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Withdrawing and Transferring

It’s very common for a student to start a course and realise that it’s not the right one for them or even that being at university at all isn’t the right choice for them at that point in time! It can be a big and hard decision to make, especially if you’ve been excited and planning for it for a long time, but if you’ve made the decision that you don’t want to stay on your course, then withdrawing or transferring to another course might be a good option for you.

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What should I know about withdrawing and transferring?


Withdrawing from a course and Strathclyde entirely is a straightforward process if you’ve made up your mind. It’s important to know that when you withdraw you will cease to be registered as a student at Strathclyde University and you will not be able to return to the same or another course without going through the application process, whether this is via UCAS or direct application. Withdrawing does not prejudice you from applying to Strathclyde – even to the same course – again in the future; you may just wish to explain the circumstances that led to you withdrawing and why you are reapplying.

It also means that you will no longer be entitled to student funding and will no longer be exempt from Council Tax if you’re a full-time student. Depending on how much study you have completed before withdrawing, your ability to access full funding for any future study may be impacted. However, you may be eligible to make a claim for benefits such as Universal Credit. International students are also advised to seek advice from International Student Support to discuss the impact on their visa of any student status change.


If you have decided that your current course isn’t for you, but that there’s another one at Strathclyde that you’d like to do instead, then in some cases you may be able to apply for an internal transfer. However, it’s important to note that not all courses accept internal transfers due to capacity or admissions requirements and you may be asked to apply again via normal application processes (e.g. via UCAS).

Changing courses, especially when you have to repeat a year of study, may impact on the funding you can access while you study. For example, if you are in second year of a Science course and want to transfer to an Engineering course, the new department may require you to complete first year again so you can obtain the necessary credits. If you are funded by a body such as SAAS, you may be able to apply for a repeat year of full funding (also sometimes called a ‘plus one’ year), but everyone’s circumstances are different and it’s worth speaking to us so we can review your funding to date and advise you on any implications on funding.

What is the process for withdrawing and transferring?


Withdrawing from a course and Strathclyde entirely is a straightforward process. Some students like to discuss their thoughts and feelings first with their academic/personal development adviser to make sure that there’s nothing that could be changed if they’re still thinking they might like to stay as a student, but if you have made your decision, then you should complete this University form which will be sent to your academic department for them to review and confirm your withdraw with Student Business. 

It’s vital that you inform your funding body (SAAS, for example), if relevant, that you are withdrawing and what date you will cease to be a student. This is so they can make sure that their records are up to date (which will help if you decide to return to study in the future) and so you are not overpaid any loan or bursary.

Transferring to another course at Strathclyde

Your starting point for this is identifying the course that you are interested in studying and getting in touch with the department of school that run it to express your interest in the course – if you want to change in the same academic year then the earlier that you do this the better. The department will be able to advise on whether you meet the entrance requirements and whether they would have space to accept you onto the course at that point in time. If they don’t or they have another admissions policy in place for their courses, they may ask you to submit an application via UCAS.

You may be asked to complete an internal transfer form with a covering letter in which you will have the opportunity to explain why you want to leave your current course and why you want to join the new course – the best way to think of the covering letter is as a personal statement, similar to what you will have done when you applied to Strathclyde in the first place.

If your transfer is accepted, you will receive a formal notification confirming this along with any next steps you need to take. Make sure you inform your funding body of any changes to your course!

Transferring to another course at another university or college

If you have decided that you want to study somewhere other than Strathclyde, whether that’s on the same course or a different one entirely, then the first step is to contact the admissions team or relevant academic department at the institution you want to transfer into.

They can advise on whether a direct transfer would be possible and what steps you will need to follow to do this or whether you would need to apply through UCAS for admission. Whether your transfer request is accepted by another place of study or you’re asked to apply from UCAS, it’s important to make sure that you keep your funding body up to take so that they can ensure the right funding is in place for you.

How can the Advice Hub help me with withdrawing and transferring?

Students looking to withdraw or transfer is really common, so our advisers are very experienced in the relevant processes and what steps you need to take. We can talk to you about your options if you’re not sure what you would like to do, help you with completing the relevant paperwork, read over covering letters, and make sure that you understand all implications on your student funding so you don’t end up out of pocket unexpectedly.

Useful resources

Strathclyde – withdraw

Strathclyde – transfer

Student Business

International Student Support Team

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