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Emma-Jo had already accepted an offer at another university but as A Level results day neared, she decided Northumbria was where she really wanted to study.

Having achieved the grades she needed for Northumbria’s Sociology course, Emma-Jo was delighted to be able to gain a place through Clearing.



Clearing | Emma Jo from Northumbria University on Vimeo.


Emma-Jo's Story

Emma-Jo Blundy knew she was embarking on one of the biggest decisions of her life when deciding where to study for the next three years.

She’d planned everything around her first choice university in Nottingham, but on A level results day, she suddenly changed her mind. Her living arrangements and BSc Sociology degree course were all in place.

But Emma-Jo made a last-minute decision to stay closer to her home in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham as it made sense for her given the fact it was somewhere she knew and loved.

She said: “When you have some of the best universities on the doorstep that attract students from all over the country, it isn’t worth upping sticks and moving to somewhere unfamiliar. I love the North East and everything it offers. It has such a good vibe about it and everyone is so friendly here.

” At first, things were a little scary for the 22-year-old who feared losing both her university places as she tried to plan a different path.

After talking things through with staff at Carmel College, Darlington, where she’d studied for A levels, Emma-Jo called Northumbria University’s Clearing and Confirmation hotline.

She explained: “It was more than a bit daunting before I called them. I had been so set on moving away, but sometimes you do change direction. I had the grades I needed for both university and Northumbria, but just realised that my first choice wasn’t for me.

“It was good to know there were such friendly, supportive staff on hand at Northumbria to guide me through what I had to do next.

“I was delighted to get on to the BSc Sociology course at Northumbria and the whole process took only 24 hours to complete. This really helped allay my fears about the ‘what-ifs’.”

With a new university place in the bag, Emma-Jo was able to start making accommodation arrangements.

She said: “I found out about the accommodation on offer at an open day at Northumbria University and chose to live at Trinity Square in Gateshead because it had its own student community and the facilities are excellent. The location was perfect because it was far enough away from campus to unwind and relax, but also within an easy walking distance of lectures.

“It was also close to Newcastle Quayside which is great on a Sunday when the weekly market is on. I love being able to just stroll along the riverside and browse the stalls on offer. It is a breath of fresh air after a hectic week studying.”

Being a student at Northumbria University has given Emma-Jo the confidence to try new things too.

She said: “I recently went to Thailand to teach for a month and it was my course at Northumbria that helped me understand more about different cultures. It was a great experience.

Now Emma-Jo has her sights on teaching English across Europe.

She said: “With the confidence and skills I gained on my sociology course, I went on to teach English as a foreign language on a (TEFL) course, so I could teach abroad. My partner teaches French and Spanish, so we’re thinking of going abroad for a year as a next step.”

With three years at Northumbria Uni now firmly under her belt, Emma-Jo is delighted to tell others about her experiences here in the North East.

She said: “My two sisters live in Kent and I constantly tell people there how great the North East is and what a fantastic place Northumbria Uni is to study.

“I’d thoroughly recommend it as a place for any A level student to consider because it has given me so much over the years.

“I’d say the most important thing when you are deciding to study anywhere is to visit where you are going to be first. Get a feel for the place, the accommodation on offer and the course. There’s a virtual tour on offer on the university’s website for those that can’t travel.

“I’ve loved sociology. We’ve had guest speakers to come and talk to us, we’ve had plenty of practical assignments too. It’s just a great course with a variety of very different modules to choose from.”

As her university life comes to a close, Emma-Jo has moved out of university accommodation and now lives in Heaton, Newcastle.

“Heaton has so much to offer students. It’s close enough to the university, but we also have so much green space on the doorstep. It’s perfect for transport links into the city centre.

“Becoming a student at Northumbria is one of the best decisions I have ever made.”  

Northumbria University has a limited number of places available for high quality students through Clearing this summer. For more information, visit or call the Clearing Hotline on 0800 085 1085.

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You may not be aware but Northumbria University accept a number of ‘additional’ qualifications which can be counted towards your UCAS points total*

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