Student blog post

Changing Course

My experience switching course and how I made that decision

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Hi all, the last couple of months have been rather turbulent for me, especially as I was moving out of my old flat during term time. But now I finally have everything back on track. Though over the last little while I’ve been reflecting on where my course and thus my future is heading. As an art and philosophy student I spend most of my days in the DJCAD studios, and attend a few lectures a week. But I had noticed that my motivation for art and studio practice was lacking, but my enthusiasm for philosophy was incredibly high in comparison. I was doing extra reading, taking time to absorb myself in the community by going to extra seminars, and watching various youtubers that cover philosophy and literature. It was clear that my focus had shifted. I found it easier to articulate my thoughts with regards to art better in writing than visually, and in the previous year, now looking back on it, I can see that perhaps this had always been the case.

Art and philosophy gave me the ability to realise that I’m happiest when doing humanities. But I never thought that changing course was an option. I thought that door had closed forever when I didn’t study English or History at A-level when I was back in England.

But I was wrong! Noticing that I was happier in my philosophy lectures than in the studio, I went to enquiries (located next to the Union) who referred me to my course director to speak to them about options. They wanted to make sure that I was not simply put down by a few bad grades, in actuality my grades were rather good and I was reasonably pleased with my progression in art, however my heart just was not in it. They understood that to succeed at something you have to be passionate, and they said that they wouldn’t want to stand in my way if I knew the direction I wanted to take and if I was capable of doing so. So I gained their full support and an email was sent to the humanities department to see if I could transfer.

In the same week I had a meeting over in Humanities and the person I spoke to was incredibly supportive and ran me through the process pointing out a few things that I needed to consider. Overall they said that although (as I am currently in my second year) I could progress into third year on this new course, they recommended that I instead ‘redo’ second year, but rather than doing Art Philosophy I do second year as a humanities student, and I couldn’t agree more. That would give me the grounding in the topics I want to pursue better than if I were thrown in the deep end of third year.

The conversation was productive and gave me a fantastic insight into my potential future. I was so pleased at the support I received and at the ease in which the course change progressed. I will be finishing this semester on the art philosophy course, but next semester (September 2017) I will be considered a direct entry Humanities student.

This for me is such a brilliant illustration of how well the University of Dundee support their students, so I just want to say a big thank you for the help I received! I’m really looking forward to this September.

Eleanor Booty

Art & Philosophy / English & Philosophy student, graduated in 2020

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Student voice category Study, Courses