Transfer to a different course or programme

The transfer programme process allows you to request permission to leave your current programme and start on a different one.

When you can transfer programme

With approval, transfers can take place:

  • During the first two weeks of teaching block 1 (before the end of Friday in week 2 of teaching).
  • After the first two weeks of teaching block 1. You may be required to suspend your studies and come back at the start of the next academic year on the new programme. This may involve an additional year of study.
  • After the end of your first year with progression into the second year (undergraduate only).
  • Where the structures of the two programmes are sufficiently similar so that you will not be academically disadvantaged by the transfer. This might include picking up or dropping a year in industry, or transferring to or from a Joint Honours, where programme regulations allow. For example, a transfer between:
    • 'BSc Physics' and 'BSc Physics with industrial experience', or
    • MSci Biochemistry' and 'BSc Geography'.
  • Where you wish to transfer to or from an integrated masters programme (for example from a BSc to a MSci).
  • Where you wish to transfer to a study abroad programme. Places cannot be guaranteed due to the limited spaces available at partner universities. Contact the Bristol Abroad team for more information.
  • Where your PGR programme regulations allow (for PGR students only).

When you cannot transfer

Transfers are not always possible. For example, if:

  • It is not within the first two weeks of teaching
  • the programme you want to transfer to is full, or
  • you do not meet the entry requirements.

Get advice before transferring programme

If you’re thinking about changing programme, the best place to start is to speak to your personal tutor or supervisor (for PGR students) for advice. They will be able to help you make an informed decision and help you consider any other academic support that may be suitable. 

They will also help you decide if you would like to continue with your existing programme (in the event that you cannot transfer right away).

There is support and guidance available through the support services that can help you manage your studies. You can also request wellbeing support while at the university.


You should discuss with the money, advice and funding office how transferring to a new programme may impact your funding.

You should also check whether the tuition fees are different for your new programme.

Student visa holder students

Before requesting a transfer, you must review the information on the Student Visa Advice website to discuss wanting to transfer. You may be required to apply for a new visa or apply for ATAS clearance.

Students on other types of visa

If you are subject to UK immigration control and hold a non-Student visa, your transfer may be conditional on receiving ATAS clearance. If the course you are transferring to has an ATAS requirement and your nationality is not exempt from it, you must obtain an ATAS certificate for the new course before you can transfer. You can contact Student Visa Advisers for further guidance. 


If you are suspending before transferring onto a placement programme (for example, in industry or studying abroad), we will try to allocate a placement to you when you return from suspension along with the next cohort of students. This cannot be guaranteed.

See the suspensions guidance for more information on how suspending can impact your studies.


If you are required to suspend before transferring, on your return to study, you may need to apply for accommodation as a returning student, and university-owned accommodation is very limited. Find out more about how suspending your studies may affect your accommodation.

How to request a programme transfer

  1. Once you have spoken to your personal tutor or supervisor, speak to your current school office for advice in the first instance. They will explain how you can make the necessary requests:
    • If the programme you want to join is in another school, contact the School Office for that school to ask if they will consider your transfer request. You will need to understand what year of study you would be able to enter and if there are any other transfer requirements, such as specific units you need to study or pass. See the prospectus webpage for more information.
    • If you are required to suspend your studies before transferring programme, you must complete a suspension of studies form, which your current school can give you, and you must submit this to your current School Office for approval alongside your programme transfer form.
  2. Contact your current school office to request a transfer form. Fill it in and obtain the approval of your new school and faculty, on the form, before submitting the completed form to your current school for approval.
    • If you are a student visa holder you will need to discuss your programme transfer with Student Visa Services who will sign your form to confirm you understand the visa implications.
    • If you hold a visa that is not a Student visa, your new programme has an ATAS requirement and your nationality is not exempt from it, please ensure you have obtained an ATAS certificate for this course before you formally request the transfer.
  3. Once approved by your current school, your request will be shared with your current faculty, and with the school and faculty that own the programme to which you are requesting to transfer. You will then receive an email to confirm the change once the accepting our new faculty has processed the transfer. This may be at the end of the current academic year. Until you've received written confirmation, you must either continue studying on your current programme of study or formally request a suspension of studies (if you cannot transfer until the next academic year).

For detailed regulations about changing from one undergraduate course to another, read the University’s policy on transferring. (PDF, 49.2kb)

Suspending your studies prior to transferring programme

If you are required to suspend your studies prior to transferring programmes, you will stay on your original programme for the duration of your suspension. Nearer to your return, your faculty office will contact you to ask if you intend to return. If you do, your student record will be reactivated and your new faculty will process your programme transfer at that time. If you have any questions, contact the faculty that owns your new programme.

Once the transfer process is complete, you will receive an email confirmation.

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