Student who Swapped TV for Teaching Career Advocates Clearing Process

Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson was working in television three years ago, but is set to embark on training to fulfil a long-held ambition to become a teacher after studying History at the University.  Having just completed his degree, the 31-year-old now hopes to get onto Worcester’s PGCE Secondary History course starting in September.

“I was 27 and I thought this is my last chance to do anything,” he said of Clearing.  “It was just that mentality of I need to do this now, it’s now or never.  I was pinning all my hopes on getting in, so it was nerve-wracking, but it worked out in the end and it was a lot easier than I thought.”

Tom, from Dudley, had worked in local television for a number of years, directing and putting together programmes for the likes of ITV but mainly for local channel Made in Birmingham, but he had always thought he would like to teach.  After a restructuring of the channel’s operations, Tom decided on a new direction and to pursue his long-held ambition.

“I had always thought about it, but I was in a pretty good job for a while,” he said.  “But it was always in the back of my mind, that it would be good to have a degree because becoming a teacher has always been there.  Once that [television] got taken out of the picture, I thought I can do this.” 

Always interested in history, Tom was convinced to take up the subject after enjoying making a television piece about local history in his previous job.  He chose Worcester partly for its reputation as a teacher training institution.  After calling up on A-level results day, Tom was interviewed and then began the course a few weeks later.

“I thought I was going to have to go through UCAS, but I just had to send my details to the University,” said the former Beacon Hill Academy pupil.  “The University made everything a lot more accessible.

“I have no regrets, I think it’s been a good experience at Worcester.  Really Clearing was one of the best things that I’ve done I think.  I’d say to others considering going through Clearing that it’s always worth taking a risk because if you don’t take that the risk of going to university and getting a qualification you’ll probably be there for the rest of your life thinking what if I’d done that.”

The University of Worcester has places available for well-qualified applicants through Clearing this year.  To secure your place for 2020 call us on 01905 855 111.  If you would like to contact our Admissions team about anything to do with Clearing 2020, please email