Transferring university is the process in which you change from one UK university to another without a break in the middle. There are many reasons people chose to transfer universities from a dislike of the course or the city, or a change in personal circumstances.
Settling into university can be challenging and can take some time, especially if you have moved to a new city or are studying a new subject. There is a lot to take in, and it can feel very overwhelming.
With numerous recent graduates on our team, we know that most, if not all, students find the transition difficult for one reason or another. So, you are not alone in considering trying somewhere new, but it is not always the place or course that is the problem; it is just the transition itself.
Whether you want to stay at university or not, it is always a good idea to seek help and support before you make any big decisions. Speak to your personal tutor, your department or the university counselling service about the difficulty you are having.
If you aren’t happy with what you are studying, first consider changing courses whilst staying within your current university. This is much less upheaval because you don’t have to settle into a new city and if the courses are similar, it can be relatively straightforward. Go and see your department and they can help you with changing courses.
For some people, changing courses isn’t enough. Sometimes the university culture doesn’t suit, and another university can provide a different environment, classmates and style of teaching. If you are not happy at university at all, you might want to consider dropping out entirely.
You can choose to transfer to a new university at any year in your course, but if you are starting a new course, you may have to start from the first year again. In some cases, you will have completed enough of the same modules to be able to transfer directly in your next year of study. This is known as ‘advanced standing’.
So what is the process for transferring?
- Find a new university that suits your needs, somewhere you will be happy living for the next few years. This might be closer to home, or a city you are more familiar with.
- Find a course at that university that you want to study, whether that’s the same one you study now or something new entirely.
- Get in touch with the admissions department of that new university and tell them why you would like to transfer.
- They will ask to see your transcript, which gives all the courses and modules you have studied so far.
- You will then have to go through their application process, this usually entails another personal statement and occasionally an interview or portfolio of work.
- Finally, you have to wait for them to make their decision.
Changing university is a huge decision, and there are lots of things to consider. Here are some of the things you need to think about before you do:
Is your preferred university taking transfers?
Not all universities in the UK accept transfers and even the ones that do cannot always accommodate for new students because courses might be full or they may already have a waiting list. It’s important not to automatically assume you will be able to attend any university to do any course, as you don’t want to end up being disappointed.
Do you meet the entry requirements?
If you are changing courses, you may not meet the right conditions. For example, you may need different A-Levels to apply. If you are keen to take that course, you could consider going back to college to get the right qualifications.
Different organisations run student finance in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales so make sure you approach the correct branch depending on where you live. When leaving a course, you will have to pay for the whole term in which you are leaving, even if you are leaving in the first week. Meaning that if you leave in the third term, you will have to pay for the whole years tuition. For more information, visit Student Finance.
Either way, you should try your best to acclimatise to your current university, as transferring is difficult, and you will find that many of the issues won’t be resolved by moving. In turn, as you may not be able to go to the university you originally wanted, it’s always best to continue studying and socialising as if you aren’t going to be able to move, just in case.
For more information on finding the right place for you, go to our page on choosing a university.