One of the biggest decisions, after deciding that you want to go to university, is what course you want to study for the next 3-4 years. University isn't cheap, with fees now exceeding £9000 at some universities, you have to be completely sure that the course you have chosen is the right one for you. If however, on results day you are doubting your choice there are several things that you can do.
What to do if you aren't sure yet:
1.Talk to someone
If you are having serious doubts about the course you have chosen, then the first thing you should do is ask someone for their advice. Whether it be your parents, friends or an advisor, just hearing another person’s opinion can be a great help. Don’t feel that you have to struggle and solve the problem alone.
If on results day you still aren't sure whether the course is for you then don’t feel rushed into making such an important decision. Consider asking your university if they would be willing to defer you for a year. In this year you can spend valuable time really thinking about your decision.
If you are sure you want to change but feel stuck:
3. Withdraw and re-apply next year
If you are sure you don’t wish to study your chosen course but still don’t know which subject to study then why not withdraw and re-apply next year? Make use of this unplanned time out and take a gap year. In this year, you can consider and research other courses which appeal to you. It may seem scary to withdraw your application but a year is no time at all. Also, you will be in a much better position as you will know your exam results and have been through the UCAS process before.
Deciding to switch courses shouldn't be a decision that you take lightly. If you are certain that you wish to change, then on results day you can enter Clearing. Clearing lists the available courses left at each university. Be aware that some popular courses may require higher grades or different entry requirements. For example your offer for American Studies BA required BBB but you wish to switch to the more popular History BA which requires AAB. Therefore, it is important that you check that your grades meet the required entry standards for the new course you are interested in. Also be aware that to enter Clearing, you must reject your firm offer and have the university release you from your offer. So, taking back that decision will not necessarily be possible.
Adjustment is a little different to Clearing, but it also enables you to completely switch courses. However, it is only available to you if your results exceed your original firm offer.
6. Changing course but not the university
It is also worth noting that if you wish to change your course but not the university then Clearing and Adjustment may not be needed at all. Try calling up the university directly and asking if it is possible to change your course through them.
It’s never too late to change
If you decide you want to try the course out for a few weeks to really see if you like it, you could attempt to switch courses after the academic year has started. It is entirely possible to start your course and ask to change it later. Be aware, the quicker you decide that you wish to change, the easier it will be. It is also completely up to the university whether they allow you to switch.
Bear in mind, however, you may have to complete the academic year before switching, which of course is another year of university fees and costs.
Hopefully these tips will be of help if you are unsure of your decision. Remember there is no rush, such an important decision requires as much time as you need. Don't let the panic of not going to university force you onto a course that you know you won’t enjoy.
- By Hannah Foord