Changing course can have an impact upon your future student funding. You should also consider your future career ambitions. Please ensure you seek advice before going ahead with a course change. 

Careers Advice

Before you make any decisions as to whether to change course or not it would be beneficial to get some careers advice. BU has an excellent Careers and Employability Service and the advisors there can help you make an informed decision. You can find the Careers and Employability Service in The Edge or call 01202 961663.


In your first or second year?

If you are a first year student and you are thinking that the course you chose isn’t right for you, it would be worth going and speaking to your course tutor or a lecturer on your course. They can give you some information as to how the course is going to continue – it may be that your course is more maths based when you thought it would be design based, for example, and this may change in the second term or second/third year.


In your third or fourth year?

Changing course at this late stage can prove challenging as you will need to consider if you can afford to change course. For those of you funded by Student Finance England you will only get enough funding to cover the length of the course, plus one year. Contact a SUBU Advice Worker to discuss your situation if you are thinking of a course change.


Changing course within Bournemouth University

Changing course at the start of the academic year in your first year maybe easier than doing it later on. You may be able to simply swap courses if you meet the entry criteria and there are spaces available. The longer you leave it the harder it is to catch up on the work you will have missed. The first thing to do would be going and talk to the Programme Support Officer of the course you want to join (contact us if you want us to find out who that is). They can tell you more about the course to make sure it would be a good fit, and tell you if they have any space and if you can just transfer straight across.


Occasionally the subject you want to join will be oversubscribed or full, in which case it is likely that you will have to reapply through UCAS and start in the next academic year. See the section on student finance below to see how this will affect your funding.  


Some courses run the same/similar units in the first year and hence you may be able to do a direct entry in to year two of a different degree within your Faculty. Again, speak to the Programme Support Officer of the course you are interested in to see how possible it is to swap courses.


Changing course to a different university

Contact someone at the other university within the school/programme you want to join, explaining your situation and what units you have taken so far (if it is at the end of a year). This will allow them to see if they have spaces available and whether you can join through direct entry or whether you will have to apply through UCAS for the next academic year. Once you have got a place confirmed at this university, please enquire with us about how to withdraw from BU.


How can changing course affect my funding?


Student Finance England

Student Finance England is aware that not everyone’s time at university runs smoothly. This is why they offer a “gift year” – a supplementary year in addition to your whole course (be this 2, 3 or 4 year sandwich courses). It’s important to know that as soon as you have enrolled you have spent a year’s worth of funding from Student Finance England, irrespective of whether you applied for funding or spend that funding. Contact us for advice as to how changing course could impact your funding in the future.


BU Fees Policy

BU has a 14 day cooling off period when it comes to paying your tuition fees. After those 14 days and before the 31st December you will have to pay for 25% of your yearly fee. Between the 1st January and 31st March you will be liable for 50%, and you will have to pay 100% of the yearly fee if you choose to withdraw after the 1st April. Please note that these are for September start dates, please check the BU website for dates if you are not starting in September.


International Students

You must contact International Student Support team at AskBU for further advice if you are thinking about changing course. 

It is also important that before you make this decision you talk to your Programme Leader or Programme Administrator; they will be able to advise you on the implications of withdrawing from your studies. Students who are withdrawing may be entitled to a refund of fees in accordance with the Fees Policy


If you’re temporarily withdrawing from University, also known as suspending, this might affect your immigration status and the University will have to report any change of circumstances regarding visas. 


What happens to my accommodation if I leave BU?

You will need to read your tenancy/licence agreement to ascertain your liability to pay rent for the duration of that tenancy/licence. Some contracts require students to pay the rent for the full duration of the fixed term of the agreement, or get a replacement tenant. Ensure you speak to your accommodation provider before you withdraw from BU and contact SUBU Advice to discuss your individual circumstances. if you need to find a replacement tenant you can advertise your room on the BU Find a Housemate Facebook page @BUfindahousemate.