Change your programme



There are a number of reasons why you may be seeking to change your programme of study. For instance, you may have decided that you no longer have an academic interest in the subject you initially registered for or that having tried another subject as an elective module you wish to study it further. Sometimes there are academic reasons for transfer, such as deciding to up- or downgrade between bachelors and undergraduate masters qualifications, or dropping a sandwich year.

The University does not actively encourage change of programme of study for its own sake, but recognises that students interests and needs may evolve, making a change of programme worthwhile. This guide is intended to take you through the procedure for changing programme of study.

In some cases, transfer of programme is required when a student has failed to fulfil course requirements, e.g. MEng to BEng. Such transfers will be generated by your department(s) automatically.

There is no automatic right to transfer. You may request to transfer from one programme to another at any time during your studies but this usually happens during or at the end of the first year of study. Some transfers require permission from the Special Cases Committee. This a University committee which considers individual cases in order to ensure the standards of the University are met and ensures that particular arrangements are fair to the students involved (both the student personally affected, and the others on the programme).

If you are not happy on your current programme but you are undecided about what you would like to do next, you should first speak with your supervisor and discuss the options available to you. This decision should not be taken lightly and it is essential that you understand the implications that this may have.

You should be aware that if the transfer of programme increases or decreases the length of your enrolment, you are advised to contact a Welfare Adviser, regarding the financial implications as this may affect your entitlement to financial support. Help and advice is also available from the Student Hub to discuss issues such as the implications for student funding and tuition fees.

It is not advisable to change programmes because you are finding your current programme too difficult. Generally speaking, programmes do not differ in terms of difficulty.



Before you apply to transfer to another programme of study it is essential that you seek advice on the implications.


You will need academic advice as the change may affect the modules you take. You will need to accumulate sufficient credits to obtain an award (360 for a three-year degree, 480 for a four-year degree and 600 for a five-year degree).

Your career options may also be affected if you change to a different degree programme. Your supervisor or another academic in your current department will be able to help, as will the University's Careers and Placements. If your programme is based in more than one department (e.g. joint honours) you will probably need to speak to staff in each department.

You should be aware that the options open to you decrease the further through your programme of study you are. There are funding implications associated with changes after completion of the first year. It is also very unusual for a change to be approved after the end of the second year (except to a longer or shorter variant of the same programme).

Talk to staff in the department(s) you wish to transfer to. You could also talk to students on the programme to make sure that it is the right option for you.


If you pay tuition fees at the home rate, changing the duration of your studies can affect your entitlement to financial support. The rules are complicated and it is important to seek advice on this matter if you are in any doubt. The University's Student Financial Support will be able to advise you.


If you are unable to find the answer to a question you might have from this guide, or you would like further advice on the procedure, the departmental secretary in your current department will be happy to help you, as will staff in Student Support or Student Services.


Criteria and conditions

There is no automatic right to transfer.

You can only transfer into a different department/programme if that department/programme has sufficient spaces left and is willing to offer you a place.  

You must demonstrate that you are in good academic standing in your current department (not failing overall and not failing an unacceptable number of modules), and that you meet the academic criteria and requirements for the new programme. Furthermore, the application must be approved and signed by both the original and new department.

When you transfer to a new programme, it is expected that you will complete its full academic requirements. However, it may be possible to allow some of the credit previously gained to be transferred. The receiving department will make a decision as to whether the modules you have already taken meet the learning outcomes of your new programme.

If you are transferring to a programme which is similar to your previous programme then it is expected that any repeat study will be avoided if possible. This means that if you require repeat study, you may need to replace modules which you have previously studied with elective modules.

Where a transfer of enrolment involves an exemption from an assessment or the repeat of programme, the approval of the Special Cases Committee is required.

It may not be possible for you to start your new programme until the next available opportunity (usually Autumn term), in which case you will be expected to take a leave of absence for the rest of the session and a Leave of Absence Form must be completed. You should check whether this will affect your entitlement to Student Loans and other funding.

Tier 4 (Student) Visas

If the transfer of programme increases or decreases the length of your enrolment period, we advise you to consult with an Immigration Adviser before taking this step, as you may be expected to inform UK Visas and Immigration of this change.

The University is required to report a leave of absence for an international student to UK Visas and Immigration within 10 days of the start date of the leave of absence.

For more information please see the Immigration Support Service.


How to apply

All transfer of programme must be on the appropriate form.

If you wish to apply for a transfer of programme, you should approach your supervisor and discuss your options and implications of transferring programmes. It is your responsibility to take note of any advice given to you during discussions about transferring.

You should then contact the Departmental Administrator for the department to which you are seeking entry and they will explain how to request entry into the new programme.

A late transfer will not be taken into account if you under-achieve in your assessments or as a reason for underperformance during the programme.

If your original and new department agree to the programme transfer, you should then complete Section A of the Transfer Form and email it to your supervisor. Your supervisor and department will then their required section of the form and send it to your new department for completion. Your new department will forward the transfer request for approval to the relevant authority. When the transfer is approved Student Finance England will be informed in case your student support needs to be reassessed.

Please ensure that the following information is included:

  • Your current student identification number (which can be found on the back of your student card);
  • An explanation of why you wish to change programme;

If you are emailing the form, it must be sent from your York email address. You can forward your University email account to another email address but any correspondence to the university must be sent from your University of York email address.

Any posted correspondence will be sent to your current contact address so ensure your information is correct o your e:Vision account.

Until formal approval is given, you will remain registered on your current programme and will be expected to comply with all its requirements, including attendance at all classes.

If your application is successful, you will receive a transfer of programme email confirmation to your University of York email account, confirming the start date of your new programme, and any conditions required. Please see information about 'My IT Account' on the IT Services pages.

Who to contact

For academic progress issues you should talk to your supervisor.

You may also find the following contacts helpful:

  • Student Adviser
  • Student Hub
  • Immigration Advice Service
  • International Student Support

See our Who to contact page for further details.