The Student Room Group

Changing my course before entering second year of my degree

I initially thought about finishing my degree in Design in which I've just finished my first year, and then going on to do a Masters at Ual hopefully in theatre and performance design because I want to do set design for film and tv. However I don't think I'll be able to afford to do a Masters, and my university does a BA in performance design and film costume, which sounds more suited to me and I've already had doubts about my current course through this past year. Does anyone have any advice? Should I change courses, I would be able to start from the first year because student loans cover 4 years, I might be able to start from the second year also because I'm already doing a design course?
If you are unhappy with your current course and you can swap to a course you prefer, then do it. It doesn't make sense to stay on a course you are not happy with.
Original post by radb3ar
I initially thought about finishing my degree in Design in which I've just finished my first year, and then going on to do a Masters at Ual hopefully in theatre and performance design because I want to do set design for film and tv. However I don't think I'll be able to afford to do a Masters, and my university does a BA in performance design and film costume, which sounds more suited to me and I've already had doubts about my current course through this past year. Does anyone have any advice? Should I change courses, I would be able to start from the first year because student loans cover 4 years, I might be able to start from the second year also because I'm already doing a design course?

Your student finance entitlement is: length of degree you are being funded for in that year (i.e. if you are reapplying/transferring this year to start a new degree, it will be the new one) + 1 year (the "gift year") - the number of years of prior study in HE.

So if you've done 1 year of prior study, and apply to a new 3 year course, you will have 3 + 1 - 1 = 3 years of funding remaining (i.e. just enough to cover the whole course, unless you have to repeat a year or change course again in which case you would need to self fund tuition fees for one or more years). If the new course was 4 years though then you'd have 4 + 1 -1 = 4 years remaining. Basically, you will have enough funding left to cover one full degree (however long it is), without any repeats or further changes.

In terms of changing course, if this is at the same uni I would recommend you get in touch with your personal tutor and the relevant department/course coordinator for the new degree now and see if you can arrange an internal change of course. This will involve some paperwork but will otherwise be fairly straightforward. If you cannot do so, or if it's at another uni, you will need to apply through UCAS again.

Whether you can start in second year (in which case you might be able to retain the "gift year") will be up to the uni offering the course and whether your current course has a similar enough first year to allow you to directly transfer into second year. You will need to ask them whether that is possible. This goes double if it's another uni - you should confirm this before applying through UCAS.

As to whether you should change course at all, only you can answer that! If that's the direction you want to go in and you aren't keen on your current course it seems an obvious option, but do ensure you don't go into it with rose tinted glasses - make sure you understand what is involved in the new degree and how that compares to what you are doing now, and whether it's actually what you want to do in terms of the day to day, rather than just on a purely conceptual level.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
Your student finance entitlement is: length of degree you are being funded for in that year (i.e. if you are reapplying/transferring this year to start a new degree, it will be the new one) + 1 year (the "gift year") - the number of years of prior study in HE.

So if you've done 1 year of prior study, and apply to a new 3 year course, you will have 3 + 1 - 1 = 3 years of funding remaining (i.e. just enough to cover the whole course, unless you have to repeat a year or change course again in which case you would need to self fund tuition fees for one or more years). If the new course was 4 years though then you'd have 4 + 1 -1 = 4 years remaining. Basically, you will have enough funding left to cover one full degree (however long it is), without any repeats or further changes.

In terms of changing course, if this is at the same uni I would recommend you get in touch with your personal tutor and the relevant department/course coordinator for the new degree now and see if you can arrange an internal change of course. This will involve some paperwork but will otherwise be fairly straightforward. If you cannot do so, or if it's at another uni, you will need to apply through UCAS again.

Whether you can start in second year (in which case you might be able to retain the "gift year") will be up to the uni offering the course and whether your current course has a similar enough first year to allow you to directly transfer into second year. You will need to ask them whether that is possible. This goes double if it's another uni - you should confirm this before applying through UCAS.

As to whether you should change course at all, only you can answer that! If that's the direction you want to go in and you aren't keen on your current course it seems an obvious option, but do ensure you don't go into it with rose tinted glasses - make sure you understand what is involved in the new degree and how that compares to what you are doing now, and whether it's actually what you want to do in terms of the day to day, rather than just on a purely conceptual level.


Thank you for your advice! I was thinking I might make a careers appointment with the careers part of my uni because they give advice with course changes and I thought it was probably best to speak to someone first, I agree that I don't want to go into this with rose tinted glasses, I really want to be certain that this is the right choice to make (I'm thinking it might be). I also don't want to make any rash decisions which is why I've posted on here and I'm going to speak to a careers person so at least I can make a fully informed decision.

Honestly, I as much as it would be great to transition straight to second year, I had compared the course overviews online and they seem to follow a similar structure just covering different areas of design for the first year. I think I would want to maybe start from the first year because I wouldn't want to miss out on anything important, but again I'll probably talk to one of the careers people at my uni.

Thanks again for your help!

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