What to do if you've Changed Your Mind on Your University Course

What to do if you've Changed Your Mind on Your University Course

Having second thoughts about your course choice is entirely normal, after going through the application process for university via UCAS and accepting your university offers you may find yourself having doubts about the course content or the subject you have chosen to study. Although this is a very stressful realisation it is one that many students experience every year. 

Whether you simply wish to change your course and remain at the same university or if you want to change both your course and university at the same time, both options are possible but require different methods in order to successfully get yourself back on track and prepare to head off to university.

Can I stay at the same university where I’ve accepted my offer but change my course?

Regardless of you having accepted your university offer or not changing your course subject is possible however it does now lie in the universities hands.

Most universities will try to be flexible and understanding with the amount of time that you have to change courses as they are aware of the importance of the decisions you choose to make after finishing your A-Levels or Highers. It is important to keep in mind that depending on the university ranking and overall popularity of the course the process for changing to a different course may vary. For any university a change of course will have to be discussed with the institution themselves.

The first step is to contact the university who may reach out to the head of department for the course you have already applied to. During this conversation you must inform them of why you wish to change courses and if you provide good reasoning and the course managers are able to see a genuine interest in another subject then you will be able to move forwards into a new course. 

You can contact us on 0131 451 8250 or via email: ugadmissions@hw.ac.uk.

Applying for a new course within the same faculty or school will make the process significantly easier. However, if you are applying for a new course in a completely different subject area this may prove to be more difficult as you will be required to prove to both schools and heads of departments that this change is significant and that you have reason to believe that the change will impact your future aspirations significantly. 

Once you have made a decision on which course you wish to move to you will then need to discuss with the new course manager and head of department to show your interest in the subject. You must also provide your personal statement and proof that you have met the entry requirements of the new course.

Acceptance relies on the head of departments' decision and whether the department finds you to be a suitable candidate for the course and if there are enough spare places on the course for enrolment. You may need to wait for clearing to open for the university to make this decision.

What should I do if I want to decline my university offer completely after accepting my offer?

You may have decided that you want to decline both your university and course offers to find a course and a university that best aligns with your future plans and ambitions and making a firm decision on this can feel daunting at first. If you find that you have changed your mind on not just your course subject but your chosen university after accepting your offer there are still options that are available to you through clearing.

Clearing is the best time to have a rethink and consider your options and choices carefully. It also gives you the opportunity to discover other universities and subjects that you might not have considered before, this is why clearing is a popular option for students. Clearing opens on 5 July and closes on 17 October you can’t enter clearing before you have your final confirmed A-level or Higher results.

UCAS often gives you 14 days to change your mind about your university application. This also allows you to decline one university offer and reaccept another. However, the university at which you reaccept the offer may not be able to take you on again due to your chosen course having been filled. If you don’t like any of your course or university options you will need to release yourself into clearing. 

To release yourself into clearing you can decline your ‘firm place’ university offer (the offer you accepted originally) using the ‘decline my place’ button on your UCAS application. Be aware that using this option will mean that any accommodation you had arranged to move into or any scholarship applications that were confirmed will also be cancelled so consider your options carefully before making any changes to your UCAS application.

You can also contact the university or institution where you originally accepted your offer and ask them to release you into clearing then you will automatically be entered into the clearing process.

If you want to apply for another course you can find courses that are still available via the search function on UCAS. However, if you just aren’t sure on which university to choose next or which course might be right for you the clearing plus tool can help you to find similar courses and universities to the ones that you originally applied for.

If you express interest in a course via clearing the university can contact you if you are eligible. During the call you will be asked why you would like to study the course and from there you can be offered a place at the university. 

What will happen if you choose to decline all of your university offers?

If you choose to decline all of your university offers on your application you will then be automatically entered into the clearing process. However, if you’ve decided to hold off from university until next year you can always postpone your place rather than declining all of your offers completely.

What if you have changed your mind about going to university altogether?

If you have changed your mind about going to university completely and you have already accepted a university offer you will need to contact the university that is holding your place for you and ask them to withdraw your application you can also contact UCAS and they will revoke your applications on your behalf.

What do you need to do if you have accidentally declined your university offer?

If you have declined your university offer by accident then you will have to contact the university that was holding your offer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, your place could have been offered to someone else and so you may be required to reapply via clearing if this is possible.

Will you lose your insurance place if you decline your firm university offer?

When you choose to decline your firm university offer you will automatically be entered into the clearing process and you can reapply to a university where there are still vacancies. If you do wish to go to your insurance university you should contact them to see if you can still be accepted before declining your firm university offer.

Can you decline a ‘conditional’ university offer?

You will have to wait until the university holding your offer has updated you application to show either an unconditional offer or an unsuccessful application status before you can decline your offer from that university.

How will changing your course affect your student finance and tuition fees?

If you haven’t started your course then you won’t have started to pay tuition fees just yet and so your student finance will begin as normal when you start attending university. Once you change courses you will be eligible for the funding of the new course. Contact will be made by student finance to discuss changes made to your application and tuition fees however it is likely that you will be entitled to everything you were promised on your last course. 

In rare circumstances you might have to go through a reapplication process and show you need the funding for this course too, but your student finance shouldn’t be affected too much by a course switch before beginning your university studies.

How can I prepare for clearing?

To prepare for clearing you should research around the courses and universities available in clearing before you apply to ensure that you are making the most informed decision possible. You can also gather your exam results if you have them and ensure that you meet the entry requirements for your desired university course. Additionally, attending open days and researching accommodation options and finance options for students going through clearing can also help you during the process.

Why can’t courses in clearing be declined straight away?

You can add a course in clearing but you will need to wait for the university that is hosting the course to accept you in clearing before you can decline the offer or you can ask them to mark you as unsuccessful so that you can be entered into the clearing process again.

Although going through clearing can feel like a daunting prospect it will offer you more freedom when choosing a different university, course or subject. Many other students will be going through the same process and when you eventually begin university there won’t be any differences between the way you enrol and the way students who haven’t been through clearing enrol. Think carefully about your decision before you finalise it and remember that being completely happy with your course and university choices is what is most important above all else.