Changing Your Course

Every year, some students decide that they wish to change their programme of study, and move either to another programme within University College Birmingham or to a programme at a different institution, or take some time out from their course.

There are many reasons why you might wish to consider a change of direction. However, you should remember that changing courses or institutions is a major decision, which can affect your future education and working life. You should always consult a member of academic staff and a professional careers advisor, even if you feel certain you have made the right choice. It may be that the dissatisfaction which you are feeling can be resolved in a way less drastic than a change of course. Try if possible to give yourself time to reflect, and a chance for things to alter.

Within University College Birmingham

Please note that you do not have an automatic right to transfer from one course to another within University College Birmingham. Successful transfer depends upon normal admissions procedures including whether there are places available on the new course. Remember also that you must contact Student Finance England or other funding body to check if your financial support can be transferred from one course to another.

Internal Transfer

If you wish to transfer to another course you should speak to your Assistant Dean of Studies, who will be able to advise you. If you decide to proceed with the transfer your Tutor will need to complete a transfer form and send it to Finance.

Transferring to Another University

If you wish to transfer study at another HE institution you should discuss this with your Tutor. You should also contact the institution(s) to which you hope to gain admission to find out about vacancies and transfer possibilities.  If you decide to proceed with the transfer, your Tutor will complete a transfer form clearly stating which university, course and year you will be moving to and send it to the Finance and Information Services Unit.

Financial Implications of an Internal or External Transfer

As a general rule, you can obtain funding for the length of the course to which you are transferring, plus an extra year. Therefore, if the transfer will result in your total number of years of HE study (past and future) totalling more than this, you will not receive full funding for every year of your course. If there is a period of study for which you are ineligible for full funding, you will only receive the basic element of the maintenance loan but no maintenance grant or tuition fee loan for this period. If you are considering transferring you should speak to a member of the FISU or Student Finance England on 0300 100 0607 or other funding body to see what financial impact your transfer will have.

Taking time out

There are a number of reasons, often personal, sometimes financial, that can lead to a student deciding to take a break from their studies. Before you do so, always discuss the situation with your Tutor or Assistant Dean of Studies, as there may be other options open to you. You should note that you must successfully complete all of the required assessment for a module in order to gain the credit. Note also that all University College Birmingham HE courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate are normally subject to time restrictions for completion of the course.

You should also discuss the matter with your Local Authority or other funding body before you take any action, as your entitlement to fee support or loans at a later date could be affected. Non-EU students should also consider the implications for their stay in the UK.


Students are not automatically eligible for a deferral of studies and an application to defer is essential. Students need to apply online through their dashboard on the Portal. Further details about the process are available from the Academic Registry. More details of the deferral process are available in the General Student Regulations.

General Student Regulations

Non-EU Students

We are obliged to inform the UK Border Force of any change to the duration or nature of your study.

You should check your contractual obligations if you are renting a property and wish to leave. You may also become liable for Council Tax.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer

All Higher Education courses at University College Birmingham carry a credit value which is measured in points. (For example, one full year of an undergraduate degree course carries a potential credit value of 120 points. So one module of study is likely to have a credit value of between 10 and 20 credits.) This credit value links University College Birmingham to other academic institutions in the UK and means that if at any point you find that you need, or wish, to move to another Higher Education Institution to continue your studies, you could claim exemption from repeating the same modules of study at the new institution.

Similarly, each module carries European Credits under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which enables comparability with universities in Europe. A total of 60 ECTS Credits are awarded for each successful year of study.

Course Specifications

These are a formal statement of the structure and aims of your course and can be helpful in clarifying the skills and knowledge that you are expected to develop. For more information, contact the Quality Department on the Third Floor of the Summer Row Campus. Alternatively, check your course on the University College Birmingham website or on the University College Birmingham Portal.

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