If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, there are certain requirements you must meet before being permitted to change your programme of study and remain on your current visa. If you wish to change your programme of study and your current Tier 4 visa was granted before April 2016 or your new course:
- has the same mode of attendance and
- is within the same subject area and
- is at the same level and
- you can finish your new course within the validity of your current visa
Then you should be able to change your programme without first needing to apply for a new visa.
If your request does not meet these requirements, you may have to leave the UK in order to apply for a new Tier 4 visa for your new course.
If your new course is shorter than your previous one the University will report this change of end date to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). You will not need to get a new visa, but you should be aware that your visa validity will be reduced to reflect the new end date.
In certain situations, the rules on changing programme are applied differently:
- Adding a year of industrial placement/study abroad – you will need to apply for a new (longer) visa before you change programme, but you can do this in the UK during the 3 months before your placement starts
- Integrated Master students - you will need to apply for a new (longer) visa before changing from Bachelors to Masters (eg BEng to Meng), but you can do this in the UK
Students with Visas issued before April 2016
If your visa was issued before April 2016 you will normally be able to transfer programme without first applying for a new visa. If you need a longer visa as a result of this transfer however you will need to return to your home country at some point to apply for this.
How to change programme
You will need to submit a Change of Programme form through your College or supervisor. Make sure you follow the correct process depending on your level of study:
When you submit a change of programme request that will require you to get a new visa, we will contact you with advice particular to your situation. We would also recommend that you speak to your personal tutor or programme leaders for academic advice and guidance.