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Changing course at the end of first year - advice please

(12 Posts)
JellicleCat Sun 20-Jul-14 22:41:47

DD failed all of her first year exams and is due to resit in August. She does not appear to have failed by much looking at the grade bands, she needed D3s and has E1-E3.

She now thinks she may be on the wrong course as she is both finding it quite difficult and not that interesting.

Her tutor has been away but she is hoping to see him this week and also go to the uni careers service.

She has looked at alternative courses at the same uni and has seen something she likes, but it is an arts course and she is currently doing a science. However it looks as though her existing qualifications meet the entry requirements as she did Highers and has a mix of science, maths, English and a language.

Can any admissions tutors advice how best she should explore the feasibility of changing? Thanks.

HippityHoppityLaLaLa Sun 20-Jul-14 23:38:35

I am not an admissions tutor.

However, I would approach the admissions tutor / administrator of the department running the course she is interested in, explain why she wants to change - a burning desire to study X after all, a realisation that X was what she wanted to do all along, etc, not just 'it looks easier'! They will hopefully have a place available, and will be able to talk her through the logistics of changing. I would think she will have to go back to 1st year of course.

(As I said, not an admissions tutor, but DS went through something similar.)

JellicleCat Mon 21-Jul-14 22:29:40

Thank you Hippity. Your approach is pretty much what I suggested to DD. I think at the moment she is just trying to decide exactly what it is she does want to do and hopefully is going to seek some help from the Careers Service. And yes she understands she will have to go back to first year.

Would be good to hear from an admissions tutor too, but I am guessing they are away before the hectic time when the results come out.

PiratePanda Tue 22-Jul-14 19:34:50

In the English universities I've worked in the minimum requirement for changing course is getting a 2.1 (B) average in first year. There's no way a student would be permitted to change course at the same university if they failed their first year exams.

In addition we are not able to speak to parents unless and until the student gives us written permission to do so.

I know it's frustrating but you're going to have to get your DC, not you, to talk to her departmental examinations officer and the admissions tutor of the department she wants to enter.

uiler123 Tue 22-Jul-14 20:32:57

Students do change courses at the same university after failing first year exams - e.g. somebody who fails engineering might switch to physics or maths. I have known this happen at UK universities.

However, it is quite common that the student then fails their repeat year, especially if they don't address the issues that caused them to fail the first time.

JellicleCat Tue 22-Jul-14 21:35:53

It's OK I have no intention of speaking to anyone at the university, nor would DD want me to. I am just trying to get a heads up as to whether she is better trying to speak to her tutor first (he is away at present) or if she should try to speak to the admissions tutor of the course she is interested in.
She is expecting to have to retake first year if she can change course.

I take the point about having to address why she failed.

crazymum53 Wed 23-Jul-14 15:29:26

Am not a university tutor, but I did manage to change my degree course at the end of the first year. However this was the type of Science degree course where you studied 3 subjects in the first year and could then start the second year in any one of them. Had passed all the courses and changed to the one with the highest mark!
Often Scottish students who have studied Highers find the first year of a degree at an English university hard because of the differences between ?Highers and A levels. Could that be the situation for your dd?

JellicleCat Thu 24-Jul-14 20:50:47

Crazy, DD did AH physics and maths, so in theory first year should have been relatively easy. I think on reflection she is just not sufficiently scientifically/mathematically minded to study it at degree level. (Plus didn't put enough work in).

UptheChimney Thu 24-Jul-14 22:37:59

Can any admissions tutors advice how best she should explore the feasibility of changing?

Within the same university, she needs to contact the Department/degree course she wants to change to.

She's most likely to have to do First Year over again. And if it's an in-demand course, she may have to satisfy their entry requirements, rather than the ones she entered the science degree with. There's no back door way, I'm afraid. And her failing First year may not help ...

If it's another university for a completely different degree course than that which she started with, she'll need to apply all over again in most cases. If it's the same subject, but at a different university, then there may be wiggle room.

JellicleCat Thu 24-Jul-14 23:14:34

Thanks UptheChimney. She finally got to see her tutor today and has been told she needs to email the Head of School she wants to move to. He also warned her she might need to re-apply through UCAS.

She wants to stay at the same university, and, at least based on the web-site, has the entry qualifications for what she wants to move to. No idea though how popular the course is.

Meanwhile she is still planning to do her resits, as at least that shows persistence.

UptheChimney Fri 25-Jul-14 07:54:44

Oh good. That's pretty much what would happen at any of the places I've worked at.

Of course, the practical stuff is generally pretty straightforwardly sorted out eventually (universities are bureaucratic places -- checks & balances to make sure we're being fair & transparent) but the psychological step will be getting rid of a sense of failure, and also the pressure to make a go of this second start. But I suppose it'll help her develop the resilience that she'll need in life.

JellicleCat Mon 28-Jul-14 22:42:32

DD has emailed her Head of School. So fingers crossed.
I have no idea how popular the course she wants to move to is, but I'm assuming there is some room for manoeuvre at this stage (ie before results are out)?

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