The wrong course
Sometimes university choices don't turn out for the best.
Understand what is wrong
Before you can resolve the problems you're having, you need to try and find out what's making your life at university so miserable.
The wrong university: It may be a personality clash with staff or just the wrong location, maybe the place didn't live up to the hype, or your interests socially just aren't catered for. If a couple of weeks don't change your mind then you should find out if it is viable for you to move. Talk to a careers advisor.
The wrong time: If you are having personal problems, whether your own or within your family, that are distracting you from your studies it may be worth asking if you can take time out. You may be able to take a break and return to repeat your current year - ask your tutor.
The same goes for financial problems, by taking time out you could work full-time and get some cash behind you to make the rest of your student days less stressful, you may even be able to incorporate this into your course by taking a year in industry or a year abroad.
The wrong degree: If you know you hate your course, still want to be a student but just can't decide what to do, take a year out, get some cash, life experience, work experience and/or perspective.
If you do know what course you want to take you need to move quickly.
Go to your university careers advisory service. You can book an interview with an advisor, who can help you determine where your inclinations really lie, what options are open to you, and how any choices you make might affect your future career.
You can also ask the Careers Service to issue you with a letter in order to prove that you have explored all your options and that a course change is definitely the best move. This is very likely to influence both your Local Authority and the department you want to switch to.
Before you can change course you need to have the permission of
- Your Local Education Authority
If you are leaving a course to take up another in the following year, you must notify your LEA as soon as possible. If you want to change your uni, college or course, under some circumstances you may be able to transfer any financial support you get.
- The department you wish to switch to
Talk to the admissions tutor or head of department in the department you want to enter to see if there is space and if they would be willing to accept you.
If accepted, you must then contact your Local Authority. Phone them first and then follow up with a letter.
- Your current department
Don't ask your own department for permission to leave them until everything else has been sorted out.
This will make the break easier as you can show your department that the other one is ready to accept you, and that you have permission from your Local Authority. This way there is little they can do to stop you going.
If you are changing course drastically there may be conditions you have to meet, such as attending extra lectures to catch up. Some departments will insist you reach a certain level in your end of year exams in your current department, others will be happy for you to drop out of university entirely for the rest of the year and start over next September.
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