Change of Degree Programme Guidance for Staff
Please note that it is important that change of status forms are sent to TPO as soon as possible, as any delay may have a negative impact on a student's funding or visa status.
Departments/Schools should ensure that a student considering a change of programme speaks in the first instance with their Personal Tutor, Year/Course Tutor or other appropriate academic member of staff, so that they have the opportunity to discuss their options and fully consider the implications of such a change.
As well as consulting with their Personal Tutor or other academic staff, University central services (such as the Careers Service) might also be able to help support students in coming to a final decision. The ‘Signposting Sheet for Students’ available from the Downloads box on the right, contains a range of helpful information and signposting to relevant central services. This sheet should be provided to any student considering a change of programme.
Once the Change of Status form giving department support for the change of programme has been completed this should be returned to the Taught Programmes Office as soon as possible. Students should only be permitted to commence their new programme of study once they have received email notification from the Taught Programmes Office confirming that the change of programme has been approved and their student record has been updated.
Where a student is also taking a leave of absence as well as changing programme then the ‘Leave of Absence followed by Change of Programme Form’ should be completed. Please refer to the Leave of Absence webpage: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssd/tpo/records/cos/loa.
|Change of Programme||
If a change of programme is agreed as the desired course of action, the department/school and student should complete a Change of Status (COS) Form to request the change, ensuring that signatures are provided on the Form both by the student and by relevant departmental/school staff. The Form and further Guidance for Staff about the completion of the COS Form is available from the Downloads box on the right. The completed Change of Status (COS) Form should then be forwarded to the Taught Programmes Office.
Where a student requests a change of degree programme within the same department/school, please check to ensure that the student has the necessary pre-requisites for the new programme of study. This will include ensuring that the minimum scores for English language for the new programme have been met, where appropriate. This is particularly important as the admission requirements for individual courses are different. It is important to ensure there is evidence of these considerations which can be provided upon request (e.g. in the event of a UKVI visit). Please also see the section on Information Relating to Tier 4 Visa (Overseas) Students.
On a modular undergraduate programme, late transfers during Level 2 may be subject to the student taking different, or even extra, modules to meet the pre-requisites of the new programme.
In the case of transfers which involve a change of Faculty, the Taught Programmes Office needs to be assured that pre-requisites for the new programme of study have been met, or that suitable alternative arrangements have been made. In addition, the receiving department/school should contact the releasing department/school to ensure that any previous or existing personal problems/additional support needs are known of and taken into account.
For all programme changes, departments are particularly asked to ensure that all the modules/units to be taken on the new programme are correctly recorded on the Change of Status (COS) Form, since it will not be possible to update the central student record accurately if these details are not included. Any module/unit which is new to the student record due to the change of programme, must be approved (signed for) by the department owning the module/unit.
In line with the General Regulations, students on modular programmes will not normally be permitted to make an immediate change of programme after the end of the third week of a semester. If, in exceptional circumstances, a student wishes to make a late application for an immediate change, a supporting statement will be required from the academic department/s or school/s concerned before such an application can be considered for approval by the Faculty.
|Information Relating to Tier 4 Visa (Overseas) Students||
With effect from August 2015 in order for the University to comply with the Tier 4 sponsorship duties academic departments should only approve changes of programme for students on a Tier 4 student visa if one or more of the following criteria is met:
The new programme of study is related to the previous programme of study, i.e. it is part of the same subject discipline and/or it represents a deeper subject specialism.
If either of these criteria cannot be met the student may be required to remain on their current programme of study or withdraw from the University and re-apply for the new programme from overseas. Any Tier 4 visa student concerned about their change of programme should contact an International Student Adviser.
Please note that in the case of a student who is changing programme from one Academic Department to another, or one Faculty to another, it is the responsibility of the “receiving” Department to confirm that the requested new programme of study meets one or more of the above criteria.
In the event of an University audit by UK VI, academic departments may be required to provide evidence of the consideration given to the suitability of the student’s change of programme in the context of criteria above, e.g. through email correspondence with the student or meeting/discussion notes.
ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme):
For Tier 4 visa students transferring to certain programmes in the Faculties of Engineering and Science ATAS approval from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be required before the student can change course. It is a student’s responsibility to apply for ATAS clearance from the FCO. Students MUST NOT attend their new programme of study until ATAS approval has been received from the FCO and the change of programme approved. Programmes requiring this approval start with the JACS code F2, F3, H3, H4, H8, J5. Further information is available from the link on the right.
|Change of Programme Following Failure||
Where a student wishes to change programme in a repeat year following failure in examinations, the department/school needs to be satisfied that the transfer will be in the student´s best academic interests.
Where a department/school agrees to a change programme and to repeat a year, the department/school must complete a Change of Status (COS) Form (see Downloads box on right) which should be submitted to the Taught Programmes Office. Any special requirements will need to be made clear to the student and also carefully recorded in the ‘Notes’ section of the COS Form, to ensure that the Taught Programmes Office can reflect these accurately on the student’s central computer record.
|Change of Programme and “Wiping the Slate Clean” (UG Level 1)||
Where a UG student on a modular programme wishes to change programme having failed some/all of their modules at Level 1 and recommence (i.e. "wipe the slate clean") to repeat the year as a full-time student with attendance, i.e. to take a full 120 credits, and have any previous grades and credits disregarded, they need Faculty permission to do so in line with the General Regulations for First Degrees.
In such cases, although the original grades will be retained on University records, only the new grades will be taken into account at the end of the repeated year to determine progression to Level 2. It is important that students are made aware of the consequences of this arrangement, if permitted by Faculty, since there is no guarantee that all grades will be improved during the repeated year.
It is important to understand that “wiping the slate clean” is not intended to be used by students simply to avoid the consequences of poor academic performance/failure and to increase the number of attempts at a module beyond the normal limits. It is intended to be used in cases where a student has compelling and extenuating circumstances (appropriately evidenced) which explain the lack of engagement/performance which led to failure at Level 1.
A Change of Status (COS) Form to change programme must be completed by the department/school to indicate the student wishes to repeat Level 1 full-time, and submitted to the Taught Programmes Office for consideration by the appropriate Faculty Officer.
Note that the University General Regulations do not permit UG students at Levels 2, 3 or 4 or PGT students to wipe the slate clean.
|Downgrade from Integrated Masters to Bachelors||
Where a UG student wishes to transfer from the Integrated Masters to the Bachelor version of a programme (and who meets the appropriate criteria) the department/school should complete a Change of Status (COS) Form to change the programme of study (see Downloads box on right) which should be submitted to the Taught Programmes Office.
However, recommendations from an Examination Board for changes from Integrated Masters to Bachelor level studies for UG students who have not met the required standard at Level 2 should be advised to the Taught Programmes Office via email as normal.
|Downgrade from Masters to PG Diploma/PG Certificate||
Where a PGT student wishes to transfer from a Masters degree to the PG Diploma or PG Certificate version of a programme during the academic session, a Change of Status (COS) Form to change programme of study (see Downloads box on right) should be used to notify the Taught Programmes Office of this.
However, recommendations from an Examination Board for downgrades from Masters to PG Diploma or PG Certificate for PGT students who have not met the required standard for a Masters, should be advised to the Taught Programmes Office via a departmental results upload onto CIS as usual.
|Change onto a Programme Requiring ATAS Clearance||For students transferring on to certain programmes in the Faculties of Engineering and Science ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) approval from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be required before the student can change course. It is a student’s responsibility to apply for ATAS clearance from the FCO. Students must not attend their new programme until ATAS approval has been received and the Change of Status (COS) Form approved. Programmes requiring this approval start with the JACS codes F2, F3, H3, H4, H8, J5. Further information is available from the link on the right.|
|Change of Modules||If a student only wishes to change their module(s) (permissible within the first three weeks of a semester) but not change their programme of study, this should via the use of a Module Add/Drop process and not via a Change of Status (COS) Form.|
|Update of the Central Student Record||
Once the Taught Programmes Office has received a Change of Status (COS) Form from a department/school, the details of the change of programme are recorded on the central student record. In the case of Home undergraduate students, the Taught Programmes Office will then report promptly to the Student Loans Company or other funding/sponsoring agencies.
The accuracy of change of programme records is also important in the context of the University´s internal management information reports and the annual return of data to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA), which results in the collation of statistical indicators on progression rates etc. We very much appreciate the co-operation of academic departments in assisting to maintain the accuracy of such records.