What Happens if You Fail Your 3rd Year at University?

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University can be incredibly difficult and at times, you may not do as well as you had hoped you would. This may be due to failing assignments or modules, which could eventually add up to you failing an entire year of your degree. In the UK, most undergraduate degrees will last 3 years and so if you fail your third year at university, this can put you in a tricky situation. Without knowing what happens if this does occur, it can be difficult to figure out what you’re going to do next.

In short, failing your 3rd year at university may mean that you’re unable to graduate, which may have negative effects on your future career prospects. However, you will normally still be able to retake the entire year or specific modules, enabling you to pass and graduate your course. Even after failing your 3rd year, there are a range of opportunities still available to you, from apprenticeships to jobs and more.

Continue reading to learn more about the process of failing your third year at university. This article will help you to better understand what failing your third year actually means for your degree, what you can do about it and what your options are to do next.

How do you fail your 3rd year at university?

Everyone will have their own reasons for failing a year, whether this is due to illness, their mental health, struggling with the course or whatever else. However, what links all of these reasons together is that they caused a disruption in your university studies.

In order to pass a year at university, students need to achieve 120 credits. Getting any less than this will mean that the student has failed that year at university.

To get these 120 credits, students need to pass enough modules, which will have credits attributed to them. Each module will be different but passing it will typically mean that you achieve at least 40% overall. This will often be from a combination of projects, coursework and exams.

In the 3rd year, this will often be a combination of compulsory and optional modules that will often have between 15 and 60 credits each, though it may be more or less. To learn more about this and how credits work at university, check out this Think Student article.

Can you still graduate if you fail your final year at university?

Failing your final year at university can often put you in a tricky situation. In the UK, final university grades are calculated using a weighted grading system. This increases the importance of your final year at university as the majority of your grade will be based off your final year grade.

This means that you will generally not be able to graduate if you have failed your final year at university as you won’t be able to meet the overall grade to pass and you won’t have enough credits to progress to graduation. To learn more about this, check out this page by the University of Portsmouth on graduation eligibility. Also, look at this Think Student article for more on the weighted grading system.

However, you will typically also have the opportunity to retake your 3rd year. This will enable you to gain enough credits in your final year to be able to pass and so you will still be able to graduate. To learn more about this, check out the next section.

If you have failed your final year at university, it may also be possible for you to still leave with an exit award. In the UK, an exit award is where you receive a lower qualification to the one you originally signed up for.

At undergraduate level, this could be a certificate or diploma in higher education (CertHE/ DipHE) or an ordinary degree without honours. This will depend on how many credits you gained and what you achieved during your studies.

If you achieve a DipHE or an ordinary degree, you may still be able to attend graduation, depending on your university’s policies. To learn more about this, check out this guide by the University of Cumbria.

Can you re-take your 3rd year at university?

In the UK, you are able to retake your 3rd year at university. As mentioned above, passing this retake, would give you the opportunity to still be able to graduate.

However, students, who retake the 3rd year will have their grade capped at 40%, which is also the pass mark. Due to how undergraduate degrees are graded in the UK, this would likely leave you with a third-class honours degree (3rd) as your overall grade. This cap is put in place in order to make it fair for the other students on your course, who didn’t retake the year.

Students are only able to retake their 3rd year once. This is unless you have serious extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that means that you would be allowed to retake again.

Another thing you need to be aware of is that it is likely that you will need to pay for your retakes. This may depend on your universities policies, so it’s best to see the information on their website or by contacting them to learn more specific information.

To learn more about retaking your final year, check out this Think Student article. To learn more about university grades in the UK, check out this Think Student article.

Who should you speak to after failing your 3rd year at university?

Failing your 3rd year at university can be a lot to deal with. This is both in terms of figuring out what you have to do next and dealing with the impacts it may have on you personally.

First of all, you need to talk to your university. There will typically be several different people, who you can get to for advice, particularly if you are worried about retakes or your options.

You may want to talk to your personal tutor, the student advice department within your university or even someone within your student union. Due to their positions within your university, these people or groups will often be familiar with the situation and can tell you what you need to do and more about your university’s policies. For more about who to go to for help, check out this guide by the University of Westminster and this page by Buckinghamshire New University.

Failing your 3rd year at university can also be quite overwhelming and it may have negative impacts on your emotions and your mental health. Due to this, you may also want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling about your situation.

For this, there are a vast range of people you can speak to. You may want to start by talking to someone you’re closed to and that you trust, such as a friend of family member. However, you may also want to speak to someone from your university or student union’s support services.

There are also different support services, that you can find online, that may offer support via email, text or by phone. For example, Student Space, offers all of these and more, and is particularly aimed at university students. Click here to learn more about it and to go to the Student Space homepage.

What are your options after failing third year of university?

Failing your third year at university doesn’t have to be the end of your education or career as you still have a range of opportunities afterwards.

First of all, as mentioned above you could retake your third year. This would give you the opportunity to still graduate and finally complete your university degree.

If you still want to get a degree without having to go through the whole university process again, you also have the option to do a degree apprenticeship. A degree apprenticeship is a type of apprenticeship that you can take at level 6 or level 7, so is either equivalent to an undergraduate degree or a master’s degree.

A degree apprenticeship would allow you to avoid the tuition fees of university, while also being able to earn money as you’ll be working. To learn more about degree apprenticeships, check out this Think Student article.

Despite failing your 3rd year, there are still plenty of jobs that you can get without a degree. For example, you could become an electrician, an estate agent or some kind of trainer or coach. To learn more about these and more, check out this article by Future Fit.

There are also a wide range of jobs that you can get without even having GCSEs. For example, you could work in retail, hospitality or in the beauty industry. To learn more about these and other options, check out this Think Student article.

After failing your 3rd year at university, you will probably need a break. Due to this, it can be a great idea to take a gap year before fully deciding what to do next.

There are a range of options for what to do on your gap year from travelling to working to starting your own business. To learn more about taking a gap year and your options, check out this Think Student article.

It can also be possible for you to take more than one gap year. If this interests you, check out this Think Student article to learn more about how you would go about this.

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