Education news

A-levels: Queen's University offers advice for pupils receiving results

Decisions by Queen's, Ulster University and Stranmillis University College are posted on a website and updated twice each day

Queen's University Belfast has issued advice to pupils who are receiving their A-level results this week.

Jennifer Dwyer, head of Queen's Admissions and Access Service, said it was an anxious time for young people faced with choosing the right university and course.

"This is why it is essential that students and their families have as much information as possible at this time so they can make the decisions which are best for them," she said.

"The university receives A-level and AS-level results directly from Ucas and candidates do not need to communicate their results to the university. Students will be contacted if any results appear to be missing. Those who did not take an examination listed on their application should let the university know without delay.

Decisions made by Queen's, Ulster University and Stranmillis University College are posted on a website hosted by Queen's and are updated twice each day.

The address is This also carries the most comprehensive details and is the simplest way to find out about the status of an application and clearing vacancies. Details are also published on the Ucas website:

Applicants who achieve the exact grades or points specified in their conditional offer should have their place confirmed through Ucas following the publication of results. These applicants do not need to telephone the university or college. The only official notification is through Ucas which will advise applicants that there has been an update on Track. Successful applicants must log into Track to read their confirmation letter to find out what action they need to take. This varies depending on the preferences of individual universities.

Students who do better than expected can, through the adjustment process, hold their offer while they look for an alternative course. It may be difficult, however, to find a vacancy on a high demand course. Full details are available on the Ucas website:

Find out about the options available to you now you have your results 

Students who average out or narrowly miss the grades required may still be accepted for their original choice, though this is dependent on the competition for places in individual subjects and on government funding which determines the number of places available for NI and EU students.

The priority of universities is to communicate decisions as quickly as possible and every effort is made to accommodate as many applicants as possible on the course of their choice or a suitable alternative.

Often universities, including Queen's, have an enquiry form available on their website. This should be returned to the university as soon as possible if they want to be considered for an alternative course in the event that they are unsuccessful in their original choice. Assuming Queen's can help, a changed course offer would be made. This is simpler than going through clearing.

Any student unable to gain admission to either their firm or insurance choice, and who is not offered an acceptable alternative course, will be eligible to participate in the clearing process. Details of clearing vacancies appear in the national press, on and on university websites. Students must be pro-active, as clearing vacancies usually disappear quite quickly.

Alternatively, some students may decide to repeat one or more subjects and reapply for 2017 entry. Any student considering this option should check with the institution concerned about receiving an offer as a repeat candidate. It is important to remember that the entry requirements may be different.

Further information on all aspects of clearing and adjustment vacancies at Queen's is available online at:

Urging people to think carefully about their choices, Jennifer Dwyer, added: "It is crucial to make decisions sensibly at this time of year and not to accept alternative courses, or adjustment or clearing places without careful consideration. There are many people who can help. Students unsure about which option to pursue should discuss their situation carefully with their parents, their school or college or the Careers Service of the Department for the Economy."

Queen's operates these lines to ensure that students receive the guidance they need. The telephone number to use is 028 9097 3838 (multiple lines) and lines will open from 9.30am to 6.00pm on Thursday 18 and Friday August 19. Further information (including weekend opening times) can be found online at

On Monday August 22, a personal advice session will be held in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University between 2.00pm and 5.00pm. Full details and FAQs are available at:

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