Changing or leaving your course

female student sitting at a laptop surrounded by books

It’s not uncommon to have doubts about coming to university or your choice of course. If you find yourself in this situation, the Careers Service can help support you to make a decision.

Whatever the reason for your concern, try not to panic, but do face up to it as it is unlikely to resolve itself. Take a step back and consider what is really making you think about changing or leaving your course.

Some common reasons include:

  • feeling unhappy with your choice of course, eg it's too easy/difficult, disliking the subject
  • feeling unhappy with your choice of university, eg it's not what you expected, it's too large/small
  • finance, eg struggling with fees, course materials or living costs
  • personal, eg feeling homesick, struggling to balance other priorities and commitments
  • changing your future career plans, eg is your subject/course still relevant?
  • health reasons, eg is illness or a disability making it difficult to cope?

Ask yourself…

  • What were my expectations of coming to university?
  • Why and how haven’t these been met?
  • What would I like to be different about my current situation?
  • What do I think are my options?

It's good to talk

You may find talking to a careers adviser a useful and impartial next step in helping you to understand your options and decide the best way forward. We can also highlight resources to help you research your options, eg course directories, employment opportunities.

It may also be helpful to speak to some of the following people to inform your decision:

  • your personal tutor
  • admissions staff for alternative courses you might be considering
  • a Student Wellbeing or Student Advice Centre adviser
  • friends, family or others who know you well
  • students on alternative courses you might be considering

Take a look at the Careers Service's Changing or leaving your course: your questions answered (PDF: 290KB) as a helpful starting point.

Seek support

As well as the Careers Service, there are a number of other services across the University who can support you in a variety of ways:

  • Student Wellbeing - counselling services, disability and dyslexia support and information and advice on healthcare matters, faith and all aspects of funding and finance
  • Newcastle University Chaplaincy - offers confidential listening and support to students of all faiths and none
  • University Library - links to study skills resources in the library
  • Maths Aid - resources, advice and one-to-one support on numerical and mathematical skills
  • Writing Development Centre - resources, advice and one-to-one support on academic writing skills and practice
  • In-Sessional English - English language support for international students
  • Student Advice Centre - free, impartial advice and representation on a range of issues including finance and academic matters
Additional resources