Changing course at university may seem like a daunting or complicated process, but making the switch could have a positive impact on your career prospects and wellbeing in the long-term.
It can take time to settle into your course and university life, and it’s not uncommon for students to feel they would be happier transferring to a different course, or even a different university.
There is a lot to consider before deciding to change your course, but if you are sure it is the right choice for you, there are different options you can explore.
Things to consider
What are the reasons why you want to switch courses?
There could be many reasons why you want to transfer to a different degree programme. Perhaps you have realised your interests lie in another field, you are struggling to keep up with the content in your current course, or the style of teaching differs to what you had expected.
Whatever the reasons may be, you should feel confident that switching course is the right choice for you. Take the time to explore the reasons you are unhappy with your current course and what you want to change.
Which course do you want to transfer to?
Explore the different degree programmes available before speaking to your tutor. You should consider whether you want to switch to a subject in the same department, or are interested in an entirely different course. Research the entry requirements to ensure your qualifications match with the programme you are interested in.
Will there be additional work requirements?
If you can transfer to a new course, you should discuss with your tutor whether you must catch-up on missed content. Your new university may expect you to do so over the Christmas or summer break.
Is a course credit transfer possible?
You may be able to transfer course credits you have gained in your studies so far to your new degree programme. This may not be possible if your new course is very different, and in this case, your new department will expect you to start the course from the beginning. This will entail an additional year of tuition fees, accommodation and other expenses.
Will your student loan be affected?
If you are transferring course at the end of the academic year, you’ll need to ensure you can receive additional funding to cover an extra year of studies. For more information visit our page on University Costs.
The transfer process
The process of transferring varies between universities and courses. The first step involves speaking with tutor or department head. You will be able to discuss your options and whether your transfer is possible based on your qualifications.
Transferring to a different course at the same university
Transferring to a different course at the same university is usually straight forward. You should discuss with your tutor whether there are available spaces on the course, if you meet the entry requirements, and when your transfer could take place.
Many students prefer to transfer course midway through the academic year to avoid the need to pay for an additional year of tuition and other living expenses. This may not always be possible, so it’s essential to discuss your options with your tutor.
Transferring to a course at a different university
If you are unhappy with your current university, it is often possible to transfer to a degree programme at a different institution. You should reach out to the university you’re interested in to find out if they accept transfers. If not, you may have to reapply through UCAS.
You should also consider whether you meet the entry requirements of the degree programme and whether you’ll be able to transfer directly into the second or third year rather than starting the course from the beginning. Communicating with the institution you want to transfer to is essential. Explain which modules you have taken so far in your university career, and how they relate to the content of the new course.