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Thinking of leaving the University

Thinking of leaving the University

It's not unusual to think about leaving University. Many students struggle with the change of learning style or living away from home for the first time. This can leave you feeling lonely or out of your depth, whatever your age or background!

Some of the common reasons students think of leaving University include:

  • Feeling homesick
  • Choosing the wrong course
  • Struggling to balance working and studying
  • Struggling to make friends
  • Unforeseen problems e.g. ill health or family problems

Sometimes leaving may feel like the only option available to you, but there are always alternatives to withdrawing from university.

Whatever your reasons, it is a good idea to consider your options and seek advice from the University's Student Engagement Advisors, your Personal Academic Tutor and Careers Service

If you are certain of your decision you will need to complete a withdrawal form - DOC 99.5 KB , however you might want to consider the following alternatives to dropping out:

Working through your problems

Problems on your course? Not sure it's the right subject for you? Facing difficulties?

Here are some actions to consider:

  • Talk to your personal academic tutor or unit lead about your concerns
  • Visit the study hub if you require academic writing, numeracy or literacy help
  • Speak to an Engagement Advisor if you are having problems on your course or outside of your studies
  • Join one of Beds SU's sports teams or societies if you're looking to meet like-minded people
  • Visit Community and Faith for additional support
  • Talk to a final year student on your course to find out how the curriculum develops

Changing course?

If you feel that your current course is not right for you, taking action and making a change can be a really positive step. We want you to be aware of all your options and any issues that might arise so that you can make an informed choice.

I think I am on the wrong course

If you feel that you are on the wrong course please contact your personal tutor. We know that making changes to what and where you study is a big decision, that's why support is available to you at every stage from a variety of sources.

Remember that non-attendance does not count as notice that you intend to leave your course. Keep attending your current course, even if you think you don't want to do it anymore. Your attendance can affect your student finance, references and your qualifications.

Steps to take:
  • Find out more about the remainder of your current course. There could be unit options or other opportunities as the course develops which will suit your needs. Ask final year students from your course about how it progresses
  • Speak to a Student Engagement Advisor to discuss your options
  • Get advice on how to resolve any issues you may be experiencing on your current course
  • Find out about the course you are thinking of moving to and speak to current students
  • Get careers advice, find out about the skills you need for the industry you want to enter what career options your course could provide you with and much more by contacting the Careers service
  • Maybe you're just struggling to settle at University. Beds SU offers a range of sports and societies which can help you meet like-minded people. Find out more at www.bedssu.co.uk
  • If you are an international student with a Tier 4 or Student visa you must speak to the International Office.
To change your course, complete a course transfer form which you can collect from your faculty office.

Studying part time

Due to a variety of personal, family, financial or academic reasons, you may decide you need to reduce your study time

The University's unit framework normally allows you to attend your programme of study on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Things you need to know

Before you change from full-time to part-time attendance, you should be aware that:

  • You will have to formally agree a change of circumstances with your faculty office as not all courses allow a change to your mode of studies
  • Stopping attending classes without formal agreement does not indicate you intend to change your mode of study
  • By spreading one year of study over 2 academic years, you are likely to extend the number of years it will take to complete your course.
  • You should always talk to your relevant funding body or sponsor about this decision to check if there are any financial implications
  • The Student Money Advice Team can offer additional information regarding financial support

International students

If you are an international student, making any change to your course may have implications for your immigration status and the completion of your studies. Please contact the International Office for advice and guidance on this.

Taking a break?

To stop your studies for the rest of the academic year or to take the next academic year off is called an interruption of studies.

You should discuss this with a Student Engagement Advisor to find out your options, and implications of your decision. You should also speak to your Personal Academic Tutor to check how this will affect your studies.

To interrupt you must fill out an interruption of studies form - DOC 97.5 KB and send it to the Student Engagement Team.

You should be aware that:

  • Your department may set conditions for you to meet before you can rejoin
  • You cannot sit exams, attend classes or hand in work to be marked when you are interrupted
  • You will not be allowed to attempt completed assessments again when you return to your studies
  • You will not be classed as a student so you will not be entitled to a student loan or other student benefits (eg council tax exemption).

For further details on booking an appointment, please see contact us

International students

If you are an international student and you are thinking about interrupting you must contact the International Office to discuss your options. The International Office is the only team that can approve your interruption, however an Engagement Advisor will be happy to meet with you to discuss support options.

Studying elsewhere?

What should I do if I am thinking about changing university?

Keep attending your current course as non-attendance does not count as notice that you intend to leave. This will keep your options open if you cannot secure a place at a different university. You should also speak to your personal academic tutor and raise your concerns to see if they can help.

You must speak to a Student Engagement Advisor. They may be able to provide additional support to help you stay on your current course and advise you of other support services. They will also be able to advise you of any academic and financial implications if you decide to leave the University. If you decide to leave, they will be able to sign off your withdrawal of studies form.

You must complete a withdrawal of studies form available from a Student Support reception or on BREO.

Other things you should consider:

  • If you are in rented accommodation, you may be liable for the rent if you leave
  • If you are an international student you must speak to the International Office.

How will my finance be affected by changing university?

This depends on several factors, including when you started studying, what you are studying, what year you will be entering at your new institution and how many years you will study in total.

You may be required to pay part of your loan back to your funding body if you do not start your new course immediately after you withdraw.

How do I find out about other courses at another University?

If you want to find out about undergraduate courses available at other universities, start with the UCAS website. If you have an institution in mind or if you are a postgraduate student, you can check the institution's website.

Things to consider
  • Find out about the course.
  • Speak to the course leader and/or the admissions team at the new university.


Student Engagement Advisors offer confidential and independent advice. You can book an appointment by:

E: student.engagement@beds.ac.uk
V: visit any SiD desk or the main reception at Milton Keynes campus.

Bedfordshire University

Student Experience» Studying at Bedfordshire» Student support» Thinking of leaving the University