Whether you are newly arrived or returning to University you may need to make a decision about your degree programme.
Most people who consider of changing or leaving course decide to stay on. Sometimes it can be homesickness and the strangeness of settling in and new learning styles, for others it can be worry about what the course will lead to afterwards. Talking it through will help!
Even if you decide to make a change this is not a failure. Identifying that something needs to change and taking action to make that happen shows you have the resilience to cope when things go wrong, a skill employers look for.
1 Seek help before making a decision.
Don’t just stop attending lectures talk it through first.
- See a student support adviser They can help you talk through your problems and make referrals to other services as needed.
- Having financial issues – see The money adviser
2 Discuss your future plans
Let’s look at some of the options
Is it possible to transfer onto another degree?
Whether it’s at the same University or a different one you will need to find out:
- What the admission requirements are for the course you want to apply for are?
- Do you meet them? Can you transfer credits?
- Do you need to apply again through UCAS?
Talk to the admissions team for the course and they may be able to clarify. See a student support adviser who can explain the process and get you started.
What are the career options with a different degree?
You have a great opportunity now to ask all the questions you may not have thought of when you were at school!
- Don’t necessarily start with what can I do with this degree. Think about what you want from life and a job after a degree and work backwards.
- If you can identify a number of career paths or jobs you might be interested in it gives you a great basis for asking which degree would be best to help me do this?
- If you identify a degree or subject area, which University should you do it at? The courses and modes of study may be different as well as the campus and city environment.
- What is your preferred learning style – will the course help you succeed.
- Does the course include placements or engagement with industry?
- Can you get a part-time job near by – if it’s not near a town it may be more difficult.
- Ask the admissions team for the course – what have graduates from this course gone on to do ?
What can you do if you are taking time out?
If you have to reapply for a course the next year then you may have several months or even nearly a year free from studies. It’s a great opportunity to get some work experience so that when you start the course you are ahead of your peers.
Hopefully you will have discussed your future options and decided on a course of action. So the next step is to identify:
- What experience would be useful to you? What skills do you need?
- Where does that need to be in the country?
- Does it need to pay a wage and how much does that need to be to support you?
- Consider volunteering to get initial experience or to break into hard to access career areas such as the Charity and not for profit sector.
Get advice on your applications so that you maximise your chances of success.
What will happen if you decide not to do a degree?
A degree is not the right path for everyone and is not required for all professions or jobs.
- Consider an apprenticeship
- Look at entry routes into jobs with A-levels, National Careers Advice job profiles include non degree options.
- Talk it through with a careers consultant