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Student Reine Chiriseri sat on the floor holding a sign that says 'I AM Relieved'

Reine Chiriseri

Criminology - BA (Hons)

Reine made a tough decision to leave university after just one year and change course in Clearing but soon realised how important it is to focus on studying something you enjoy and having a great experience. She was relieved when she realised how quick and simple the Clearing application process is and she’s gone on to have an incredible time at BCU and is so glad she decided to stay in Birmingham.

“I had just completed my first year at another university, but I wasn’t enjoying it and knew I didn’t want to spend another two years there. I tried to switch courses at this uni but they wouldn’t let me, so I was faced with just having to drop out. I didn’t want to abandon my higher education, but I knew that staying where I was wasn’t the right option as I wasn’t happy.

A friend suggested that I apply to Birmingham City University through Clearing as this meant I could still stay in Birmingham and be near my friends, which I was keen to do. We had a chat about what my interests were and what I’d be keen to study. Crime has fascinated me from a young age and over the years my interest in it has grown from watching children’s detective programs to being invested in crime TV shows and podcasts and trying to solve the cases. I decided to use this as a starting point for looking for a degree I knew I would be passionate about.

I went away and started researching course options and modules on the website. After reading through the course modules for criminology I decided it was a course I really wanted to do. I’m so glad that I trusted my instinct and recognised my passion rather than continuing with a degree I wasn’t enjoying.

I was really worried about switching universities and trying to get onto a completely different course, but I shouldn’t have been. When I called the Clearing hotline to apply it was a really easy process. The person I spoke to was really nice, discussed my grades and gave me an unconditional offer on the course.  I was so relieved, and as I already had my accommodation sorted, the entire process was really quick.

I didn't believe in myself when I started at BCU, I felt like a failure and I was afraid I was going to mess up, but I fell in love with my course. The staff at BCU go above and beyond to ensure you do well and the lecturers on my course were so supportive. They’ve really helped me become more confident and realise my potential. They truly love helping their students succeed. I’ve honestly had the best uni experience ever.

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During my third year of university, I worked on a module about rehabilitating offenders it made me realise the possibilities and opportunities there are to use Criminology to change lives, give people second chances and show offenders that there are other ways to live a fulfilling without committing crime.  I am keen to pursue this as a career and working towards getting my Master’s is the first step towards achieving that and maybe even a PhD in future.

It can be really easy to be sucked into the league tables and rankings but that doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to love your course and have a great experience.”

Reine entered Clearing feeling quite worried about her decision but has some great advice for anyone in a similar position.

“Be open minded, you might have a course in mind but ask about other courses you can get on to and head to the website to find out about the different modules and course break down. Also, I know it’s easier said than done but do not worry - the staff will help you through the process every step of the way.”