Issue date: 08 August 2001

Peter Bloodsworth has just completed his final year at the University of the West of England where he has studied towards a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Peter entered the Clearing system when his grades did not live up to expectations but he says he has not looked back since.

Peter explains, “My A Levels were a disaster. I had a hard time because both of my grandmothers died during the lead up and this inevitably had an impact on my ability to concentrate on my studies. I had applied to do Mathematics and the grades I needed were all very high so I was shocked when I scored much lower grades and wondered what my next move should be. My uncle worked as sixth form head at another school so I called and asked him for some advice. He recommended that I look at courses offered by the University of the West of England. He also said that as straight Mathematics degrees almost always demanded high grades that I should look into studying Mathematics combined with Computer Science. This sounded interesting so I made the call to UWE. I visited the university met the tutors and was sold on the course, and the University. I think it was the friendly atmosphere which impressed me most.”

Three years on Peter is happy with his performance in his exams. He still awaits his results but hopes to achieve a good degree. “I don’t think the exams have gone too badly but it’s hard to tell just how well I might have done. I’ve really enjoyed the course and it’s actually turned out well for me as I think I might have found pure maths a bit dull in comparison. In my final year I selected five computing modules and only one in maths. I am hoping to continue studying and I’m currently applying to do a PhD in either artificial intelligence or computer science. There are a lot of options open to me now but I hope to complete a doctorate and become a lecturer.

Peter will be putting his experience to good use during the Clearing period. He will be heading up the team fielding calls from hopeful Clearing applicants wanting to study in the new Faculty of Computing Engineering and Mathematics at UWE offering advice and help. “I’m sure that I will be able to reassure hopeful students. I can honestly recommend combined courses from my experience. It’s not always clear when you apply to do a subject while you are still at school that there are a much wider range of possibilities that might work well. One of the benefits of coming to university through clearing is that it forces you to rethink and this can often work out for the better in the long term. I’m extremely glad that I went for a combined degree – it’s been a very interesting and stimulating three years. The key advice I would offer to students in clearing is don’t panic, try to view the setback as an opportunity to think again and be assured that in the long run things may work out better than you expect.”


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