The final year of university tends to be the most stressful year as it has the highest percentage weighting to your final overall grade. For most degrees, the final year consists of writing a dissertation that could range anywhere from 4000 to 10,000 words and possibly even more! On top of this dissertation that consists of some sort of research project that lasts the whole year, students still have to focus on their other modules, attend lectures and do exams.
As well as all of this, students need to start thinking about life after university and what career path they want to go down. It’s clear to see why any 3rd year student would feel stressed and under a lot of pressure and in some cases could unfortunately fail their 3rd year at university.
In short, there are numerous options available for someone who fails their 3rd year at university. They should seek guidance and support first and could possibly take a year out of university or could redo the entire year again.
To find out more details about the options available if you were to fail your 3rd year at university please keep reading.
How Do You Fail Your 3rd Year at University?
Not achieving the required number of credits is what could result in a student failing their 3rd year at university. The typical number of credits required to pass each academic year is 120 credits; How Do University Credits Work? – Student’s Guide is an article that provides further details at university credits.
Although for most degrees students may have to submit a dissertation, it’s the exams that are most likely to be the reason a student fails their 3rd year at university. If a student failed a module in semester 1 of their final year, they would have the option to retake the module in the second semester. However if a student failed a module in semester 2 and they were not able to achieve 120 credits in total by the end of the year, they would not be able to graduate that year.
Aside from not preparing for an exam well, other factors could affect a student’s performance when doing exams such as stress and extenuating circumstances, for example, a family bereavement or being in a serious car accident. Your mental wellbeing is so important to your work because if you’re not in the right frame of mind you would not be able to think clearly which would affect how you answer the questions when doing an exam.
All dissertations have a date they need to be submitted by and unless you have an extenuating circumstance that your university is aware of, submitting it late will result in being penalised. This could take the form of 10% being subtracted from your grade every 24 hours after the deadline. If you rushed your dissertation and didn’t put a lot of effort into it, this would be evident and be reflected in your grade which could bring your overall grade down.
Can You Re-Take Your 3rd Year at University?
Depending on what you actually failed will determine whether you need to redo the whole year again or only one semester. If you decide to redo your exams you would have to pay a fee for the resit and may have to apply for Student Finance again if you need to redo the whole year.
If you decide to resit your exams you should most definitely have a meeting with your lecturers to get feedback on your performance in your exams. You need to be able to learn from your mistakes so you don’t make the same mistake again – you wouldn’t want to fail your 3rd year at university twice! You may have to even change up your revision technique and find a new way to learn so that you are well prepared when resitting your exams.
Taking care of your mental health is vital if you decide to redo your 3rd year at university. It will be hard seeing your friends and course mates graduating without you, especially knowing that you all started university together. Everyone’s journey is different and you need to focus on yours and try not to compare yourself to others.
One of the benefits of redoing a year at university is that you’re not learning anything new, it’s all content that you have been taught and should already have all the notes ready. You need to make sure you’re prepared both mentally and academically as people may ask why you’re still in university and you need to be ready to answer them.
Should You Consider Dropping Out of University?
Dropping out of university so close to the end is a decision that is not be taken lightly. Everyone is entitled to make their own decision but it’s important to make an informed decision after weighing out all the options.
If this isn’t the first time you’ve failed a year at university and you’re really struggling you may want to drop out as you think university isn’t for you. Or if you’re finding your degree really difficult and it’s not something you enjoy or even what to pursue in the future, dropping out if you failed your final year may seem like an option. Maybe your final year was really traumatising for a number of reasons and seriously impacted your mental health, so as a result you don’t even want to step foot in another university again.
They say that nothing worth having in life is easy and just because something is difficult it doesn’t mean you should give up, instead it can help you build perseverance and resilience. Especially being so close to the end of university, you would have already spent 3 long years that took time, money, energy and maybe even tears from you, so dropping out may seem like an easy escape.
Should You Drop Out Of University goes into even more detail about considering this option.
Should You Consider Taking a Year Out From University (Gap Year)?
A year away from university sounds like a good idea in theory but it’s good to also think about the realities of it. There are two main reasons why a student may take a year out of university: to do a placement year or to take a gap year.
A gap year is normally taken just before a student begins their first year of university as they want to relax, explore the world and learn more about themselves before starting a new chapter in their life. A gap year could also be taken after the 1st or 2nd year of university if a student feels like they just need a break as university can get quite overwhelming.
Taking a gap year after failing your 3rd year at university may be good if you feel like university seriously affected your mental wellbeing and you really want a change of scenery. But taking a year out of university could make you not want to come back as you realise what life is like without going to lectures and doing exams! You could also forget a lot of what you were taught if you’re not doing work while away from university and it could be difficult to integrate yourself back into a routine upon returning to university.
The Complete Guide: Should You Take a Gap Year? has further details surrounding taking a gap year.
Who Should You Speak to After Failing Your 3rd Year at University?
Your university will send you an email or letter detailing that you failed your 3rd year at university and some next steps to take. This may or may not come as a shock to you as only you would know whether you put the effort in to pass all your exams, or whether it was just really difficult and you need to try a different method of learning.
It would be best to get academic advice from your university’s student support team or the student’s union about the options you have. Depending on the circumstance surrounding why you failed and how you genuinely feel about it, your university may advise you to speak to your university’s wellbeing support team. This would be one of the best things to do because finding out that you failed your 3rd year at university could really affect your confidence and belief in yourself and could lead to you feeling like a failure.
Always remember that your grade doesn’t define you, whether you do well or not, you are so much more than your grade. You also wouldn’t want to make any rash decisions concerning your next steps based off emotion and how you’re currently feeling at that point in time but would need time to process everything.
Your friends and family will always be there to provide support, guidance and will be able to remind you of how amazing you are! They would be able to speak words of encouragement into you and will be honest and transparent with you as well.