students laughing outdoors east quad

Unsure About Your Course

The reasons students become unhappy with their course are varied:
  • Maybe the subject isn't what you thought it would be
  • The course content isn't what you wanted
  • The teaching or assessment method doesn't suit you or you can't get motivated
  • Perhaps you feel the environment doesn't suit or you're homesick and feeling out of your depth
  • Perhaps your attitude is not what it should be for studying at third level and you are not applying yourself in third level.

If you are having second thoughts about your chosen career path, it is very important to reflect on your motivations and the reasons for your initial choices.


Options to consider:

Could you get extra tuition in difficult subjects, arrange extra tutorials with others in the class, make a better effort to keep on top of the workload? 

Can you talk to a tutor to explain your concerns and ask him/her to recommend some background reading material? Is it possible to alter your module options within the course? 

Remember that there are many support services in TU Dublin you can avail of. 

Also remember it is possible to diversify into a different career area at post-graduate level by completing a conversion course.

A conversion programme enables graduates of one discipline to acquire a qualification in a different discipline at Postgraduate Diploma and Masters Level. Having studied a particular degree you may decide that you wish to change your career path and consider undertaking a conversion programme at TU Dublin.

Check out the Gradireland site for further information on conversion courses across all sectors and 3rd level universities and colleges.

The TU Dublin website for first years contain lots of useful information on transferring.

  • ‌Feelings of anxiety, apprehension and uncertainty are natural if you decide to leave a course. Expect lots of advice too from family, friends and tutors. Try to approach the decision making process in a holistic and positive way and remember that the decision has to be the right one FOR YOU!
  • There are also Financial Considerations to take into account: the date on which you leave your course can have an implication for funding of any future course you might wish to pursue. Depending on the date that you leave your course, you may be entitled to full fees, half fees, or no fees paid for you for the first year of a subsequent course of study.
  • If you decide to leave your course, make sure you can articulate your reasons for doing so - this will help you to avoid making the same mistake next time and will enable you to explain your decision to others. Your Career Coach is there to support you. 
  • For further information call 01402 4663 and speak to a member of registrations.
  • If you do decide to leave your course there is a procedure to follow: To formally withdraw you must complete the TU Dublin withdrawal form.  This form, along with your student ID must be handed into a TU Dublin Student Service Centre.  Keep a copy as evidence of the date on which you left your course.  If you are in receipt of a grant, follow up with your grant provider or SUSI

Be sure to look at our 'decision flow chart' before your make your final decision

  • Make sure you thoroughly research both your career motivations and the options open to you.
  • First year registered students who wish to apply to transfer course.  Eligibility for the course the student seeks to transfer to is based on:
    • Meeting the minimum entry requirements
    • A space becoming available
    • Agreement from head of course/department
  • Are you thinking of applying to a different institution? If so, think about: will you have to move to a new house? How expensive is accommodation in the area? What environment are you most happy in - a large or small institution, a city or country-based institution? How far will you be from home?
  • If you have already completed a third level course (e.g. a Certificate or Diploma) and are looking to progress onto a Diploma or Degree course, you can apply to third level institutions via Internal Advanced Entry.
    • Please visit our Advanced Entry page to learn more - please also remember to contact the TU Dublin School that you are interested in applying to.
    • If applying to a different institution it is important to contact the admissions office of each institution directly as different application procedures and application deadlines apply to all and some may also require an application via CAO Advanced Entry route.
  • It is a good idea to learn as much as possible about the courses you are thinking about. Attend open days and get prospecti for more information on programmes. Access alumni pages to find out where graduates end up on completion of courses e.g. TU Graduate Network. Browse textbooks used to find out what is involved and whether a placement is incorporated. Talk to people who have completed the programme or are currently doing it. It may also be worthwhile investigating assessment methods used.
  • If you have not completed a third level course and are looking to reapply for first year of a different programme, you will need to re-apply through the Central Admissions Office.
    • NB the closing date for CAO applications is 1st February in the proposed year of entry to the course.
    • Late applications will be accepted until 1st May
    • Exceptional closing date for applicants who are still registered on a third level programme is 22nd July
  • Perhaps you feel that you would benefit from taking time out: to reflect, to pay back some debts, to research options more carefully, to gain experience in the workplace, to travel, take a break from study, talk to people in different jobs, get work experience, etc. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you plan how best to use your time. Plan out what you intend to do so that the experience will be as beneficial and as useful as possible.
  • If you are taking time out due to personal problems, you might find it helpful to make use of the support services available to you at Student Services and Support
  • Would you rather be earning money than studying? Need a break after the Leaving Cert? Are you struggling with your course? Failing to see the relevance of your course?
  • After making the decision to leave a course you may feel very relieved. On the other hand, some people end up feeling disappointed in themselves and lacking in confidence - they might feel that they have wasted time or let other people down.
  • If you decide to start looking for a job you need to focus on the positive when making applications and attending interviews.  What have you learnt from your experience? What skills and qualities can you demonstrate? Make sure you can present your decision to leave your course in a positive light to employers.
  • Make sure to visit Job hunt effectivelyCVs letters and applications as well as getting ready for interviews  before embarking on finding employment
  • Remember that you can return to third level study at a later date either full time or part time.