Now let’s look at the practicalities:
If you change university, even if you are going to stay with the same subject, there is a reasonable chance that the students at the new university will have studied units that you have not yet studied, because universities structure their courses differently. So what does this mean in practical terms? Well to start with you would need to consider whether catching up on missed work is realistic; clearly the further into your course you are, potentially the more work you may need to catch up. So consider this carefully before you try and change university.
And then there is the issue of whether the universities will agree to your plan. If you are already determined to go ahead and change, then you can talk to the two universities concerned: your current university, and the university you wish to go to. The best person to approach initially would be your academic tutor. He/she will have a lot of experience in this field and advise you on the pros and cons of your plan.
Another reason students change university is because they have decided to make a brand-new start with a different subject. You will effectively have to stop, and then start again from scratch.
If you are lucky, the new university may give you some credits based on studies you’ve already completed, but there is no guarantee of this. Once again you need to talk to your academic tutor and the new university and see what you can work out. Think carefully about this and seek out experienced advice.
Now let’s see how to make it work.
Things to think about:
- Why do you want to switch courses?
You’ll need to show good reasons and show you’re taking your studies seriously. Your grades may play a role here, are you trying to change to avoid failing etc. The university will take a look at this.
- Can you change modules on your current course?
This will depend on which modules you’d like to change, as there will be a number of mandatory modules you need to complete to gain your qualification. You might be able to change to other modules, but if a module is oversubscribed, you may not be able to.
- Is there a course in a similar subject, or in the same department, you want to transfer to?
You need to do your research carefully and ensure you know what is available before you go and talk to your tutor.
- Are you interested in a completely different course?
If you want to change to a completely different course, you must ensure that you have the necessary academic qualifications; you also need to gain the approval of the two different departments. Furthermore, you have to consider whether the credits for the work you’ve already done will count towards your new course. There’re lots of things to consider, and you will need to have a discussion with your tutor.
- Additional work
If you’re able to transfer to a new course, you may need to catch up on work you’ve missed for the course you transfer to.
- Credit transfer
You may be able to transfer any course credits you’ve already gained, but if the course you want to transfer to is very different, this may not be possible, and you may need to start the new course at the very beginning. This could mean another year of tuition fees, accommodation, and other expenses.
- Student loan
If changing course means you have to extend your study time by a year, then you need to check and see if you can gain additional Financial aid to cover the extra time spent studying. In other words, can you afford it?