every day and it’s all very hands on. My university experience has become infinitely more exciting and challenging due to the fact that I’m working with likeminded people and we’re constantly learning from each other. It’s also made it a lot more valuable.”
It’s also worth bearing in mind that independent providers have the freedom to make themselves incredibly tailored and niche. We are able to channel money into course materials, have smaller teaching groups and employ different teaching methods, ensuring an integrated learning experience that all students are able to benefit from.
By focusing in on a few key areas, independent providers also have the opportunity to become extremely proficient in their field, thereby attracting expert talent in the form of lecturers and course leaders. This offers infinite learning possibilities for students who not only are able to absorb the knowledge of such industry leaders, but can also forge their own networking opportunities. Creating a strong network of likeminded individuals and key players in their particular fields ensures that creative students can develop both academically and professionally, providing an excellent foundation for their future career.
So before rushing, panic-stricken, to accept that Clearing place even though you’re not 100% sure it’s for you, take a while to consider options that, although non-traditional, may represent a much better fit. Remember, these are the next few years of your life that you’re signing up to, and this is not a decision to be taken lightly.