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Changing programme

Undergraduate

The St Andrews degree structure is designed to be flexible. In most degree programmes you are encouraged to take modules in other subjects, in some cases making it possible to change your mind during your studies about your final degree.

Nonetheless, this flexibility does have some limits. Obviously, you can't switch to a different degree programme if you haven't got the necessary qualifications to take the compulsory modules. In addition, once you accept a formal offer of admission to a particular degree programme, you are committed to study on that programme for at least one academic year. So you won't be permitted to change degree before you have completed your first year of study. However, if you have decided before then that you want to change degree, it is often possible to take the necessary modules for that degree during first year, so that you can request the change at the end of the academic year. You must take all the compulsory modules for the degree programme on which you are currently registered.

After the end of your first year of study, your Adviser of studies can approve a change to a different degree programme within the same faculty. If you wish to transfer to a degree that is only available in a different faculty, you will need to gain approval from the Pro Dean (Advising) of the Faculty to which you want to transfer.

The amount of flexibility that you have to change degree will depend both on your module choices and the degree programme to which you are admitted. Some students are able to keep three subject options open until the end of first year, and two until the end of second year. Others choose to take modules in subjects that interest them but don't lead to alternative degree programmes. Others still are admitted to degree programmes that have a greater number of compulsory first year modules, and so have less scope to take other subjects. Students admitted directly to second year inevitably have less flexibility, and in many cases have no options for changing their minds.

The official rules are given in the policy on Changes to Studies (PDF, 379 KB).

Postgraduate

The St Andrews degree structure is designed to be flexible. In some cases it is possible to change your mind during your studies about your final degree.

Nonetheless, this flexibility does have some limits. Obviously, you can't switch to a different degree programme if you haven't got the necessary qualifications to take the compulsory modules, or if you need to change modules in the current semester and it is after the end of the re-advising period.

If you want to change your degree programme, contact your Adviser of Studies as soon as possible.

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