I don’t know if I’m on the right course. What do I do?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions in Student Advice, which means that it is not unusual to feel like this, particularly if you are coming to the end of your first term at uni. 

If you’ve got some questions about any aspect of your course, taking action can be a positive step towards getting you on the right path.

We want you to be aware of options to think about and highlight some financial issues that might arise. This way you can make an informed choice, whether you decide to stay on your course, change to another or possibly take time out while you think things through.

What should I do if I’m thinking of changing course?

The first thing to do if you are thinking about changing course is to do the relevant research. You should find out more about the remainder of your course in case it develops to suit your needs or meet your interests. Do bear in mind that what you have studied in the first term is not necessarily the same as the rest of the course. You could contact the Careers Service and find out more about the course direction, similar courses in the field and future career paths.

You might be struggling with some academic issues. If so, speak to your personal tutor or contact your SSGT as they can help you resolve any barriers to study.

There are several points of contact to help you make the decision, including:

The effect of changing course on student finance varies according to individual circumstances. It depends on your present course, your stage of study and the course you have chosen to transfer to. If you transfer to another course and start again at the beginning of a new academic year, the situation is more complicated.

What effect does changing course have on my student finance?

SFE offer funding for the length of a course plus 1 additional year, minus any years or part-years of previous study – and count a single day of study as a year of support; so if you start again, you will have used up an extra year of that support and cannot claim money back for the year that you didn’t finish.

Example: you start year 1 of a 3 year course. You complete the first year so you are still entitled to 3 further years of support.

Example 2: you start year 1 of a 3 year course. You complete the first and second year then transfer to start year 1 of a new course. This means you will have to self fund one year as this new route will take a total of 5 years to complete. You will therefore have to pay the fees for year 1 of the new course.

Students who have to leave a year of their course part-way through or take time out because of illness or a caring responsibility can ask Student Finance to take any ‘Compelling Personal Reason’ into account and allow them an additional year of Tuition Fee Loan. In order to persuade Student Finance to do this, the student must give them a doctor’s letter to confirm that had to leave their course because of the illness. You may need help with this process, so you should contact the Student Advice Service and we will be happy to help and advise you.

If you transfer to another course at Brighton within the same academic year, Student Finance can usually carry forward your financial support without any ramifications, but you must keep them up to date with any changes and ensure that your school has notified Academic Services.

Please remember that non-attendance does not count as notice of your plans to leave. It is important that you keep in touch with staff on your current course, even if you think you don’t want to do it anymore. Your attendance can affect your student finance, references and qualifications, all of which could be important for your next steps

TargetJobs: Changing or leaving your course can give practical information on what to take into consideration when changing course

If you are an international student and have a student visa, before you change or leave your course contact the International Student Advisor via the Student Advice Service. Email: studentadvice@brighton.ac.uk or tel 01273 642888.

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in General advice and information

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