Charlotte lands medicine place after Clearing success at Leicester

Charlotte Ellse didn’t let a GCSE grade hold her back when pursuing her dream of studying medicine – and thanks to Clearing, she’s well on her way to her chosen career.

Just missing out on a grade 6 in English language meant Charlotte struggled to secure university interviews for medicine. So, after receiving her A-level results, she decided to enter the Clearing process, and enrolled on the Medical Biochemistry course instead, at the University of Leicester.

It’s fair to say Charlotte excelled at Leicester, where she received a prize for being the highest-performing student in her cohort across the three years. She also was diagnosed with dyslexia at university, which made her achievements even more impressive.

Charlotte’s degree – and incredible track record at uni – has meant she’s now been accepted to study medicine.

“I always wanted to study medicine,” said the 21 year old from Derby. “On A-level results day I was unsure what to do in order to achieve this ambition. When I decided that I wanted to do a biological sciences stream, I was given access to Clearing and researched which universities had spaces on their courses. I chose Leicester as it was ideal for me, location-wise, it had great transport links and a reputation for being a good student city. But the research really stood out, too – of particular interest to me was the Institute for Structural and Chemical Biology.”

Charlotte added: “The Clearing process was very simple and smooth. I just called and the staff on the other end of the phone spent time talking me through the various course descriptions and their requirements. Once I had picked which I was most interested in, all I had to do was give some details over the phone which were later verified through UCAS, and I was accepted onto the course during the call. It was that simple.”

Charlotte has some good advice for anybody who might be going through Clearing this summer.

She said: “My advice would be to carefully evaluate all of your options, and not to make a rash decision out of panic. Take your time to contact universities and talk through your options with them to make a right decision for you. The great thing about Clearing is that it is not a one-day event, you have time consider what will make you the happiest version of you.”

It’s fair to say Charlotte’s time at Leicester made her the happiest she could be, and that was, in part, to the support she received.

“My favourite part of my course was my experimental project in third year,” she said. “Before the project began, I thought the idea of spending so much time in a laboratory with very little lab experience (due to Covid), to be very daunting. However, I soon settled into the lab where I was working, I had incredible support from my assigned supervisor and the PhD students were so eager to help. I was even invited to the floor Christmas dinner amongst other lecturers and mature students who worked in the building.”

That support helped Charlotte secure a place at another university to study medicine.

“I applied to medicine at several different medical schools and received three interviews and accepted one offer,” she said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without completing my undergraduate degree at Leicester and the support from my personal tutor there. The week before my interview I became very ill and the other university refused to move my interview.

“My personal tutor at Leicester contacted the dean of the medical school and asked them to rearrange my interview and told then why I would be a good candidate for their medical school. Without the help of my personal tutor at Leicester, I would not have been able to secure my place for which I had worked so hard to get. Furthermore, my personal tutor signposted me to guidance during my dyslexia diagnosis during the first year of university, which was another contributing factor to me successfully gaining my place to study medicine.”

The University of Leicester has places available on its Biological Sciences courses via Clearing.

All courses available via Clearing are on the website. The website also includes a live chat function, links to live information events, a guide to applying, answers to frequently asked questions, information for parents and more.

Applicants who have their grades can call 0116 373 6000 where staff can chat through the options. The telephone line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Those waiting for results, can call between 7am and 9pm on results day (Thursday 17 August). On Friday 18 August lines are open 8am to 6pm and on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August they are open 10am to 4pm.

The University offers guaranteed University-managed accommodation if applicants apply by Friday 1 September.