Posted Friday 11 August 2017
A former dancer has her sights set on working behind the scenes at the Royal Ballet after successfully securing a place on a sport science degree at Kingston University through Clearing.
Serena Blundell was a talented ballet dancer for 15 years – training for nine hours each week, doing exams and performances at weekends.
The 19 year old eventually hung up her ballet shoes to concentrate on her academic studies. When she was on a gap year, however, she realised she'd like to continue working in dance, but in a backstage role. "I'd applied previously to study criminology and received several offers, but I decided to take a gap year after my A-levels so I could take some time to think about what to do. I realised I would be quite interested in becoming a physiotherapist," she said.
Concerned she didn't have the right A-levels to study a science degree – she'd studied history, psychology and English – Serena started an A/S Level in biology on a part-time distant-learning course, while also working part-time.
It was during her gap year that she found out about Clearing through a newspaper article. She did some research and discovered the BSc(Hons) Sport Science course at Kingston University.
The course appealed to Serena as it was in the career field she wanted to pursue and because the University was close to her family home in Hampton, which meant she could commute.
"I phoned the Clearing hotline and spoke to someone who talked through my exam results with me," she explained. "I was mostly concerned about having the right qualifications to be accepted on to the course, but I was told that my psychology A-level and A/S biology would count."
Having just completed her first year of the course, Serena said she hadn't looked back. "I'm interested in anatomy, but the course has opened up a wide range of career choices to me. I would love to work with the Royal Ballet – that would be my dream job," she added. "Clearing is a great route into university if you haven't got the grades you initially needed or haven't decided what to study. I found out by chance about it and had I not read the newspaper article, who knows where I would be."
Kingston University was ranked 10th out of 69 institutions – and first in London – in the Guardian University Guide 2018: league table for sport science.
Senior lecturer on the sport science course at Kingston University, Dr Hannah Moir said Serena had demonstrated a strong commitment to her studies and interest in the subject which helped make her application a success. "We strongly advise students check the Clearing pages on our website and phone our Clearing hotline to find out if they have the right qualifications and qualities to be offered a place on one of our popular courses," she said.