The University of Creative Arts (UCA) have offered exclusive clearing advice ahead of A-Level results day next Thursday (August 15).

Sarah Simms is Head of Admissions at UCA, which has a campus in Epsom.

The expert advice offered by Ms Simms and seen by the Comet highlighted the plethora of options available to A-Level students, especially those who might not have achieved their target grades, and focused on a central message — 'don't panic'.

"If your results aren’t what you expected, don’t panic, Clearing is a great way for students to find the degree that’s right for them, and at UCA we look at every Clearing applicant individually based on not only on your grades, but your experience, interests, and personal attributes," Ms Simms said.

Surrey Comet: Image: Liz Carrington / UCAImage: Liz Carrington / UCA

The UCA admissions chief pointed A-Level students in the direction of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website.

In particular, she said that the UCAS Track system was a helpful tool.

The system monitors how flexible particular universities are with "near miss" students who only marginally failed to achieve their target grades.

"Remember, Clearing moves at a rapid pace, so you need to be ready to make calls and find out which courses are available as early as possible on results day," Ms Simms pointed out.

She also advised prospective students who were considering changing the courses they originally applied for to take advantage of the system on results day if they still wanted to change courses.

Surrey Comet: UCA Head of Admissions Sarah Simms. Image: UCA UCA Head of Admissions Sarah Simms. Image: UCA

The UCA regularly add to their crop of freshers thanks to the system, Ms Simms, said.

"Clearing is not just about helping students who haven’t obtained the grades they need.

"It’s also about helping those that may be having a change of heart about their course choice and might be considering swapping from an academic degree to one in the creative arts...

"We regularly hear from students during Clearing who are either unsure about their original choices and are looking to investigate creative courses or who after a period of work or a gap year have decided to study at university to fulfil their creative interests or re-train in a creative field," she said.

Asked what her role in reviewing thousands of applications for places at UCA had taught her, Ms Simms reiterated her advice to students to stay calm during the possibly hectic moments of A-Level results day.

The best prepared students ahead of next Thursday will be those most pleased with outcomes through Clearing, she added:

"Don’t panic, don’t rush. It’s important you choose the right place for you. You definitely don’t need to accept the first offer you get.

"Do your research and call around, ask questions and carefully consider your options. If possible, start preparing your shortlist now so that you can hit the ground running on results day."