So, you’ve logged into UCAS this morning and have been offered a changed course / substantial changes offer from your chosen university. But what does it mean?
Firstly, don’t worry! You’re not the only one to receive this, and in fact it can be a good thing. You’re not being turned away from your chosen university meaning you don’t have to go through the process of applying through clearing, so your accommodation application will still stand and you’ll be able to get excited for uni from the moment you press accept.
What does changed course actually mean?
Most students don’t prepare themselves to log into track on results day to see a changed course offer, it’s usually the common “you’ve got into your firm or insurance choice or you’re in clearing.” For example, you could’ve applied for a joint honors in English and History, but say you missed out on the grades in History, your changed course offer could be for a single honors English course at the same university instead. They will almost always offer you a place on a course which is very similar to the one you had applied for, so don’t expect to be offered a place for Engineering if you wanted to study Journalism. There are other ways you can be given a changed course offer, these can be that you’re still allowed to be on the course you had applied for and firmed, but instead your university wants you to change the point of entry (maybe you applied to start in year 2, so you have to start from year 1 or even have a foundation year first) or they may want you to defer so the offer would be standing for the next academic year, 2017-18.
What should I do if I’ve been offered a change of course?
When you log in and see that you’ll have to face some changes, you’re probably going to feel quite disappointed as you know you didn’t do as well as you hoped to. However, don’t feel down as you should read what the change is. It could just be that you have to take a foundation year or your course might change a little bit which could be for the best.
There’s no rush to decide there and then, speak with your family and let them know what is going on, also talk to your friends, a few of them might be in the same situation! If you’ve fallen in love with your firm choice, this is a chance to still persue your dreams and study there. It’s not the end of the world, but don’t go rushing into things and accepting if you think you don’t want to change your course or start a year later, there’s still your insurance choice and even clearing. Usually the university will give you a deadline to reply by, but this should be a few days so take your time to look around at other universities, call them up, have a read of the changed course on your university’s website. if it is just the slight change of changing from a joint honors to a single honors, there might be opportunities to take up optional modules in the department you didn’t get to study in. Also, your teachers will be there to advise you, you’re not alone in this!
Accept or decline?
Whatever you decide, no one will be judging you. The university will understand if you wish to decline their offer as it’s an important 3+ years of your life and it plays a very important role in your future. If you accept the offer then great, you don’t have to do anything else as you’re already all set on the university system and can just carry on with life as you would’ve, no need to leave university applicant Facebook groups or having to tell your friends and family that your dream university isn’t happening anymore.
If you decline remember to think very hard about it before you press that button, things move very fast on results day and someone can easily take your place on the offered course, so if you do decide to change your mind, you may be too late. Declining means you’re out in the open, you might be accepted at your insurance choice for the same course you’d originally applied for, so it’s a win win situation, especially if you equally liked your insurance choice to your firm. But if you’re not accepted into your insurance, there is clearing and there’s so many universities out there, you’ll find one you like.
There are a lot of success stories of people who went into clearing feeling down about not going to their firm and thinking they won’t enjoy uni as much as they thought they would, but after a few weeks at uni they think it’s the best decision ever not being accepted into their firm.
Whatever you decide, there’s support out there and places and people to turn to. A changed course offer can shape the future!