Thinking about switching degrees? Here's what you need to know

Natalia Wilkowskaon 19 January 2022
Thinking about switching degrees? Here's what you need to know

Dropping out of university to study a different degree is a huge decision to undertake. These are the things you should know before committing to anything.

Are you stuck in lectures, hating every minute and wondering why you’re there? If so, it might be time for a change. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind if something doesn’t work out and you may well end up thanking yourself in the long run. Some universities will even refund your fees in full, provided you make your decision early enough in the term.

If you’ve decided that you want to start from scratch and apply elsewhere, here are the things you need to consider:

Think about your reasons for changing

If you decide to switch courses, there are a few things to consider. First, ask yourself why you want to make this change. Try to identify the main issues driving your choice. Is it the course, a particular module, the university itself, or are you trying to leave for personal reasons. You need to find out what the problem is if you want to fix it.

Consider the amount of additional work required

If you’re switching to an entirely new subject halfway through the academic year, you’ll need to catch up on what you’ve missed. You’ll need to be 100% committed to your new course for any of this to be worthwhile. You’ll often need to catch up on modules when you switch to the same course at a different institution too, so don’t take this decision lightly.

See whether you can transfer your credits

Contact the institution you’re leaving to check whether the credits you’ve earned on your course will be transferable and then verify this information with the institution you wish to join. This is particularly important if you’ve completed at least a year of your degree. If you’re applying for a totally different course, it’s likely that you’ll have to start from scratch.

Research your new degree thoroughly

You don’t want to be making this change unless you’re absolutely certain about it. And you really don’t want to be making the same mistake twice. Leave no stone unturned when you research your alternative options. If you’re changing course, you’ll want to be looking at the modules you have to cover and the books you’ll need. If you’re changing university and moving to another town or city, you’ll want to do some research into the local area and find out what’s on offer for students. You may also need to attend a formal interview and submit a new personal statement via UCAS. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to get everything sorted.

Don’t make any rash decisions

If you’re not enjoying your degree in its current format, you can always explore less drastic options, like swapping modules. The process is easier as it just requires some modifications to your current timetable. You could also decide to take some time out. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make a huge decision, you can continue with your studies whenever you’re ready.

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Natalia Wilkowskaon 19 January 2022