The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Changing course? Don’t panic!

Changing course may seem a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, Senior Advisor Su Barton is here to talk you through the ins and outs of changing programmes

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Thinking about changing course? Don’t panic! It isn’t uncommon to experience worries about your course and the Student’s Union Advice Service is here for you to talk over any of your concerns.

If you aren’t sure what to do, you might find that giving things a bit more time is the best starting point. You can use your first semester as an opportunity to explore the reasons you are worried and give yourself a chance to really try out the course.

If you can, speak to your family or friends about how you are feeling. Writing a list of pros and cons can also be useful to help you work out how you are feeling.

Your academic advisor or course tutors can give you support from an academic point of view. You might want to talk to them about your current course content and see if it’s possible to choose modules that you will find more interesting.

The University’s Careers Service can also help you to think about what you want to do after you have graduated and whether a course change would be best if you are interested in a particular career path.

If you have only just started at University, it may be possible to switch courses within the same academic year. However, if there are no spaces or you have missed more than a couple of weeks, you might not be able to start your new course until the next academic year –a deferred entry). You will need to contact the relevant School Admissions Team to find out what is possible. The Admissions Team should be able to confirm if there are spaces on the course and what you will need to do to complete the transfer.

Deferred entry isn’t a reason alone not to pursue the course change but you will need to think about your accommodation and student finance if you are going to start a new degree programme in September 2018. At the Advice Service, an advisor will explain the full implications of taking a year out and help you with the practical side of things.

Speaking to The Mancunion,  James Johnson said “Having begun my degree programme in a subject I wasn’t enjoying, it seemed as though I might have to persevere through four tough years of studying. However, after being reassured by The Advice Service and my programme administrators, I was able to transfer to a course that allowed me to pursue my real interests and now, as a postgraduate student, I’m thankful for the reassurance that it wasn’t such big a deal. I took some time out, refocused, and managed to build up my CV in the meantime.”

If you really want to change course, in most cases, something can be sorted out. It can be disappointing if there isn’t space in the current academic year but deferred entry gives you more time to try out your current course. There could also be opportunities to gain work experience or volunteer if you do end up taking some time out.

The decision to change course is very personal, but the Advice Service is here to guide you through your options and help you find the best way forward.