Change your course

Before completing your form

1. Who to Consult With

  • You must discuss your proposed course of action with an Academic Adviser in your department/school (e.g. your Personal Tutor, Year/Course Tutor, Director of Studies, as appropriate).
  • Read/Print the Signposting Sheet for Students (see Downloads box). This contains a list of things you should consider, including sources of advice and information, if you are thinking of applying to change your programme of study.
  • General guidance and information is also available at Help and Support for Students on the Student Services information Desk (SSiD) website (link in See Also box).
  • You may also find it helpful to consult the University Careers Service and/or the Students' Union Advice Centre (links in See Also box).

2. Financial Implications

Please note that a change of programme may have significant financial consequences which you are advised to check before making any decision, e.g:

  • If your change of programme involves an increase in the total period of study, you are advised to consult the Student Loans Company (SLC) or other financial sponsor before requesting the change to establish whether any support will be available for this extended period.
  • Your change of programme may impact on tuition fees paid or due, and you may even be entitled to a refund (see link to Fee Reduction and Refund Policy in See Also box).  
  • If you are unsure as to exactly how your change of programme may affect your tuition fees, please seek advice from the Student Fees Section of Registry Services on 0114 222 1306 or email the link below.


3. Visa/Immigration Implications

If you are in the UK on a student visa, please ensure that you have read this information before submitting a Change of Programme request to your department.

  • Please note that the University must report changes in your circumstances to the UK Home Office, including: changes of programme, leave of absence, withdrawal, failure to attend.
  • You must have sufficient funding to cover any increase in tuition fees, personal maintenance of any dependents you may incur as a result of this change of programme.

Before any change of programme can be approved you will be required to confirm, in consultation with your academic department, that your new programme of study meets one of the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • The previous and new programme combine to support your genuine career aspiration.

If either of these criteria cannot be met you may be required to remain on your current programme of study or withdraw from the University and re-apply for the new programme from overseas. If you are concerned about your change of programme you should contact an International Student Adviser.

Email: International Support Services

  • For students changing to M-Level Integrated Masters and Postgraduate taught programmes in some science and engineering subjects: Your change of programme might require that you apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance. If you are changing to a programme that requires ATAS Clearance, your change of programme cannot be approved and you are not permitted to start your new programme until you have submitted proof of ATAS clearance for your new programme. If you have already obtained ATAS clearance for your previous programme you must apply for fresh ATAS clearance for your new programme. For further information see the link to ATAS Information in the See Also box.

4. To Apply to Change your Programme of Study

  • Discuss your proposed change of status (COS) with an Academic Advisor in your department/school and where appropriate with an Academic Advisor in your intended new department/school (e.g. Personal Tutor, Year/Course Tutor or Director of Studies, as appropriate).
  • Download the COS Form for Change of Programme (from the Downloads box) and complete the Student Details section.
  • Take the COS Form to the Academic Adviser in the department/school of your intended new programme, and complete the rest of the Form with their assistance, including confirming the modules to be taken on the new programme. Both you and the Academic Adviser should sign and date the Form.
  • If your intended new programme is in a different department/school, you will also need to obtain a Departmental Approval signature from the intended new department/school. Your current department/school may also require an Academic Adviser signature as well.
  • Once the COS Form is completed you should submit it to your current department/school office, who will then forward it to the Student Administration Service for approval and processing.
  • Once the change of programme is approved and your central student record has been updated, you will receive confirmation of the change of programme to your University email account. You may wish to print the confirmation email for your own records.
  • You should only start you new programme of study once you have received the email notification to your University email account confirming your change of programme has been approved.


  • Please Note: Changes relating to modular degree programmes are not normally permitted after the end of the third week of each semester.

CoS Form for Change of Programme (with Leave of Absence) (PDF, 152 kB)

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CoS Form for Change of Programme (PDF, 177 kB) Download thumbnail

5. Additional Actions

  • Have you notified the Student Loans Company (SLC) or other funding sponsor of the change (if appropriate)?
  • Have you contacted International Student Support to make an appointment with a University immigration adviser (if appropriate)?
  • Have you applied for ATAS clearance (if appropriate)?