Results day: what to do if you don’t get the grades you need


18th Aug 2022


Results day has finally arrived for A-Level and BTEC students. If you didn’t achieve the grades you needed for your chosen institution, don’t worry, there are plenty of options for you to explore!


Here’s your three-step action plan:

  1. Speak to the university or college

The institution might be flexible if you just missed your offer, due to unprecedented disruptions in learning these past couple of years. They may also offer you a place on a different course if you’re suitable for it.

  1. Apply through Clearing

The majority of unplaced students will try to. However, if you already have a Plan B university in mind, then you can try to contact them directly.

  1. Consider other routes to your career goal

You could take a gap year and apply for a course that starts next year, or immediately enter the workforce.

Alternatively, consider studying a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) as a stepping stone to a Bachelors degree.

At the University of Essex Online, we deliver a range of 100% online CertHE courses. Read on to learn more about what’s available.


What is a CertHE?

At the University of Essex Online, we believe education should be accessible to everyone. That’s why you don’t need any prior qualifications or relevant work experience to study any of our 100% online CertHE courses.

In short, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is equivalent to the first level of a Bachelors degree. After 16 months, you have the option to include the completed qualification on your CV or continue to pursue a full four-year degree. We offer a helpful 21-day money-back guarantee across all courses, so you can ensure the course is right for you.


Find the CertHE for you

Choose a course that fits your passions and career goals:


Funding options for CertHE

To help fund your studies, we offer a range of payment options (subject to eligibility):

  • 5% discount on fees paid upfront
  • spread the cost of your studies with a monthly payment plan
  • Student Finance England loan
  • partial scholarship available for international students


Why study with Essex Online?

You’ll benefit from 15 years of experience in online learning, be taught by dedicated subject matter experts and learn via a state-of-the-art virtual learning environment that’s available 24/7. Upon successful completion of your course, you’ll be awarded a certificate from the University of Essex, ranked in the top 40 UK universities (Complete University Guide 2023).

In addition, we were awarded the Best Online Classroom Experience Award at the Global Student Satisfaction Awards (GSSA 2021). Not only that, we also achieved excellence for teaching, learning and academic support in the 2023 National Student Survey.


Gain an insight into online study

Unsure whether studying online would work for you? Watch a week in the life vlog by Minkateko, an Essex Online student that progressed from studying our CertHE Business and Management to the Bachelors degree. You can also chat with our global student ambassadors via Unibuddy where you can ask them any questions you have about online study.


Don’t delay if you want to start studying with Essex Online this September. You can submit an online application form in just five easy steps – and it’s free to apply!

If you have any queries about our courses, you can contact our Admissions team by phone +44 (0) 1206 489 358 or email


We wish you the very best whatever you choose to do!