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Top five subjects found through Clearing revealed

What subjects and courses can you study through Clearing? Read our breakdown of official Ucas data to see where Clearing might take you…

This article was written a few years ago based on data from 2014. This data is no longer available but this is a snapshot of how it was then.

The good news is that Clearing isn’t just for a niche set of subjects; through it, you can secure a place on all sorts of courses, across a wide range of disciplines.

Here's a countdown of the top subjects students found a place on a course for, through Clearing in 2014 – along with some tailored tips to help you apply...*

5. Engineering (4,195 Clearing places)

More than 4,000 students found a place on one of the many types of Engineering courses available (after all, everything has to be made). These include chemical, civil and electronic and electrical engineering – these are all diverse areas unique from one another, focusing on the planning, building and evaluation of everything from public transport to mobile phones.

Tips for applying: those who work in engineering fields will normally find themselves working as part of a large team. Therefore when you’re speaking to a university on the phone during Clearing, any instances where you’ve excelled in a group would be beneficial to highlight – especially if that experience demonstrates your problem-solving abilities.  

4. Subjects allied to Medicine (6,025 Clearing places)

Don’t be put off by this term which sounds a little vague. ‘Subjects allied to Medicine’ simply refers to broadly-based subjects which have a link to medicine, such as biomedical sciences, health and nutrition. Many students find places on these courses through Clearing.

Tips for applying: demonstrating curiosity for your chosen subject – and an understanding of what it actually involves – is key to applying to courses in this field. If your course involves the treatment and care of individuals, meanwhile, getting across that you’re genuinely empathetic speaks volumes. Emphasise relevant placements and work experience you’ve completed in a care setting, explaining what you learned.  

3. Social Studies (6,135 Clearing places)

A little over 6,000 Social Studies students found their course through Clearing. Social studies covers a wide range of subjects which deal with how individuals behave, including sociology, anthropology, politics and philosophy, which can take students into a variety of career paths.

Tips for applying: when you’re speaking to a university on the phone during Clearing, make an effort to demonstrate a genuine academic interest in the subject – be that your views, opinions or extra reading around topical political debates or a wider awareness of social issues.

2. Biological Sciences (6,400 Clearing places)

Biological Sciences – the study of living things – covers an exciting array of areas including the study of organisms’ bodies (anatomy), how animals live (zoology) and how living organisms interact with their environment (ecology), to name just a few. If last year’s Clearing vacancies are anything to go on, a variety of Biological Sciences courses should be available via this route.

Tips for applying: budding biologists need to get across a clear understanding of the specific scientific field they’re interested in and why they want to pursue that route of study - perhaps it’s a fascination with the structure of living things, or how the human body works.

1. Business and Admin Studies (9,455 Clearing places)

More than 9,000 acceptances to Business and Admin Studies courses came about as a result of Clearing, making it the most common subject. This area covers popular courses such as business, management, finance and economics, which can lead to various careers in leading corporations and organisations – so don’t underestimate Clearing as a means to becoming a CEO, entrepreneur or manager of tomorrow.

Tips for applying: organisation and communication are key traits which admissions staff look for in applicants to Business and Admin Studies courses. If you do undergo a mini interview over the phone during Clearing, prepare for the questions you might be asked and jot down some answers so you can talk about these in a clear and well thought out manner.  

* Data source: University acceptances via Ucas, 2014

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