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What to do if you've applied for a course but changed your mind? Watch

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    Basically I've applied for straight Physics degree. I really enjoyed AS physics because it was all stuff I've covered at GCSE just in more depth. And it was very logical for me and made sense and so I really enjoy it. (AS topics were mechanics, materials, optics, electricity and quantum phenomena with the last two being my least favourite).

    Anyhow I picked up AS Further Maths with the modules Further Pure 1, Mechanics 1 and Mechanics 2. I've come to the conclusion that I really like mechanics problems, because I can visualise or understand what the problem I'm trying to solve is.

    Also I've been to 3 Physics Open days, and todays one really hit it home that Physics is very practical based and all the concepts at university are new. Now I'm not that good at experimental work and definitely don't enjoy it unless its mechanics because then I can understand whats happening. And A2 physics has a lot of new concepts which I haven't enjoyed or enjoyed because they aren't intuitive.

    So I've just realised that possibly mechanical engineering is something I should consider. It takes problems and puts a lot of detail into it, but its something I can relate to and understand. And also I would prefer the practical work if there was any. My question for any physicists / engineers is am I jumping to conclusions because I haven't given these new topics in physics a chance. And to anyone thats changed courses or now of people that have changed courses, how did they do it and whens the best time to do it etc? Any advice is much appreciated!
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    I don't know what's in "further maths mechanics 1 and 2" so I can't really say whether, based on the fact that you like those modules, you'll enjoy mechanical engineering.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't know what's in "further maths mechanics 1 and 2" so I can't really say whether, based on the fact that you like those modules, you'll enjoy mechanical engineering.
    It's just M1 and M2 (as far as I'm aware, no one runs a further mechanics module) and covers things this like: http://www.mathsrevision.net/alevel/mechanics/
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    (Original post by Freerider101)
    And to anyone thats changed courses or now of people that have changed courses, how did they do it and whens the best time to do it etc? Any advice is much appreciated!
    I have no experience of mechanical engineering, so can give you no advice about that ... but do have experienced of completely changing my course after I applied, so can maybe help with that.

    There are four (well, five if you include gap year ... but I'll assume that's out, because I daresay you could figure that out for yourself) main 'best' times to change course:

    1) During the application - if you're happy with the unis and they run a mechanical engineering course you're interested in, ask them to consider you for mechanical engineering. If they agree and accept you, the offer will change on Track. The earlier the better for this, but be sure you want to before doing anything.

    2) During Extra - if you can't do mechanical engineering at your current unis for whatever reason, you can also try to get in through Extra. Bit risky, because you'll have to reject any offers you do get in order to do this and will only carry a firm through ... but has a reasonable chance of success, and carries no risk if you won't do physics anyway. Plus, you can see what's around before entering Extra, so if there are no courses you want, you will know not to reject your offers.

    3) During Clearing/Adjustment - similar to Extra, you can see what's around and it requires you to have no offers, only at results day. You can reject offers you get earlier on and again carries no risks if you won't do physics anyway ... but if you're happy to do physics as an alternative, you'll have to get released on results day before you can get anywhere, which can delay you. You also have to choose one of them; for Clearing, you give up any place, whilst for Adjustment you can keep your firm in waiting ... but, statistically, you stand more luck with Clearing. This is the method I used, so if you're interested in hearing more, ask away.

    4) Early on during the course - so you failed to get a place for mechanical engineering and are doing physics. You can ask to swap once you're at uni, and this might work because people do drop out in the first few weeks. You really do need to get on this early - get yourself known preferably within the first week.

    Hope that brief run-down is of help. Like I say, I've done number three and I know people who have done number two, so if either of those interest you, ask for more details. You're probably best off doing them in order - ask your current unis first, then try Extra, then Clearing/Adjustment, then ask the uni you end up at (assuming you go to uni without a mechanical engineering place.)
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I have no experience of mechanical engineering, so can give you no advice about that ... but do have experienced of completely changing my course after I applied, so can maybe help with that.

    There are four (well, five if you include gap year ... but I'll assume that's out, because I daresay you could figure that out for yourself) main 'best' times to change course:

    1) During the application - if you're happy with the unis and they run a mechanical engineering course you're interested in, ask them to consider you for mechanical engineering. If they agree and accept you, the offer will change on Track. The earlier the better for this, but be sure you want to before doing anything.

    2) During Extra - if you can't do mechanical engineering at your current unis for whatever reason, you can also try to get in through Extra. Bit risky, because you'll have to reject any offers you do get in order to do this and will only carry a firm through ... but has a reasonable chance of success, and carries no risk if you won't do physics anyway. Plus, you can see what's around before entering Extra, so if there are no courses you want, you will know not to reject your offers.

    3) During Clearing/Adjustment - similar to Extra, you can see what's around and it requires you to have no offers, only at results day. You can reject offers you get earlier on and again carries no risks if you won't do physics anyway ... but if you're happy to do physics as an alternative, you'll have to get released on results day before you can get anywhere, which can delay you. You also have to choose one of them; for Clearing, you give up any place, whilst for Adjustment you can keep your firm in waiting ... but, statistically, you stand more luck with Clearing. This is the method I used, so if you're interested in hearing more, ask away.

    4) Early on during the course - so you failed to get a place for mechanical engineering and are doing physics. You can ask to swap once you're at uni, and this might work because people do drop out in the first few weeks. You really do need to get on this early - get yourself known preferably within the first week.

    Hope that brief run-down is of help. Like I say, I've done number three and I know people who have done number two, so if either of those interest you, ask for more details. You're probably best off doing them in order - ask your current unis first, then try Extra, then Clearing/Adjustment, then ask the uni you end up at (assuming you go to uni without a mechanical engineering place.)
    Thanks a lot. Well today I'm speaking to my Physics teacher about it. He has done engineering as a job and physics degree so he'll be understanding and give me the best advice about each degree course etc. But if I do then decide to change, I'll reply and probably ask you more about those 4 options. And by the way the tuition fees don't affect me. I'm from Channel Islands, so I pay full price anyway! However its probably worth mentioning that if our government pays a considerable amount towards your first degree course. However I'm not sure whether they will be keen on changing degrees since engineering costs slightly more than physics I think. Anyhow I'll make my decision later once I've gone through some degree level textbooks with my physics teacher!
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I have no experience of mechanical engineering, so can give you no advice about that ... but do have experienced of completely changing my course after I applied, so can maybe help with that.

    There are four (well, five if you include gap year ... but I'll assume that's out, because I daresay you could figure that out for yourself) main 'best' times to change course:

    1) During the application - if you're happy with the unis and they run a mechanical engineering course you're interested in, ask them to consider you for mechanical engineering. If they agree and accept you, the offer will change on Track. The earlier the better for this, but be sure you want to before doing anything.

    2) During Extra - if you can't do mechanical engineering at your current unis for whatever reason, you can also try to get in through Extra. Bit risky, because you'll have to reject any offers you do get in order to do this and will only carry a firm through ... but has a reasonable chance of success, and carries no risk if you won't do physics anyway. Plus, you can see what's around before entering Extra, so if there are no courses you want, you will know not to reject your offers.

    3) During Clearing/Adjustment - similar to Extra, you can see what's around and it requires you to have no offers, only at results day. You can reject offers you get earlier on and again carries no risks if you won't do physics anyway ... but if you're happy to do physics as an alternative, you'll have to get released on results day before you can get anywhere, which can delay you. You also have to choose one of them; for Clearing, you give up any place, whilst for Adjustment you can keep your firm in waiting ... but, statistically, you stand more luck with Clearing. This is the method I used, so if you're interested in hearing more, ask away.

    4) Early on during the course - so you failed to get a place for mechanical engineering and are doing physics. You can ask to swap once you're at uni, and this might work because people do drop out in the first few weeks. You really do need to get on this early - get yourself known preferably within the first week.

    Hope that brief run-down is of help. Like I say, I've done number three and I know people who have done number two, so if either of those interest you, ask for more details. You're probably best off doing them in order - ask your current unis first, then try Extra, then Clearing/Adjustment, then ask the uni you end up at (assuming you go to uni without a mechanical engineering place.)
    Hi again. So I think I want to do Mechanical Engineering. My first slight issue is that all the universities I have applied to for MPhys offer AAA minimum for MEng. Although I did achieve that at AS so its just a case of maintaining that really.
    If I write to universities to be considered for Engineering how do this work? Will Phys Dept hand over my whole application with explanation letter. And will I loose any offers I already have / would have made even before Mech Dept have made their decision? And if Mech say no will I still have offer from Phys Dept?

    With Extra could I apply to the university that has rejected me with my Phys application with further detailed explanation? And would it be risky to apply for A*AA? I'm taking half of my A2 exams in January anyway, so if I considered extra in March, they I would have a more realistic idea of if I could achieve this or not. Is this possible?

    Also a few questions about clearing. Can you still get the opportunity to apply to the university that has rejected you if you make the grades because I'm sure not all firm place holders will make get their grades. Also is there any statistics where I can see how many places were in clearing last year for MEng?

    I don't particularly want to apply to a course with the intension of dropping it straight away incase I can't or there aren't any spaces on another course. So if clearing fails I'll have wasted a year. I'm not sure what I would do tbh. I could consider doing A2 Further Maths. And AS additional further and retake anything to try for a higher grade and apply again for MEng. But I'd much rather go to uni next year and knowing I'd be safe if I get stuck with the Physics makes me want to not change. But then thinking in the long run its probably best to do what you want to do than something you'd enjoy be not totally satisfied with. Do you agree with this?

    Thanks for your feed back. Its greatly appreciated.
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    (Original post by Freerider101)
    Hi again. So I think I want to do Mechanical Engineering. My first slight issue is that all the universities I have applied to for MPhys offer AAA minimum for MEng. Although I did achieve that at AS so its just a case of maintaining that really.
    Well, if you're predicted AAA in subjects relevant for mechanical engineering (maths and physics included, I presume?) then them having those entry requirements isn't a problem. It does mean you won't have an insurance ... but you won't by any of the other ways either. If you've received your welcome letter within the last fourteen days, you can substitute one with no decision for a lower choice, but I'm not getting the impression you have.

    If I write to universities to be considered for Engineering how do this work? Will Phys Dept hand over my whole application with explanation letter. And will I loose any offers I already have / would have made even before Mech Dept have made their decision? And if Mech say no will I still have offer from Phys Dept?
    I think it's one of those things that vary between unis, but the way I would imagine it happening would be you contact both, the physics to ask them to hand it over and engineering with any supplemental information such as an alternative PS (check that they'll accept it first.) However, phone up general admissions at the unis and ask them what the procedure is.

    No, you won't lose any offers that you've already received, although I doubt they'll put any offers through after you're being considered elsewhere. And yes, if engineering say no you'll still have your physics offers; it only changes on Track if their reply is yes, in which case course will change as well.

    With Extra could I apply to the university that has rejected me with my Phys application with further detailed explanation? And would it be risky to apply for A*AA? I'm taking half of my A2 exams in January anyway, so if I considered extra in March, they I would have a more realistic idea of if I could achieve this or not. Is this possible?
    Yes, with Extra you could apply to the uni that rejected you for physics - it's like a different application. However, you can contact them as well and ask for it to passed onto the engineering department; they said no from their department, not from the whole uni. A*AA is a risky choice if you're AAA predicted, and the problem with Extra is you only pursue one course at a time ... so if it's going to be a bust, it may be a waste of time. When you phone them before applying, make sure there's a realistic chance.

    Yes, you can apply through Extra whenever you want. The results only come out a week or two after it opens anyway and it's not like the rush of trying to get in first with Clearing. Quite a few people will be waiting to see what level they're working at and figure out realistic grades.

    Also a few questions about clearing. Can you still get the opportunity to apply to the university that has rejected you if you make the grades because I'm sure not all firm place holders will make get their grades. Also is there any statistics where I can see how many places were in clearing last year for MEng?
    Yes, definitely - a lot of people do that, apply to unis that previously rejected them and are in Clearing because now they have their grades, it's a different game. With Clearing, you can be pursuing multiple courses simultaneously; I have heard of people gathering any family and friends of the same sex and they all phone unis as that person. There are lots of Clearing tips like that; if it gets closer to that being your manner of choice, I'll give all I can to you ... but won't get bogged down with that now.

    The only way to see how many places there were is to find someone who has a copy of the listings; I thought I did and was looking for it, but can't find it. If it comes up again, I'll let you know. However, it's not a great indicator - what happened last year may well not happen this year. The only use of it is you can identify patterns - you can see courses that are losing Clearing spaces, courses gaining them, unis repeatedly in Clearing... You'd need a few to see that, and I doubt anyone keeps them around for years.

    I don't particularly want to apply to a course with the intension of dropping it straight away incase I can't or there aren't any spaces on another course. So if clearing fails I'll have wasted a year. I'm not sure what I would do tbh. I could consider doing A2 Further Maths. And AS additional further and retake anything to try for a higher grade and apply again for MEng. But I'd much rather go to uni next year and knowing I'd be safe if I get stuck with the Physics makes me want to not change. But then thinking in the long run its probably best to do what you want to do than something you'd enjoy be not totally satisfied with. Do you agree with this?
    I would agree with that - if it had come to it, I would have taken a gap year and applied for the course I wanted. It's very easy to enjoy something and, because it's the easy route, convince yourself it's what you want to do; however, if you really think mechanical engineering would be better, it's probably worth the year out.

    Any more questions? Hope this has been helpful to you - if you need it, ask for clarification on anything I didn't explain very well.
 
 
 
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