Making changes to your course

Understand your options if your personal or academic circumstances change.

You may start your course with a particular goal, but end up changing direction as you progress. This could be due to discovering a new area of interest, reassessing personal, academic or career goals, or not thriving in an initial area of interest.

Before you decide to make a significant change to your course plan, it is important to consider your circumstances and explore all your options. You can use the following self-reflection strategies and support services to ensure you make the best decision for your needs and future success.

  • Reflect on your course plan

    Think about why you want to make a change and try to identify the issues you're experiencing. This can help you identify what option is best for you.

    Questions to consider

    • What were your expectations of your course before you started?
    • How has your experience been different from those initial expectations?
    • Are there aspects of your course you are struggling with?
    • Have you sought assistance or advice?
    • Were there subjects that you enjoyed?
    • What do you like about your course?

    Have you explored these options?

    • Academic Skills
      If you are struggling with your study strategies and writing skills, Academic Skills offers resources and services to support you. This includes the Academic Skills Hub LMS community, online modules, workshops, drop-in sessions and individual appointments.
    • Course planning and advice
      You can speak with a course adviser if you need help choosing subjects or would like to pursue a new discipline or major within your current course.
    • Speak to your teaching staff
      You can speak to your teaching staff about your progress during their consultation hours (check your LMS for details). Some schools and departments also offer dedicated support - for example, the School of Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre.
  • Identify factors impacting your studies

    There may be factors outside your course that are affecting your academic performance. These are common issues affecting students from all courses and levels of study. Getting support will enable you to gain the most out of your studies.

    Questions to consider

    • Do you require additional support with your English language skills?
    • Are you an international student having difficulties settling into a new environment?
    • Are you finding the transition to university difficult?
    • Are you struggling to balance work and study?
    • Are you eligible for Registration for ongoing support?
    • Are you eligible for Special consideration?

    Have you explored these options?

    • Diagnostic English Language Assessment
      Find out how to develop your communication skills further, and which skills you most need to focus on by taking the Diagnostic English Language Assessment (DELA).
    • International Student Support
      Make a confidential appointment with an experienced international student adviser for support with settling into the University.
    • Financial Aid
      Find out about student loans, get advice about managing your money and information about welfare support.
    • Student Equity and Disability Support
      If you have a health condition, disability or require assistance with official commitments, we can make arrangements to help you manage your studies.
    • Counselling and Psychological Services
      The University's Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential, short-term professional counselling to currently enrolled students.
  • Define your career and study goals

    Being aware of your skills, interests and values can help you make decisions that will enable you to meet your career and study goals.

    Questions to consider

    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your interests?
    • What motivates you?
    • Do you have a specific career in mind or are you still exploring your options?
    • Do your goals suit your practical needs and capabilities?

    Have you explored these options?

    • Career Assessment
      Use our online career assessment tools to reflect and learn more about your own interests and preferences.
    • Careers and Employability
      Explore a range of resources including events, workshops and drop-in sessions to help you plan your career and enhance your  employability skills.
    • AskAlumni
      Connect with University of Melbourne alumni and gain practical advice and guidance.

Changing direction

A key feature of most of our undergraduate courses is the flexibility to try out different disciplines. So depending on what stage you’re at in your studies, it may be possible to change direction within your course by exploring new subjects and pursuing new interests.

If you want to create a new course plan, you should:

  1. Check that you have enough credit points left to meet all your course requirements
  2. Refer to the Handbook for your course to explore different elective, breadth or major subject options.

It’s can also be helpful to check your progress at the end of each semester, and review whether you need to change your course plan in order to meet your goals.

Changing your major

If you no longer wish to study your current major you may be able to change it. For more information, see choosing a major.

Course transfers

You may feel that your current course is not the right fit for you. Before making the decision to transfer to a new course, it's important to consider your circumstances and understand your options. Make sure you also check the application process and entry requirements of the new course, and seek course planning advice if you need guidance.

For more information, see transferring courses.

Taking a break

If you need a break from study, you can apply to take a leave of absence of up to 12 months.

Before taking leave, you should think about your course and plan the subjects you will study when you return. Many subjects are only available in one study period each year, so if you take a single semester of leave this could affect when you can meet prerequisites or progress in your major.

When you’re ready to return from leave, it’s a good idea to check in with a course planning adviser to ensure your course plan and enrolment is up to date. It’s also important that you are aware of key dates and you re-enrol on time, even if you are on leave during a re-enrolment period.

For more information, see leave of absence.

Changing your study load

Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to increase or decrease your study load. For more information on the available options, see study load.

Need help with planning your course and subjects?

Submit an online enquiry or book an appointment with one of our course advisers, who can help you with course rules and structure, choosing subjects, using the Study Plan, checking you're on track to graduate and more. Please add your My Course Planner link to any enquiry or appointment booking.

Submit an enquiry Book an appointment