Why I Changed University Mid-Course

Raad is a third year student studying Aeronautical Engineering and taking an online computer science course to learn new programming language during lockdown. 

And what I learnt from the experience

Choosing the right university is an important decision and even with extensive research there is only so much you can know about a course or university before making your choice. It is therefore inevitable that some students will realise that their course isn’t ideal for them or that their course is right, but they picked the wrong university.

For me it was simply that a better option became available.

Why I transferred universities 

Train station exit

I did the first year of my degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire. I gained my place through clearing but I was unable to get student accommodation so I ended up commuting around two and a half hours every day. Given that I had to go in four days a week it soon became extremely draining and ended up being one of the major reasons why I transferred to somewhere closer to home.

Another important reason why I transferred to City was because it was one of the universities I had a conditional offer from, but I failed to meet the entry requirements. However, having got a 1st for my first year at Herts I was able to join City University from second year and avoid having to start over.

Transferring process 

Transferring universities may seem like a daunting process but I found it pretty straight forward. This is especially true if you’re a UK or EU national and moving to the same course at a different uni.

I had to contact the university I wanted to transfer to and provide them with my transcript and any other information about my existing course so that they could make sure their course is similar enough. I then formally withdraw from my existing course and the university took care of the rest.


  • Enjoying the course – the main advantage for me was that I ended up preferring the course at City
  • Getting where I wanted, eventually – City was one of the universities I was interested in while doing my A levels and through transferring I have been able to take an alternative route to the course I was planning to do initially, despite not having the grades I needed at A level
  • Travel time – My time spent communiting has reduction. I had underestimated how draining it was to travel for such a large portion of my day and so I was able to find a university that was more suitable for me
  • Expanded network – attending similar courses at multiple universities and locations gave me a unique perspective and broader network of people.


Personally, I haven’t had many drawbacks from transferring.  In my experience the only issue is that the course had differences and there will be a slight change in topics covered in the previous years. Therefore, I had slight gaps in my knowledge and needed to spend some additional time catching up.

I would recommend talking to classmates and taking a look at what they did the year before.

If you are struggling on your course, having financial or personal difficulties, finding the commute a challenge or thinking about dropping out – talk to your university and ask for help.

You can seek support and help from your personal tutor, student services, SU, Chaplaincy, mental health or counselling teams or a staff member you trust.

Sarah Wood, WP Outreach Manager

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