The Home Office does permit you to transfer programmes at LSE once you have campus enrolled. However, you may need to obtain new permission from the Home Office depending on the level and length of your new programme. Not all transfers are possible and you may need to return home to apply for your new visa.
Case One: Transfer to a new programme which is the same length as your current visa
If you transfer to a new programme which you can complete without extending your visa and it is at the same level of study, you will be able to start your new programme.
The Student Services Centre will be required to report to the Home Office that you have a minor change in your circumstances.
Case Two: Transferring to a new programme which is longer than the length of your current visa.
If you plan to transfer from your current programme to a new programme which is longer than your current visa, you must contact the Student Advice and Engagement Team before the transfer is approved. If you were granted a visa for the LSE and USC MSc Global Media and Communications, but decide to transfer to the classic track after arrival this is still possible. But you must note:
- You will be unable to extend your visa to get the four months grace period at the end;
- Your visa will expire before you receive your results and ceremonies - we cannot extend for this purpose
- You will not be eligible for the Graduate Route because your visa will have expired before you have been awarded your degree.
Case Three: Transferring to a new programme which is shorter than your current programme
If you transfer to a shorter programme e.g. from a 12 month Masters degree to a 9 month Masters degree, the Student Services Centre will be required to report both your transfer and your early completion to the Home Office.
Your visa will be curtailed by the Home Office, meaning your immigration permission will end earlier. You will be classed as completing early, which means you should still receive the extra time at the end of your visa and will be able to work full-time at the end of your course.
Case Four: Transferring to a new programme at a lower level of study
It is not possible to transfer to a programme at a lower level of study e.g. transferring from year two of programme to year one of another programme.
Repeat teaching or transfers due to non-progression
If you have a visa and are considering applying for repeat teaching, we strongly recommend that you seek immigration advice as well as academic advice. The Student Route rules cap degree level study at five years for undergraduate students, plus where you can apply for your visa. There is no cap at postgraduate level under the Student Route.
Transferring to a new programme after failing to progress
If you fail to progress from the programme that you were issued a visa for and plan to transfer to a new programme, you will not be able to extend your visa in the UK.
You should note that whilst the immigration rules may allow you to apply for a new visa from outside the UK, the LSE's own regulations will no longer permit you to transfer to a lower level or re-start on a new programme.
Contact our team for advice before planning to do this.
Mode of Study
The immigration rules now permit part-time study on a Student visa at Masters level or above, but the conditions are far more restrictive:
You cannot work - if you planned to transfer to part-time to work you will not have this condition on your immigration permission;
You cannot bring your dependants with you - if you transfer to part-time, your dependants may lose the right to be in the UK;
You cannot undertake a work placement;
LSE will only support applications under the Student part-time route if this is the only possible option for a student to be able finish their degree. Contact us before completing a request to change your mode of study.
If you complete your programme early e.g. because you have transferred to a shorter programme, the Student Services Centre will be required to report your early completion to the UKVI. You will be given a new expiry date of your visa, which will be the original wrap-up time granted on your initial visa.If you are a PhD student who has submitted their thesis early, you will not be reported unless you complete all the requirements and are awarded before your original programme end date.
IMPORTANT: We have been informed by the UKVI that if you are reported for early completion and are in the curtailment period, if you travel outside the Common Travel Area (UK and the Republic of Ireland) you should consider that your leave has lapsed and you no longer have Tier 4/Student permission.
- Student completes early due to a transfer to a shorter degree programme;Student is reported to UKVIStudent is granted a four month curtailment period which matches the four months they were granted at the end of their visa;
- Student is permitted to work full-time as it is vacation;
- Student travels outside the Common Travel Area (UK and Republic of Ireland) during the four months (e.g. for a holiday or to do with their work) - their Tier 4/Student visa is automatically curtailed and they are unable to re-enter the UK.
We advise against early completion because you wish to work full time sooner because of the risks to your status in the UK.