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Changing your programme or mode of study University of Greenwich

Whether you are studying full-time or part-time changing your programme or mode* of study may have an effect on:

  1. the level of tuition fee you are required to pay
  2. the level of student support that you are eligible to receive from Student Finance England or regional equivalent
  3. your right to remain in the UK on a student visa
  4. the need to have an ATAS Certificate (for international students)
  5. your ELQ Status

Changing your programme or mode of study is only possible if agreed by your Faculty/programme leader who will need to complete and authorise the electronic mode/programme change form

* Mode of study refers to the attendance path that you study your programme in. Mode types are full time >24 weeks, part time, sandwich, block release, distance learning and short courses. Not all modes of study are available for all programmes and you should seek further information from your programme leader or faculty office.

1. Tuition fees

If you change programme or mode of study you may find you have an increase in the level of tuition fee you need to pay. This is because:

  • not all programmes have the same fee
  • if you undertake extra modules these may not be fundable by your student support provider and you will then need to pay these fees for yourself
  • if you change mode of study, for example from full-time to part-time, you may also find that you are no longer eligible to receive help with paying your fees from your student support provider or the type of student support funding system you come under has changed. This may also affect the level of fee you are charged.

Once a change of mode is made or you add extra units to your record, your fees will be adjusted so it is important that you have the right amount of money to pay your fees if they have increased. If your fees have reduced you may also be entitled to a refund depending on when you change programme and other factors. You can check your tuition fee account balance via the student portal, on the Student Support tab, under Pay tuition fees online

2. Student support

By 'student support' we mean things like tuition fee loans and loans and supplementary grants for your living costs received from Student Finance England or the regional equivalent, Student Finance European Team and the bursaries provided by the NHS. Changing your mode of study will affect the type of student support funding that you are eligible for. For example the funding for full-time and part-time students is in general very different. The level of student support funding you may get will also depend on other factors such as the time of year you change mode of attendance, your household income and your personal eligibility for student support. If you change programme and for example have to undertake an extra year of study this may also affect the funding that you can receive.

3. International students

International students on a Tier 4 visa will need to make sure they are permitted to change their programme of study as there are restrictions, set out by the UK Visas & Immigration Department, as to what programme changes are allowed. If the new programme is longer than the previous programme you will be required to return home to apply for a visa extension. There is a limit on the number of years of study in the UK. You will not be able to extend your visa if the new programme takes you over this limit. Any programme change must be notified to UKVI.

If the programme leader has agreed that a programme change is academically permissible this will need to be checked with an International Student Advisor before the programme change can be made. The advisor will be able to advise you if the change is allowed under the Tier 4 rules and will confirm to the programme leader. To see an advisor you can book an appointment in the Student Centre on campus. For further advice you can email isas@gre.ac.uk .

All non-EEA nationals with limited leave in the UK who wish to change to certain programmes are required to have an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate. The scheme is a UK Government requirement and is designed to ensure that students applying for study in certain sensitive subjects do not acquire knowledge that could potentially be used as a treat to UK national security. Currently the following taught masters and master by research programmes offered by the University of Greenwich require an ATAS clearance certificate:

  • BEng, MEng Extended Chemical Engineering (JACS code H800/H300)
  • MSc Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (JACS code H3)
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering (JACS code H3)
  • Associate Postgraduate Studies - Science (JACS code C1/F1)
  • Associate Postgraduate Studies - NRI (JACS code D9)
  • MSc by Research programmes may require an ATAS depending on the research area.
  • Certain MPhil/PhD projects require and ATAS clearance.

Please Note: If you have ATAS clearance for a particular programme you will still need to apply for ATAS again if the new programme requires it. You must not start any programme that requires ATAS before you have received the ATAS certificate.

4. ELQ

Changing your programme of study may also affect your ELQ status. Home and EU students with qualifications, regardless of when or where the qualification was gained (including outside the UK), who are studying for an award at a level equivalent to or lower than a qualification the already hold are assessed as studying an ELQ. In 2008 the government announced that it would no longer provide full funding to support students who are ELQ and so your student support (as mentioned above) may be effected.

The ELQ policy affects students who began their programme of study from September 2008 onwards; earlier entrants are not affected by the legislation. However, changing your programme or mode of study may also have an effect on the year that you are seen as having entered your programme of study. Further information is available here.