student services

The dust has settled after another busy A-Level results day. It may have been a day of celebration, but for some it may have been a day of worry and tears.

If it was the latter, don’t worry. Clearing can help.

Did you know… Approximately 60,000 students use Clearing each year?

There are thousands of students across the country who didn’t meet the conditions of their university offer, but there are still universities out there who want to hear from you and would love for you to join them in September.

If you’ve taken the time to think about what you’re going to do next, you’ll be ready to get yourself a place at university.


Here is our four step guide to getting yourself a course through Clearing


Don’t worry

Taking some time out to think through your options is very sensible. Yes places at university fill up fast, but clearing is open until mid-September, so you have a little bit of time to consider all your options. The important thing is to keep a clear mind and don’t get into a ‘panic buying’ frenzy and snap up the first course you see. University is three years – you don’t want a course you’ll hate after the first semester.

See clearing as an opportunity

It is easier said than done, but try to remain positive about clearing. There will be other courses out there for you. OK, they might be in a different part of the country to your original choice, but that could bring all sorts of other opportunities you weren’t expecting.

Consider your options

Do some research on the UCAS website. Have a look to see what courses are out there. Then have a look at the course and university online. Check out their website and see what they’re up to on social media. This will give you a good indication of what student life is like and whether you’ll enjoy studying there.

Call the university directly

Once you have found a course you like, give the university a call. Speaking to their admissions advisor could be a lot quicker than applying online. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have about their course.


If you’ve stumbled across this post and you’re still unsure, then come and talk to us. We know what Clearing is all about and we can help.

Call us on 01424 442222, Monday to Friday - 9am to 4pm, or come in and see one of our student advisors and we will be able to give you impartial advice about your future.

Students at Sussex Coast College Hastings were celebrating on Thursday morning after picking up their A-Level results.

Ella Sudiarta was delighted to find out that she achieved an A*A*A in her three A-Level subjects.

“I’m so happy with my results,” said Ella, “I’m extremely happy with my A* in Sociology. I’ll be celebrating tonight, and then I’ll need to earn some money because I’m going travelling in January for 6 months, before going to uni next September to study Politics and Sociology.”

Ella Sudiarta web

Oscar Godfrey was delighted with his AAB in Fine Art, Graphics, and French and will be heading to BIMM in Brighton to study song writing.

“I’m really pleased with my grades,” said Oscar. “I love art, but I’ve decided that Music is where my real passion lies. While I’ve been at college, I’ve been learning to play the guitar and writing my own songs, so I’d like to learn how to do it properly, and hopefully one day become a singer-songwriter.”

Tess Smith was pleased with her results of BCC in Economics, Politics, and Psychology which has helped her to gain an apprenticeship with a local Gin Distillery.

“I’m really pleased with my results because A-Levels are tough! I’m pleased because my results have meant that I’ve been able to secure an apprenticeship at a local gin distillery in Tonbridge. It is so interesting and very varied; I’m doing everything from making gin to selling it.”

Tess Smith web

The college continues its excellent record of helping students to achieve their first choice destinations after college, whether that is going to university, starting an apprenticeship, or going into employment.

Students benefit from fantastic pastoral care in terms of regular meetings with their own personal tutor, UCAS application workshops, and being supported in undertaking at least one work experience placement each year.

There were 100% pass rates in 14 subjects, and an increase of 7% in the number of higher grades achieved by students; meaning that every 1 in 3 grades gained is in either an A*, A, or B.

Jim Sharpe, Principal Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “This is a fantastic set of results for our students. I’d like to congratulate them all on their hard work and commitment throughout the year.

A-Levels are now two year programmes, which challenge the students in different ways from those who have studied these courses previously. Therefore, we are as delighted as our students with their achievements.

We are committed to a very learner centred approach, allowing students from a diverse range of backgrounds and previous academic experiences, to be successful. This is something that should be celebrated.”

Charlotte Wyatt web 

A number of other students were also celebrating on Thursday morning after they secured the grades they needed to secure entry to their first choice universities.

Molly Spears was impressed with an A in History to accompany her A* in Sociology, and an A in English Literature.

“I’m so happy with my A in History as I was only expecting a B. I’m off to Kings College London to study Comparative Literature. It should be really interesting and it is something different. It covers a world of different texts and will hopefully help me with my goal to work in publishing or even being an author.”

A Level results group web

Bethen Blackabee will be heading to the University of East London next month to start her degree in Film after gaining the grades she needed.

“I’m so pleased with A*BB,” said Bethen. “My time at college has been great and it has really helped me to get to where I want to go. My dream job would be to direct films, and I’ve already taken my first steps to getting there.”

James Marshall was in a great mood after opening his results to find out he got ABB in Politics, Economics, and Law.

“I’m very happy this morning, I did much better than I expected. I’m going to study Financial Economics at the University of Kent, with the view of going into financial management afterwards. I’ll certainly be celebrating tonight.”

James Marshall web 

Olly Crab already knew he would be studying History at Goldsmiths after already having an unconditional offer from the University.

“I feel quite relaxed this morning, I already have an unconditional offer from Goldsmiths, so regardless of my grades, I knew I’d being going there in September. I am still really pleased with BBC in my three subjects, and delighted with the result of my hard work.”

There is still time to apply for A-Level subjects starting this September. You can make your application directly to the college, either online, by phone, or in person, or you can come along to Open Enrolment which starts on Tuesday 28th August. Call 01424 442222 or online at:

GCSE results web

Opening the envelope to your GCSEs is a memorable moment and something you should look forward to.

But quite understandably you’ll probably be feeling nervous in the lead up to, and on the morning of 23rd August.

It’s totally fine and natural to feel worried about your results. But believe us when we say; it is never as bad as you think. We’ve got years of experience of talking to students on exam results days. Whatever your grades, there are lots of options available to you and there is no need to panic because everything will be ok.

But what can you do if you didn’t get the grades you need?

Give us a call

Missing out on a couple of grades isn’t necessarily the end of the world. The best thing to do is chat to us. Talking about your grades and exploring your options can help to put everything in perspective. You might only be one grade off the entry requirements, in which case we still might be able to offer you your place. If so, you should still come to your enrolment appointment and talk to you tutor.

But even if we can’t offer you your original place, we will do our very best to find you something else. We’re experts at matching students with the right course, so we will still be able to help you get to where you want to go, whether that’s further study at university, or into the world of work.

Ask to have your paper remarked

In some cases you might be able to challenge your grade. If you feel very strongly that your grades aren’t right, then you can ask your school to request a remark of your paper. If you’re a couple of marks off a C, then a remark might be worth it. But it is worth noting two things here. There is a fee to do this, although you will get that fee back if the marks change, but just as your grade could go up, there might be a chance of them going down.

You could even retake the exam

If you really aren’t happy with the grade, or you failed the exam, you might also be able to request to retake. If you’re planning to do this, then it’s also a good idea to let your college know as they might be able to hold your place. But just like requesting a remark, you can’t bank your old grade, which means if you don’t do as well the second time around, then your grade will be worse.

The important thing to remember – there are always options. By talking to us about your grades it will ease your anxieties and you won’t have to deal with it by yourself.

What if you do better than you thought?

Yes, you may even surprise yourself and completely smash your exams. If you get better grades than you were predicted then you may be able to discuss joining a higher level course. For instance you may have applied to study a Level 2 course in Business, but your 5 A*-C grades will mean that you could join the Level 3 course. Give us a call or pop in and talk to us and we'll be able to help!

Caroline White Head of HR Jim Sharpe Principal SCCH and Felicity James Community Fundraiser web

Left to right: Caroline White (Head of HR at St. Michael's Hospice), Jim Sharpe (Principal at SCCH), and Felicity James (Community Fundraiser at St. Michael's Hospice)

Sussex Coast College Hastings is proud to announce St Michael’s Hospice as their new charity partner for the academic year 2018/19.

Each year the college chooses a charity partner to work with, providing them with welcomed support with their fundraising activities and donations.

This year, the college will be getting involved with a number of activities organised by the hospice, but will also be adopting a whole college approach to raise their own target of £10,000 for the charity.

To kick-off the fundraising year the Principal, Jim Sharpe, will be leading a 16-strong crew to take part in the Dragon Boat Race at Bewl Water on 8th September. The college also has a number of other activities already lined up including abseiling off the side of the Station Plaza campus in April, entering a team into the Hastings Half Marathon, numerous quizzes, and a Summer Ball in June.

Jim Sharpe, Principal at Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “We’re delighted to be supporting St Michael’s Hospice over the next 12 months. The Hospice provides crucial care for those facing life-limiting illnesses, as well as support for their families. At the college we have several staff who have a friend, family member, or former colleague who have received this support, and this is one way that we can give back.

The Hospice needs to raise over £4.3 million every year to help with the running costs of its services, which is why we’re encouraging our colleagues and students to get involved and come up with lots of interesting ways of raising money to help us reach our £10,000 target.”

The college has set up a JustGiving page, which makes donating simple, fast, and secure. You can donate throughout the year by visiting:


About St Michael’s Hospice

"We provide excellent holistic care and support for all those throughout Hastings and Rother affected by a progressive life-limiting illness or bereavement.

Our specialist care and clinical teams deliver supportive care, symptom control and support to patients and families through our 22-bed Hospice, Day Services, Hospice at Home service, Bereavement Support and Hospice Neighbours. Operating for over 30 years we aim to deliver exceptional standards of palliative care and provide a responsive service that supports choice and independence.

The Hospice operates a Donation Centre in St Leonards on Sea and 10 retail shops in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Hastings, Ore, Rye, Sidley and St Leonards on Sea, stocking items from second hand clothes and baby wear to furniture and St Michael’s Hospice merchandise and much more.

We need to raise over £12,000 every day to run the Hospice, please support our vital work."


So this month’s Top 5 is slightly different to the others.

In the past we’ve told you about 5 films you should see this year, our 5 top tips for beating the heat wave, 5 tasty things to eat and drink at a BBQ, and some adrenaline-filled activities to try this summer.

But as GCSE results day approaches, we thought we’d try and take your mind off getting your results and help you to put things in perspective.

GCSE results day is a nerve-wracking time, but it will never be as bad as you think – and that’s what this month’s Top 5 is all about – always look on the bright side.

We’ve trawled through the history books to find 5 other things that happened on 23rd August.


In 79AD, during Feast Day of Vulcan (Roman God of Fire), Mount Vesuvius began to stir and would eventually go on to destroy Pompeii.

Perhaps not the most upbeat start to the Top 5, but the point is it could be worse. You’re only opening your GCSE results – you’re not about to be wiped out by a volcano.


In 1541, French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada.

It took Jacques three attempts to find Quebec City. He was a determined explorer that never gave up and despite any setbacks he faced, he got back in his boat and eventually got to where he wanted to go. So whatever happens on results day, you should get back in your metaphorical boat and keep sailing.


In 1872, the first Japanese commercial ship, carrying tea, visits San Francisco.

Because tea makes everything better, right? If you’re disappointed on results day, then sit down with a cup of tea and chat to your family, your tutor, or give us a call. It can help to put things in perspective.


In 1938, England scored 903 runs against v Australia at the Oval in London. Len Hutton scored 364 of those.

The 903 runs scored that day remains the highest total in a single innings for England. Len Hutton’s 364 runs also remains the highest by an English player, in what was only his sixth match – something not even he would have expected to do before taking to the crease. So with a little perseverance, concentration, and confidence you may also be able to surprise yourself.


In 2017, the World's driest place, the Atacama Desert, Chile, blooms after unexpected rainfall.

If this isn’t inspirational then we don’t know what is. Even in the toughest conditions you will always be able to find a way.


So whatever happens on GCSE results day, just remember, it isn’t the end of the world, tea will make things better, just keep trying, and you will find your way.

Aimee Lyon web

Aimee Lyon, a Foundation Art and Design student, recently returned from New York after successfully winning a place on a two-week scholarship at the New York Studio School.

The two-week scholarship is an on-going partnership between the two colleges and has been running for six years. Aimee won her place on the scholarship after presenting a convincing case to her tutors outlining why she should be chosen.

Aimee travelled across the Atlantic to join other students at the school and was able to gain a wider understanding of art, learn from world-renowned tutors, and take part in valuable critique sessions.

Aimee said: “It was such an amazing and memorable experience and I was able to get a glimpse of a possible future life I could have.

The scholarship lasted for two weeks and it wasn’t until four weeks before the trip that I found out that I had been successful. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of New York City and it was incredible.

Aimee Lyon work web

I flew from Gatwick by myself and stayed in an Air B’n’B not too far from the Studio School in Lower Manhattan. The School specialises in drawing, painting, and sculpture, and each day I would join life drawing classes and then spend a couple of hours each evening taking part in critiques.

I think I was the youngest person in the class, as most students were studying MFAs (Masters in Fine Art), but I didn’t mind because it was really constructive and nice to hear people, who have more experience than me, say nice things about my work. Even established painters were complimenting my work.

Class started at 9am and finished at 6pm. I found it quite challenging to concentrate on the same thing for so long, but it was really rewarding.

Aimee Lyon NYC web

In my spare time, during the evenings and the weekends, I was a typical tourist. I went to the Rockefeller building, spent an hour in Time Square, got the ferry over to Staten Island, visited the 9/11 memorial site, went to Macy’s, and spent lots of time exploring all the different galleries.

As I have said it was a great experience and I have learnt so much. To be honest, I’m not sure what I will take most from it; whether it was the actual art lessons, or growing as a person.

I learnt lots about how to draw, and space and representation, which is so helpful because I work in 3 Dimensions. But personally, the experience has given me so much confidence. I was here by myself so I had no choice but to speak to people and make friends. That also helped me to understand where I stood on my opinions on a lot of things to do with art. During class and the critiques I opposed a lot of people, which I didn’t expect to do. I really liked getting into discussions with people about their work and listening to what they had to say about my weird shapes.”

Aimee has just completed her year-long Art & Design Foundation diploma and will be joining Goldsmiths, University of London in September to study a degree in Fine Art.

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Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College have merged. We are now both part of the East Sussex College Group.

If you would like to know more about the merger details, please click below to find out more

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