Swansea University

Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal

Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal

Transfer and Withdrawal of Research Students

1. Transfer Mode of Study

Transfer of mode of study (full-time to part-time or part-time to full-time) is only permitted where a student is within the minimum candidature of the programme. A transfer of mode of study will normally only be actioned at the beginning of a student’s year of study (on the student’s enrolment anniversary). Changes from part-time to full-time will normally only be permitted at the end of even years of part-time study (after 2 or 4 years). Exceptional circumstances may be considered as a special case by the Academic Regulations and Cases Board/Progressions and Awards Board on a case by case basis.

1.1 If a student wishes to transfer mode of study more than once during a single candidature, the student will be required to provide a detailed explanation of the need for the further transfer.

1.2 Procedure

The student should discuss the proposed transfer of mode with his/her supervisors to ensure that such a transfer will not be detrimental to the student’s candidature. The student should seek approval from his/her sponsor (if appropriate) before requesting a transfer.

If all parties agree to the transfer in principle, the student should request his/her College to action the request via the Intranet (Change of Circumstances), for consideration by the Academic Regulations and Cases Board/Progression and Awards Board.

The student and his /her supervisors will need to provide a short written statement outlining the reasons for transfer. The student will also need to provide written consent from his/her sponsor (if appropriate).

If the request is approved the student’s record will be updated appropriately.

2. Transfer Programme – Up and Down

A request for a transfer of programme of study would normally come from a student’s College/School via the Progression and Awards Board as a progression recommendation. However, in certain circumstances a student may request a transfer of programme outside of the progression system.

2.1 Transfer of programme of study is only permitted where a student is within the minimum candidature of either the current programme or the proposed new programme. In extremely exceptional cases transfers of programme may be permitted when the student is outside of minimum candidature for both programmes where the student is seeking to transfer to a lower award (e.g. PhD to MPhil or PhD to MA/MSc by Research).

2.2 Transfer up to a Higher Research Degree

Research students who apply to transfer up to a higher research degree (e.g. MPhil to PhD or MSc / MA by Research to MPhil or PhD) must meet all of the relevant upgrade criteria prior to their individual case being considered at the Progression and Awards Board. The criteria applied as a minimum check should include: a report clearly outlining how the research to date can be expanded to meet the required standard and substance of the higher degree, a presentation by the student to relevant representatives from the College (mini viva), proof of funding to cover the additional year(s) of study and appropriate entry qualifications. The student must also have support from his/her supervisory team and College/School.

2.3 Procedure

If the transfer of programme is the result of a progression recommendation to Progression and Awards Board, it will be normally be actioned to take effect from the beginning of the student’s next year of study.

2.4 If the transfer of programme is outside of the progression system, then the student should discuss the proposed transfer with his/her supervisors to ensure that such a transfer will not be detrimental to the student’s candidature.

The student should seek approval from his/her sponsor (if appropriate) before requesting a transfer.

If all parties agree to the transfer in principle, the student should request his/her College to action the request via the Intranet (Change of Circumstances), for consideration by the Academic Regulations and Cases Board/Progression and Awards Board.

The student and his /her supervisors will need to provide a short written statement outlining the reasons for transfer. The student will also need to provide written consent from his/her sponsor (if appropriate).

If the request is approved the student’s record will be updated appropriately.

2.5 If the transfer of programme entails a change of College/School, approval must be granted by the Head of College/School or nominee of the releasing College/School and the Head of College/School or nominee of the accepting College/School.

The student will normally be registered in the same College/School as their primary supervisor. 

2.6 The University restrictions placed on transfers of programme of study are that students must:

  1. satisfy the entry requirements of the proposed programme of study;
  2. be accepted to the proposed programme by the School concerned;
  3. be released from his/her commitment of the current programme of study;
  4. NOT have previously been Required to Withdraw from the University. 

2.7 It is the student’s responsibility to notify any sponsor of the transfer of programme and to ensure continued support from the sponsor for the duration of the programme.

2.8 In the case of International students sponsored by the University, a transfer of programme is conditional upon holding a valid student visa (Tier 4).  At the point of transfer, an assessment will be made as to whether the transfer meets current Tier 4 legislation before it is approved.  The assessment will include reference to the level of the new programme, the student’s current period of leave, the current time limits governing Tier 4 study, whether the new programme meets a student’s “genuine career aspirations” and any other requirements specified by the UK Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI).  Where the new programme cannot be completed within the period of existing Tier 4 leave, the student will be required to leave the UK to make an application for further leave to complete the programme.  For programmes requiring ATAS Clearance, International students must obtain clearance and provide a copy of the ATAS certificate to the University, before a transfer can be approved.

3. Transfer Out to Another Institution

Before a student considers transferring to another institution it is important that he/she discusses this with his/her supervisors and/or Head of College or nominee, and makes an appointment with Academic Services, so that possible alternatives are considered before a final decision is made. International students are strongly encouraged to consult the International Student Advisory Service before making a final decision, as this may have implications with regards to immigration status. Students are prohibited from transferring candidature to another institution after the minimum period of candidature has expired.

3.1In order to transfer to another institution, a student is first required to withdraw from the University (see Voluntary Withdrawal below). However, students should be advised not to withdraw until a firm offer has been made by the new institution. Students should contact the destination institution and find out whether any period of study at the University will be counted towards the candidature period at the new institution. The destination institutions may request an academic reference and formal permission from the University to permit the transfer of candidature the student. The student should make sure that any Intellectual Property Rights issues are clarified before transferring to another institution.

4. Transfer In from another Institution

Students may transfer in from other institutions by submitting an application for admission in the normal way. Students transferring in from another institution would, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of College/School or nominee, have the period of study at the other institution recognized. Irrespective of any prior period of study, students who transfer in from another institution will be required to complete at least one year (full-time equivalent) of minimum candidature. The University will seek written confirmation from the original institution that there are no objections to the transfer of the student.

5. Withdrawing from a Programme

5.1 Voluntary withdrawal

Before a student considers withdrawing from the University it is important that he/she discusses this with his/her supervisors and/or Head of College/School or nominee, and makes an appointment with Academic Services, so that possible alternatives are considered before a final decision is made. The student should also consult the Student Support Office and his/her sponsor (if applicable). International students are strongly encouraged to consult the International Student Advisory Service before making a final decision, as this may have implications with regards to immigration status.

5.2 If a student’s proposal to withdraw is the result of financial difficulties, the student should first visit the University Money Advice and Support Office.  Students can also contact the Finance Department to discuss making an arrangement for the payment of fees or debts to the University.

5.3 Formal notification of withdrawal has to be on a “Withdrawal from University” form, obtained from Academic Services. The University must be notified of the reasons why the student has decided to withdraw, and have confirmation of the last date of attendance. If the student is withdrawing for health reasons, a medical certificate should be attached to the form.

5.4 Upon receipt of the withdrawal form, Academic Services will ensure that the student’s record is amended (recording the reason for withdrawal) and inform the student’s sponsor (if applicable) and all other relevant parties such as the student’s College/School, the Finance Office, the Accommodation Office, the Library and, if the student is an International student, the Immigration authorities.

5.5 Where a student fails to resume study by the specified return date following a period of suspension (see Guide to Suspensions and Extensions for Research Students for more information), the Academic Regulations and Cases Board/Progression and Awards Board will assume that the student has withdrawn from the University. The procedure for a voluntary withdrawal will be followed with the exception that the “Withdrawal from University” form will be completed by Academic Services in the student’s absence.

6. Required to withdraw

A student may be required to withdraw from his/her programme as a result of:

  • failing to enrol or re-enrol on the anniversary of initial enrolment;
  • failing to have candidature confirmed (see Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students);
  • failing to make satisfactory academic progress. [Note: The supervisors must have set clear and achievable targets for the student and be able to provide documentary evidence of the failure of the student to meet these targets in order for a student to be judged as having failed to make satisfactory academic progress];
  • a progression recommendation (see Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students);
  • failing to adhere to the University’s attendance policy;
  • a disciplinary issue.

6.1 Where a student is required to withdraw, Academic Services will ensure that the student’s records are amended (recording that the student was required to withdraw) and inform all other relevant parties such as the student’s College, the Finance Office, the Accommodation Office, the Library and, if the student is an International student, the Immigration authorities. The University will also inform the student’s sponsor (if applicable).  The student will be advised if they have the right to seek a review or appeal in relation to the withdrawal decision under the relevant process.

 

< Guide To Research Degree Candidature | Guide to Suspensions and Extensions >