Do I pay penalty for dropping? out of masters, I already paid all my tuition fees

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kjc.student.room
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I want to quit my masters programme because I just don't feel happy with it, I struggled with the modules and to be honestly I only went on to do an MA because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Now I sort of do and I don't really want to wait any longer to finish a degree which I will get a fail from anyway.
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HallieMarie
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I'm not sure about other unis but with ours there isn't a penalty to pay. I completely understand where you are coming from, I'm doing an MA English Lit and I've hated every second of it and got close a couple of times. Have you completed most of your modules? It's obviously completely up to you, it's your life and your mental health. I'm just wondering if it's possible for you to pass to get something for your money?
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Keele University
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(Original post by kjc.student.room)
I want to quit my masters programme because I just don't feel happy with it, I struggled with the modules and to be honestly I only went on to do an MA because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Now I sort of do and I don't really want to wait any longer to finish a degree which I will get a fail from anyway.
I'm sorry you're unhappy with your Masters programme. Have you spoken to anyone at your university about this? One of your tutors or a member of university support services? Or even a fellow student such as a course or union rep?

If you really just hate the subject and the course then cutting your losses and walking away is certainly an option - but please don't think of it (or yourself) as a failure. Realising that something is not for you can be as valuable an experience as doing something that is, even if it doesn't feel like that at the time.

I started a PGCE when I finished my BA because I had no idea what else I wanted to do. Needless to say, I hated it and I dropped out of the course. So I've been there and I appreciate how hard that decision is - but it's a decision that got me out into the workplace and 11 years, one career, one marriage and a house purchase later, led me to taking an MA and PhD in order to pursue a career path that I actually want to do. So in hindsight I can see I did the right thing for me - and can take away what I learnt from that experience.

Your university can confirm whether you would be required to pay any further fees - other than tuition and accommodation though, I can't imagine there would be any further 'penalty' to pay for withdrawal from your course. The admin team of your department are probably the best people to contact to ask about that.

Before you do walk away though, I would urge you to talk to someone about how you feel. You don't really say why you've struggled with the modules but if you've been having a hard time with your mental health or life circumstances then you may qualify for an extension or re-sits on some modules, as well as an extension on any work still to submit. Given the impact of Covid-19 on the mental and physical well-being of students, many universities are being much more sympathetic to these requests than they would ordinarily (and, to be fair, my experience at Keele is they're usually pretty sympathetic anyway if you have a genuine reason for requesting).

Your university should also have support services in place - from academic support that might be able to help with proofreading, to additional meetings with tutors and academic/personal supervisors, and counselling and wellbeing support. If you're not getting offered any of this - or are unsure about what might be available and want someone to support you - talk to your student union rep and they should be able to help.

Take the decision that is right for you - there's no right or wrong here - but do talk it through with someone you trust from your university first. Hope that helps.

Amy
Last edited by Keele University; 6 months ago
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by kjc.student.room)
I want to quit my masters programme because I just don't feel happy with it, I struggled with the modules and to be honestly I only went on to do an MA because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Now I sort of do and I don't really want to wait any longer to finish a degree which I will get a fail from anyway.
How far into your programme are you? At different stages you can take the 'exit' qualification (e.g. PgCert, PgDip etc.) so you have something to show for the time that you've been studying. You will have to speak directly to your university regarding fees - it's likely that you will be able to get a refund for any semesters/terms you haven't completed if you drop out before certain dates.
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kjc.student.room
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
How far into your programme are you? At different stages you can take the 'exit' qualification (e.g. PgCert, PgDip etc.) so you have something to show for the time that you've been studying. You will have to speak directly to your university regarding fees - it's likely that you will be able to get a refund for any semesters/terms you haven't completed if you drop out before certain dates.
hi thanks for the information. I actualy pass all my assignments and I didn't have to pay fees. My lecturer actually encouraged me to continue my dissertation cos I did really well on my retakes and in the end. But I decided to just get the PGDip. I couldn't sacrifice my mental health anymore.
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kjc.student.room
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(Original post by kjc.student.room)
hi thanks for the information. I actualy pass all my assignments and I didn't have to pay fees. My lecturer actually encouraged me to continue my dissertation cos I did really well on my retakes and in the end. But I decided to just get the PGDip. I couldn't sacrifice my mental health anymore.
(Original post by Keele University)
I'm sorry you're unhappy with your Masters programme. Have you spoken to anyone at your university about this? One of your tutors or a member of university support services? Or even a fellow student such as a course or union rep?

If you really just hate the subject and the course then cutting your losses and walking away is certainly an option - but please don't think of it (or yourself) as a failure. Realising that something is not for you can be as valuable an experience as doing something that is, even if it doesn't feel like that at the time.

I started a PGCE when I finished my BA because I had no idea what else I wanted to do. Needless to say, I hated it and I dropped out of the course. So I've been there and I appreciate how hard that decision is - but it's a decision that got me out into the workplace and 11 years, one career, one marriage and a house purchase later, led me to taking an MA and PhD in order to pursue a career path that I actually want to do. So in hindsight I can see I did the right thing for me - and can take away what I learnt from that experience.

Your university can confirm whether you would be required to pay any further fees - other than tuition and accommodation though, I can't imagine there would be any further 'penalty' to pay for withdrawal from your course. The admin team of your department are probably the best people to contact to ask about that.

Before you do walk away though, I would urge you to talk to someone about how you feel. You don't really say why you've struggled with the modules but if you've been having a hard time with your mental health or life circumstances then you may qualify for an extension or re-sits on some modules, as well as an extension on any work still to submit. Given the impact of Covid-19 on the mental and physical well-being of students, many universities are being much more sympathetic to these requests than they would ordinarily (and, to be fair, my experience at Keele is they're usually pretty sympathetic anyway if you have a genuine reason for requesting).

Your university should also have support services in place - from academic support that might be able to help with proofreading, to additional meetings with tutors and academic/personal supervisors, and counselling and wellbeing support. If you're not getting offered any of this - or are unsure about what might be available and want someone to support you - talk to your student union rep and they should be able to help.

Take the decision that is right for you - there's no right or wrong here - but do talk it through with someone you trust from your university first. Hope that helps.

Amy
Hi, thank you so much for the advice. I actually got a PGDip instead. It turned out I pass all of my assignments in the end. I talk to my lecturers and my mwellbeing team and decided because the Dissertation is quite challenging also because I have to collect data during covid (around May ) and as I do suffer from anxiety. It was best to finish the 2 semesters and to not sacrifice my mental health. It was also suggested that I could defer my dissertation deadline but I as i wasn't happy with the course and I actually knew what I wanted to go into which is law(liek u said hindsight!) . Which is another issue because now I don't even know if I should take the GDL with the new SQE exams coming in this coming september 2021. I'm still applying to training contracts but it's really confusing.
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kjc.student.room
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
How far into your programme are you? At different stages you can take the 'exit' qualification (e.g. PgCert, PgDip etc.) so you have something to show for the time that you've been studying. You will have to speak directly to your university regarding fees - it's likely that you will be able to get a refund for any semesters/terms you haven't completed if you drop out before certain dates.
hi I got the PGDip thanks for the information tho!
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Keele University
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(Original post by kjc.student.room)
hi thanks for the information. I actualy pass all my assignments and I didn't have to pay fees. My lecturer actually encouraged me to continue my dissertation cos I did really well on my retakes and in the end. But I decided to just get the PGDip. I couldn't sacrifice my mental health anymore.
Glad that you were able to talk to your university and find a route that worked for you. Looking after your mental health is really important, especially given the current situation. Congratulations on achieving your PGDip and making it through your re-sits!

With regards to moving into Law, your university's careers service should be able to support you and to advise you on changes being made to entry routes - a lot of students think that once they graduate they can't access their careers service but, at most universities, the service is there to support recent graduates as well so do make use of their advisors if you're unsure. You might also find the website of The Law Society useful, if you haven't already looked at it :https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/.

Good luck with your applications for training contracts!

Amy
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