Thinking about changes which might affect your funding? Please talk to Student Advice
It is really common to reach the end of the academic term and have questions about where or what you are studying and if it is right for you.
If you’ve got some questions about any aspect of your course, making a decision and 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.
There are several points of contact to help you make the decision, including:
- your course leader or personal tutor
- your course office and administrator
- your family, friends, course mates, flatmates
- the Student Advice Service
- the Students’ Union
What effect does changing course have on my student finance?
Student Finance 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 or other medical professional’s letter to confirm that had to leave their course because of the illness. If there are other compelling reasons, please 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 transfer 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 Registry. If you’re not sure, please check with your school office in the first instance.
Please remember that non-attendance does not count as notice of your plans to leave or take time out. 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. Again, please check with your school office in the first instance.
TargetJobs: Changing or leaving your course offers further practical information on what to take into consideration when changing course.
If you are an international student, we would encourage you to contact the International Student Advice team to discuss your circumstances in more detail. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01273 642888.
Please don’t hesitate to contact a member of staff if you have any concerns or questions, we are here to help you.
The article was origianlly posted on Your Money Matters, the Student Advice Service blog.