The Student Room Group

Should I change University

The question I wish to ask requires a bit of background knowledge which I will now provide.

In 2022 I went to study law at University of X. It was in the top 20 universities for law, and I went there as it was far from home and everyone around me was telling me the independence would be good for me. Long story short - I disliked it. I disliked the city & I had friends that were quite frankly not the nicest. I missed my family and decided to move back home and re-apply to a University closer to me which is actually in the top 10 for law. I had received acceptance for it previously, but had chosen to go to University of X simply for the independence that everyone preached to me.

The University closer to home (University Y) got in contact with me stating I needed a transcript of my grades from my time at University X before I could receive an offer due to the competitive nature of the course. The rest of my application was strong, my A-levels were above the required grades and I had been accepted there the previous year. Long story short - I tried for 2 months to get my transcript off of the University of X and they could not provide me with it. I got my personal tutor from my time there to contact the admissions at University Y and they stated they unfortunately did need a transcript. University Y stated I could receive an offer for other, less-competitive courses, such as History or English, but I really do enjoy studying law.

Out of defeat, I applied to University Z. Another university in my city and got accepted. I am currently studying here. However, this university is not as reputable for law. That being said, it's not awful, it's in the top 40 in the UK and I have minimal complaints about my teaching since I've been here - achieving firsts and high 2:1s.

My issue is mostly one that stems from pride, I will be the first to admit that. I talk to people at work and in day-to-day life and when I tell them what university I go to, I can almost feel them looking down upon me. The uni I'm currently at does have a reputation that only people rejected from University Y go there, and people do typically have a snobby attitude in regards to it. I hate it. I genuinely struggle to cope with people looking down on me due to the university I go to.

It's gotten to the point that I don't know if I should apply for University Y this September. I've been achieving good grades so far in all my modules and I would have a transcript to show them this time if asked. The thing is, this would put me into first year for the *third* time.

The fact that law is such a traditional field where people stereotypically do judge you on your university is also impacting my decision. Despite hating how people view me due to my university, it would not be enough to make me consider entering first year for the third time. I've heard of firms making it a requirement to have gone to a Russel Group uni to apply. I've also just heard generally that the university you go to does have a big impact on your applications for entry-level jobs in the legal field.

It's gotten to the point now where this is something I think about constantly. When alone and with other people. The way people treat me, the potential limits it will have on my career and then also the fact that I worked so hard for my A-levels only to end up somewhere I could've gone to doing half the amount of work. I keep beating myself up for not just accepting to study English or history at University Y and doing a law conversion course after. Again, I find my lecturers and tutors to be good at teaching me the information, but a rare amount of people around me take the course seriously. I guess it's not the academic environment I ever pictured myself being in for university. I rarely find seminars academically engaging, typically I'm the only one willing to answer questions, and for the sake of not being 'that person' I tend to only do so maximum 3 times a seminar. The tutor will then just answer the question themselves due to lack of engagement by my peers and it leaves no room for lively debate or discussion.

I don't know if this makes it work it to change university, though. Due to the fact it means I'll have been in university for 5 years by the time I graduate and also that I doubt I will get the extra year of student finance, so for final year I would probably have to pay my own tuition and just live at home due to lack of funding.

I'm really unsure of what to do. I'm doubting everything at the moment and constantly beating myself up. My thoughts are all over the place and any outsider insight would be appreciated.
is uni Y Oxford or Cambridge and Z Durham?
a good learning environment is important but do the course you love if you have the right grades in the right subject for it don't settle sorry idk what else to say to help
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous #2
is uni Y Oxford or Cambridge and Z Durham?

Hahah not quite.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous #2
a good learning environment is important but do the course you love if you have the right grades in the right subject for it don't settle sorry idk what else to say to help

Thank you anyways!

I'm just unsure. I have the grades to get into University Y and I would now have a transcript of firsts and 2:1s if I were to try apply now but I'm not sure if it's worth doing first year for the third time. For context I have 2 A*s and 1 A. Above the entry requirements for University Y and my current university only requires BBB.
Reply 5
It's a bit bizarre that universities require an official transcript of marks from a year you haven't yet completed -- some universities cannot provide this, as no marks are final until they have been approved by an exam board, and that exam board might only ratify marks at the end of the academic year. But there's not much you can do about that.

Your problem is it that if you apply again to university Y, they might now ask you for a transcript from your current university (university Z) and not accept your year one transcript from university X.

And if you do do your first year a third time, how is that going to look on your CV? One "false start" is understandable; but three attempts to do your first year at university, and on the same course, is going to make people wonder what is going on.

so for final year I would probably have to pay my own tuition and just live at home due to lack of funding


Student funding doesn't work like that. You've used up your "gift year", so you will need to fund your new first year yourself. Your remaining two years of funding (years 2 and 3 for a three-year course) will be paid as expected.

You could ask university Y if they will allow you to enter into year 2 of their programme if you complete year 1 successfully at university Z. That would allow mean you wouldn't need to self-fund your third attempt at year 1.

As a final thought -- I've never asked any lawyer that I've used what university they graduated from -- why would I?
Reply 6
Original post by martin7
It's a bit bizarre that universities require an official transcript of marks from a year you haven't yet completed -- some universities cannot provide this, as no marks are final until they have been approved by an exam board, and that exam board might only ratify marks at the end of the academic year. But there's not much you can do about that.
Your problem is it that if you apply again to university Y, they might now ask you for a transcript from your current university (university Z) and not accept your year one transcript from university X.
And if you do do your first year a third time, how is that going to look on your CV? One "false start" is understandable; but three attempts to do your first year at university, and on the same course, is going to make people wonder what is going on.
Student funding doesn't work like that. You've used up your "gift year", so you will need to fund your new first year yourself. Your remaining two years of funding (years 2 and 3 for a three-year course) will be paid as expected.
You could ask university Y if they will allow you to enter into year 2 of their programme if you complete year 1 successfully at university Z. That would allow mean you wouldn't need to self-fund your third attempt at year 1.
As a final thought -- I've never asked any lawyer that I've used what university they graduated from -- why would I?

Yes, the requiring of the transcript threw me off guard completely as I didn't expect it. The only logical reasoning behind it I can imagine is them trying to ensure I did not just leave my university because I was failing out of it. However, people tell me this is nonsense and that most universities only require you meet the entry requirements even if you have previously went to another university, so I don't know if that's a weird requirement from them or a typical expectation?

From University Z, I have pre-emptively downloaded every piece of work I have handed in as well as the feedback just on the off-chance I do choose to apply to University Y. As well as the fact I intend to finish the year here so I imagine it would be easier to obtain an actual transcript (I left at the end of January at University X which I believe is what caused the issues regarding obtaining a transcript from my time there).

I completely agree on the CV part. That and the funding are the two things that are majorly starting to make me think I'm silly for even considering applying to University Y again, and that there is no way the prestige of a university is worth that much.. I hope.

In regards to the funding, thank you for enlightening me that I would have to pay it in the first year rather than the final year. I just assumed it would be until it 'ran out' so they'd expect me to pay it in the final year when I have no funding left. I have been working full time over breaks and 14-20 hours a week during term time so I would have enough in my savings to pay that by the end of the summer.. but it would drain all of my savings completely and I don't think that is worth it.

In regards to transferring into second year, this was what I originally wanted to do. I looked into it and unfortunately they do not accept second year transfers for law due to the way the mandatory law modules are laid out differently in every university. Eg. University Y have contract law in first year, however my current university do that in second year so I would not have completed that module, if it makes sense. They make it clear on their website that there is no exception to this, not even if I offered to do any modules I missed in second year.

I'm glad you have that outlook, it genuinely does make me feel better. During freshers I had the unfortunate experience of numerous of talking to people studying law at University Y who would ask what degree I do, when I told them my degree and the fact I'm at university Z and not Y, more than one person told me I have low hopes getting into the legal field with the university I'm at.

Freshers was hell in that sense and it had me doubting everything, I was in my current predicament. But I managed to get over it somehow and carry on studying with no qualms. But in the past month I've coincidentally had 2 similar interactions.

One being my manager at work stating he assumes I study at University Y and when I said no, it's Z, he bluntly stated he thought I was smarter than that. The other was a colleague at my other job who straight-up asked if I was a reject from University Y because why else would I want to go to University Z.

Both of these interactions have just sent me spiralling into this self-deprecating situation again. But I think I'm coming to my senses and realising it truly is not worth it to go into first year again, pay one year of tuition myself, and have to then deal with the judgement of restarting uni 3 times. All for a university that didn't want me and were not willing to make exceptions.

Thank you for your reply. It has genuinely helped me see it from a realistic perspective that I was struggling to consider due to my pride and self deprecation.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Yes, the requiring of the transcript threw me off guard completely as I didn't expect it. The only logical reasoning behind it I can imagine is them trying to ensure I did not just leave my university because I was failing out of it. However, people tell me this is nonsense and that most universities only require you meet the entry requirements even if you have previously went to another university, so I don't know if that's a weird requirement from them or a typical expectation?
From University Z, I have pre-emptively downloaded every piece of work I have handed in as well as the feedback just on the off-chance I do choose to apply to University Y. As well as the fact I intend to finish the year here so I imagine it would be easier to obtain an actual transcript (I left at the end of January at University X which I believe is what caused the issues regarding obtaining a transcript from my time there).
I completely agree on the CV part. That and the funding are the two things that are majorly starting to make me think I'm silly for even considering applying to University Y again, and that there is no way the prestige of a university is worth that much.. I hope.
In regards to the funding, thank you for enlightening me that I would have to pay it in the first year rather than the final year. I just assumed it would be until it 'ran out' so they'd expect me to pay it in the final year when I have no funding left. I have been working full time over breaks and 14-20 hours a week during term time so I would have enough in my savings to pay that by the end of the summer.. but it would drain all of my savings completely and I don't think that is worth it.
In regards to transferring into second year, this was what I originally wanted to do. I looked into it and unfortunately they do not accept second year transfers for law due to the way the mandatory law modules are laid out differently in every university. Eg. University Y have contract law in first year, however my current university do that in second year so I would not have completed that module, if it makes sense. They make it clear on their website that there is no exception to this, not even if I offered to do any modules I missed in second year.
I'm glad you have that outlook, it genuinely does make me feel better. During freshers I had the unfortunate experience of numerous of talking to people studying law at University Y who would ask what degree I do, when I told them my degree and the fact I'm at university Z and not Y, more than one person told me I have low hopes getting into the legal field with the university I'm at.
Freshers was hell in that sense and it had me doubting everything, I was in my current predicament. But I managed to get over it somehow and carry on studying with no qualms. But in the past month I've coincidentally had 2 similar interactions.
One being my manager at work stating he assumes I study at University Y and when I said no, it's Z, he bluntly stated he thought I was smarter than that. The other was a colleague at my other job who straight-up asked if I was a reject from University Y because why else would I want to go to University Z.
Both of these interactions have just sent me spiralling into this self-deprecating situation again. But I think I'm coming to my senses and realising it truly is not worth it to go into first year again, pay one year of tuition myself, and have to then deal with the judgement of restarting uni 3 times. All for a university that didn't want me and were not willing to make exceptions.
Thank you for your reply. It has genuinely helped me see it from a realistic perspective that I was struggling to consider due to my pride and self deprecation.

Hi there,

Sorry tat you have been feeling like this. I would suggest talking to the careers team at your university and your personal tutor as they maybe able to give you suggestions about what you could do or even may have links at the University Y that you want to go to. I would have said for you to look and see if you were able to transfer into second year at University Y but as you have stated above you looked at this option and it does not seem plausible. However with that being said I would suggest you email or phone their admissions team and talk to them and work out if there is a way in which you would be able to transfer as they might make the odd exception depending on various circumstances.
My other suggestion would be that you stick to the university which you are currently at for your degree and then if you have problems with getting jobs after you have graduated you could always go on and do a masters at a different university.

I hope this helps :smile:
Katie - Student ambassador
Reply 8
Hi there,

Would you not consider waiting to be able to do a master’s course at university Y or somewhere better? It would only be an extra year on top of your course from university Z.

This would allow you to complete both your undergrad and master’s in the same time that it would take you to complete the undergrad at university Y, should they put you back into your 1st year.

Although not in law, I have been able to get an offer at Durham for my master’s coming from a non Russell Group background.

By any chance is university Y Nottingham and university Z Nottingham Trent?
Just to add that it’s not unusual to ask for an interim transcript, especially if you’re applying for the same subject.
Original post by jakehku
Hi there,
Would you not consider waiting to be able to do a master’s course at university Y or somewhere better? It would only be an extra year on top of your course from university Z.
This would allow you to complete both your undergrad and master’s in the same time that it would take you to complete the undergrad at university Y, should they put you back into your 1st year.
Although not in law, I have been able to get an offer at Durham for my master’s coming from a non Russell Group background.
By any chance is university Y Nottingham and university Z Nottingham Trent?

Hi there, sorry I've only replying now, but I think this is the route I have decided on, so thank you!!

I think just hearing everyone else's opinion sent me spiralling onto self deprecation and I started to unfairly dislike my university and start comparing facilities, etc.. which isn't super fair as my current university have been so supportive and my lecturers are for the most part very down to earth and good at their job.

Thank you for this response though. It did help me put things into perspective.

Hahaha, not quite. UoN was University X though, funnily enough.
Original post by Admit-One
Just to add that it’s not unusual to ask for an interim transcript, especially if you’re applying for the same subject.

Thanks for the insight! At first I did assume it was a reasonable requirement, but everyone around me was telling me this wasn't the case, that being said most of them were older and went to university 15+ years ago.

I reckon it probably varies from university to university and even then probably if it's just for the same course.
Original post by Anonymous
The question I wish to ask requires a bit of background knowledge which I will now provide.
In 2022 I went to study law at University of X. It was in the top 20 universities for law, and I went there as it was far from home and everyone around me was telling me the independence would be good for me. Long story short - I disliked it. I disliked the city & I had friends that were quite frankly not the nicest. I missed my family and decided to move back home and re-apply to a University closer to me which is actually in the top 10 for law. I had received acceptance for it previously, but had chosen to go to University of X simply for the independence that everyone preached to me.
The University closer to home (University Y) got in contact with me stating I needed a transcript of my grades from my time at University X before I could receive an offer due to the competitive nature of the course. The rest of my application was strong, my A-levels were above the required grades and I had been accepted there the previous year. Long story short - I tried for 2 months to get my transcript off of the University of X and they could not provide me with it. I got my personal tutor from my time there to contact the admissions at University Y and they stated they unfortunately did need a transcript. University Y stated I could receive an offer for other, less-competitive courses, such as History or English, but I really do enjoy studying law.
Out of defeat, I applied to University Z. Another university in my city and got accepted. I am currently studying here. However, this university is not as reputable for law. That being said, it's not awful, it's in the top 40 in the UK and I have minimal complaints about my teaching since I've been here - achieving firsts and high 2:1s.
My issue is mostly one that stems from pride, I will be the first to admit that. I talk to people at work and in day-to-day life and when I tell them what university I go to, I can almost feel them looking down upon me. The uni I'm currently at does have a reputation that only people rejected from University Y go there, and people do typically have a snobby attitude in regards to it. I hate it. I genuinely struggle to cope with people looking down on me due to the university I go to.
It's gotten to the point that I don't know if I should apply for University Y this September. I've been achieving good grades so far in all my modules and I would have a transcript to show them this time if asked. The thing is, this would put me into first year for the *third* time.
The fact that law is such a traditional field where people stereotypically do judge you on your university is also impacting my decision. Despite hating how people view me due to my university, it would not be enough to make me consider entering first year for the third time. I've heard of firms making it a requirement to have gone to a Russel Group uni to apply. I've also just heard generally that the university you go to does have a big impact on your applications for entry-level jobs in the legal field.
It's gotten to the point now where this is something I think about constantly. When alone and with other people. The way people treat me, the potential limits it will have on my career and then also the fact that I worked so hard for my A-levels only to end up somewhere I could've gone to doing half the amount of work. I keep beating myself up for not just accepting to study English or history at University Y and doing a law conversion course after. Again, I find my lecturers and tutors to be good at teaching me the information, but a rare amount of people around me take the course seriously. I guess it's not the academic environment I ever pictured myself being in for university. I rarely find seminars academically engaging, typically I'm the only one willing to answer questions, and for the sake of not being 'that person' I tend to only do so maximum 3 times a seminar. The tutor will then just answer the question themselves due to lack of engagement by my peers and it leaves no room for lively debate or discussion.
I don't know if this makes it work it to change university, though. Due to the fact it means I'll have been in university for 5 years by the time I graduate and also that I doubt I will get the extra year of student finance, so for final year I would probably have to pay my own tuition and just live at home due to lack of funding.
I'm really unsure of what to do. I'm doubting everything at the moment and constantly beating myself up. My thoughts are all over the place and any outsider insight would be appreciated.

Hi there,

I am really sorry that you are struggling with this at the moment. It sounds like you made the right decision to change universities in the first place. I would say you should do what you feel is right, I think Law is one of the degrees where the university you go to does matter more in terms of reputation, but I do believe that if you work hard and achieve good grades you will still have the same opportunities as people who went to a more reputable institution.
I think if you really want to go to a more reputable university you should, it is really up to you as to what you think would suit you the best. Maybe try discussing with a personal tutor at your current university and see what they think, you may find they have some good advice which they can offer.

I hope this helps,

Ellen
Uni of Sunderland Digital Ambassador

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