Transferring Courses

What does Transferring Course/Programme mean?

Students who transfer programme are usually choosing to study a different degree course, within the same institution. So for example, a student may come to the University of York to start at BA (Hons) in History, but decide this isn’t for them, but that Politics would be a better fit. They may then request to transfer to the BA (Hons) in Politics programme.

Students can also transfer into, or out of the University of York. If you are considering transferring to York, more information about admissions and applications based on credit transfer and experience can be found here.

If you are considering transferring from York to another institution, then you should contact that institution to find out about their admissions policy, their entry requirements, and their policy on credit transfer and recognition of prior learning.

Students can apply to transfer course/programme at any time. However transfers usually take place at the beginning or the end of the student’s first year. Changes of programme later on in a course are less common, and rarely occur after the end of Stage 2. Please bear in mind a change in programme can have implications on career options and for student finance.

When might you use this process?

Choosing the right course for you can be a difficult decision. If your course isn’t what you were expecting, or it is making you unhappy, then in the first instance, we recommend that you talk this through with your academic supervisor. There is a wide range of support and resources available to you that might help you through particular difficulties.

For example, the Writing Centre and Maths Skills Centre can provide 1:1 support with aspects of your course that you might be finding challenging; and the University Library has comprehensive online resources to help you develop academic skills.

Support services such as the Open Door team, Disability Services, and the University Student advisers, also provide appropriate support to help you succeed in your studies.

Further options for managing your studies include taking a break (a leave of absence), changing the mode of study (for example, going from full time to part time), or withdrawing from the programme. More information about these options can be found here.

If you decide you want to change programme, then your supervisor can talk to you about what other programmes you might be interested in, and explain to you your options at that point. The Careers Service can also work with you to explore the impact of a change of programme on your studies and/or employment opportunities.

It can also be helpful to talk through these issues with someone else, for example, a friend or family member.

If you would like independent advice, then the YUSU Advice and Support Centre advisers would be happy to meet with you to discuss your options further. If you are a postgraduate student, the GSA Advice service offers specialist advice specifically for postgraduates.

Things to consider

Academic Impact

You will need to ensure that your change of programme still allows you to accumulate enough credits to be able to obtain the award you are seeking, for example 360 credits for a 3 year programme. You should speak to your current and new Department to ensure this is possible.


You can apply to transfer course/programme at any time. However transfers usually take place at the beginning or the end of the student’s first year. If you are requesting to transfer at the beginning of the year, please be aware that the University has a cut off date for transfer requests a few weeks into term - so you should check with your current and new Department what the deadline will be.

Alternatively, you could transfer at the end of the Stage, once you have accumulated credits for the year. Depending on the programme you are transferring to, it may be possible to use the credits from Stage 1 to move straight into Stage 2 of another programme. You should discuss this with your current and new Department.

If you are in the middle of your year, you can still request to transfer programme, however it is highly unlikely that you will be able to start your new programme until the beginning of the next academic year. Therefore you have the option of completing the academic year, and banking the credits you’ve achieved; or the option of taking a leave of absence for the remainder of your Stage, and returning to start your new programme at the beginning of the new academic year.

Student Finance

Changing programme, and the timing of when you change, can affect your student finance. It is strongly recommended that you discuss the financial implications of any programme change with the University Student Advisers at the Student Hub.


If you decide to transfer programme mid-way through the year and take a leave of absence, then you will need to leave your college accommodation, if you live on campus. You should speak to your College Administrator, or Accommodation Services for further information.

International Tier 4 Students

If you are studying on a Tier 4 visa, you should seek advice on any change in programme with the University’s Immigration Support Service.

Repeat Study

If you are transferring to a course with similar modules, you will be expected to avoid repeat study, for example, by taking elective modules instead of modules you’ve taken previously. In certain circumstances, the approval of the Special Cases Committee may be needed.

How does the process work?

  • Current course: As a first step, speak to your supervisor about the reasons why you want to change course, and your options.
  • New course: You should also look into what courses are available, and what interests you. If you find a programme that you would like to move to, contact the Admissions team for that programme to find out more about the course, whether there are places available, any deadlines for course transfers, and more about the entry requirements and application process. You may also need to consider whether the structure of the new programme is different to your current programme, as this may have implications for your student finance.
  • How to apply: If both your current and new Department agree to the programme transfer, then you should complete the Application to Transfer form (found on the University webpage), and then email this on to your current supervisor for them to complete their section. You should email the form from your University email address.

Your current Department will forward the form to your new Department, who will complete the relevant section and send the request to the Chair of Board of Studies for approval. Once confirmed, Student Records will update your record and inform Student Finance and UKVI (where appropriate).

Please be aware that you will remain on your current course, and will be expected to attend teaching, pay tuition fees etc, until formal approval of programme transfer is received.

What support can I get from YUSU/GSA Advice Services?

If you have any questions or would like advice on the process of transferring programme, please get in touch with the advice services at YUSU or the GSA (for postgraduate students), and we would be happy to guide you through the process.

YUSU Advice and Support Centre - complete the Confidential Advice Record and email this to [email protected].

GSA Advice Service - book an appointment, or email the adviser on [email protected]

Further information, advice and support