We often feel a lot of pressure on us to go to study at university. University is not, however, always the best option for everyone. It might also be the case that you have started studying on a course or at a specific university that is not right for you.

If things are not working out for you on the course or university that you have chosen, you might be considering transferring to a different course or university – or dropping out altogether. Studying at university involves a huge investment of money, time, and your life, so making sure that it is right for you is very important.

Can you change uni after the first year?

Some people don’t settle in well at university if they find the distance from home to be a problem, or don’t feel well suited to the institution itself. In this case, you might be considering moving to a different uni.

It is now a lot easier to change to a new university, as they become more accepting of students that are wanting to transfer. It is generally recommended that you try to complete your first year at your original university before you change. This means that you can show that you have tried to stick it out and overcome any teething troubles. There is also the chance that you could transfer your credits between different universities – especially if you are looking to study the same or a similar course at your new university.

You should be aware, however, that there is a chance that you might need to re-take the first year – depending on the new uni’s requirements.

Can I transfer from one university to another?

If you are not happy with your course, of course, you always have the right to drop out. Transferring to a different university is often easiest after completing the first year, or at least the first term – having given yourself and the uni a chance. If you are considering transferring, it is important that you think about what you would like in your new uni that your existing one doesn’t offer. These might include:

  • A different geographical location – are you homesick?
  • Smaller/larger class size
  • The course content
  • Would you prefer to do some volunteering, work experience, or go out to work?
  • The course make-up – the ratio of lectures, tutorials, practical work, working from home

If you decide that you would like to transfer to another uni, there are some other factors that you should think about:

  • You might still have to pay for the first years’ fees, student bills and accommodation
  • You might also need to complete the first year at your new uni
  • You might have difficulty finding good student accommodation at your new uni
  • There is a chance that you will have to re-apply through UCAS (and this could be difficult if you do not pass your first year)
  • You should try to ensure that there are no gaps in your CV to not make things difficult for you in the future

How late can you transfer universities?

You can always drop out of your existing course at university but depending on where you want to transfer to and what course you wish to change to, you might not be able to go straight in at any point other than starting a course anew.

It is worth speaking to your new university to find out what their policy is and whether any of your previous studies apply to your new course.

Is dropping out of university a good idea?

Deciding whether to drop out of university is a personal choice. Ultimately, if you are not happy with your course, you should think about whether it is something that you want to study for the next 3+ years. However, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

It is important to think through your options to make the right decision for you. There are many people that drop out and are much happier, but you should ensure that you are doing it for the right reasons.