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Leaving or Withdrawing

The University obviously does not wish its students to leave, but it recognises that there are often valid reasons why people need to transfer or withdraw.  However it is really important that you get in touch to let us know rather than just leaving without any notification.  No-one will try to stop you leaving, but they will make sure you have the right information and take the necessary steps.

Come and speak to someone at Student Services.  This will give you the opportunity to consider whether your issues can be resolved without you having to leave.  There may be other solutions, such as taking time out, changing your degree, reducing your study to part-time, or getting some advice about financial assistance.  Even if you decide to leave Student Services can give you advice on the procedures as well as more general advice about moving on.

It’s also important to tell the University why you have been thinking about leaving so that the University can look at areas it can improve upon.   

To request to transfer, withdraw or take time out you should contact the relevant Registry Officer .

In order to transfer to a different university there will be several things to work out first:

Where you want to transfer to, and to what course?

Check individual University websites or UCAS to work out what you’d like to do.

Which year would you transfer into?  

You will not always be able to transfer into the ‘next’ year.  Universities expect students to take at least 50% of their degree with them, and different Universities have different course structures and requirements.  This means you may have to take a step back or repeat a year, because you may not be able to transfer all of your credits.  You will have to tell the University you want to go to a little bit about your course so that they can advise on what level/year you would be placed at and how many credits you can transfer. 

When would you transfer?

Some Universities ask you to reapply through UCAS, and the closing date for applications to UCAS is normally in January of each year.  Depending on when you decide to transfer you may have to apply to start the following year.  Other Universities may be able to accept a transfer without going through UCAS.  Transferring after Semester 1 can also be tricky because other institutions do not all follow the same timetable.

Universities often require the following:

  • Information about your course and modules. These details can be found in the Course Catalogue.
  • An academic reference. Please contact your adviser of studies or a member of academic staff who can comment on your studies.  Please check with the institution you wish to transfer into, or UCAS if you are reapplying to study in the UK.

If you wish to transfer to a University in the USA, you are likely to be asked to initiate the provision of a completed College Official’s Report Form.  Having filled in your sections, you should give this form at least 3 weeks in advance of the submission deadline to the Pro-Dean of your Faculty, who can complete the section of the form relating to your standing, and eligibility for future study, at St Andrews.

If you have applied to transfer elsewhere it’s a good idea to keep hold of your place at St Andrews until you have a confirmed place elsewhere.  However, they can sometimes be problems when applying for places when you are already registered as a student elsewhere.  You should get in touch with the Registry Officer will ensure that you have been withdrawn from your studies at St Andrews.

To withdraw from your studies completely, get in touch with the Registry Officer who can inform you of the process and initiate your withdrawal at your request.  It is important to follow the correct process and formally withdraw from the University.  It is not sufficient to tell your School that you are not returning.

Depending on the number of credits you have gained, you may be eligible for a Certificate of Higher Education or General Degree.

You may find helpful advice on returning to education, or exploring other options such as training, apprenticeships or employment at Back on Course.

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Advice and Support Centre
79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 (46)2020

Encountered any difficulties?

Not the right match?  If you haven’t formed a good rapport with your Adviser or you’ve encountered any difficulties and wish to speak informally to someone, please contact Ruth Unsworth ( or Lara Meischke (, Deputy Directors of Student Services, in the first instance.

Please also be aware that the University has Complaints Handling Procedure for formally addressing concerns.