FAQs

About the Back on Course Scotland Service

Is there a fee for using the service?
Back on Course Scotland is a free service.
Is back on course just about going back to university?
No. Although we help a lot of people who are looking to go back to university, an important part of our work is supporting those who need guidance about choices outside of higher education – choices such as employment, apprenticeships and further education. Please contact us to see how we can help.
I’m not sure whether I want to go back to university but I would like to discuss my experience with someone. Is this possible?
Yes. Our Back on Course Scotland advisers will be happy to talk with you about the experience you had on your previous course. They can also help you to focus on your future options by providing high quality guidance that takes into account your experience, skills and interests, so that you can make informed decisions about the best way forward.
Can I use your service if I am currently thinking about leaving my course?
You must have officially withdrawn from your course to use our service. If you are still in study, you can contact your university’s student support service, careers service or Students’ Union for advice about your situation.
Am I able to opt out at any point?
Yes. You can also come back for further advice at any time in the future.
I've been contacted by back on course Scotland, but I don’t need to use your service. Can you take me off your contact list?
Of course. Just give us a quick call, or send us an email, to let us know that you don’t wish to be contacted and we’ll remove you from our contacts list straight away.
I’ve already re-applied for another degree through UCAS, can I still use back on course Scotland?
Of course. We would be happy to hear from you, and you are entitled to use all aspects of our service.
Can I make suggestion for a frequently asked question?
Yes you can! Simply go to the contact us page to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
What will happen to the information back on course holds on me and other early-leavers?
We hold all data in a secure electronic area, as required by the Data Protection Act. All data will be held for three years, for research purposes, unless you request for your data not to be included in research. All data will be anonymised; please be assured that no research will enable data on you as an individual to be identified.
Will my personal information be sold on to another organisation?
Absolutely not. Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, we can only use the data that has been supplied to us for the purpose that we were given it. We take this commitment very seriously.
Is the back on course service available in languages other than English?
Back on Course is only available in English at the moment.

Speaking with an advisor

I’m still thinking about my options after leaving my course, so can I get in touch with you at a later date?
Yes. You can contact us whenever it’s convenient for you.
What happens when I contact you?
When you get in touch with Back on Course Scotland, you will come through to one of our team assistants, who will give you an overview of what we can do and answer any initial questions you may have. If you want to set up a guidance appointment with an adviser, we will take some background information about your situation. This normally takes around 10 minutes and is used to help the adviser during your appointment. The team assistant will then arrange a telephone guidance appointment for you. If you don’t have time at that stage to answer the background questions, we’ll be happy to call you back at a more convenient time.
I don’t really like speaking on the phone, so could you liaise with someone else on my behalf?
Yes we can arrange that however we will need written permission from you in order to discuss your concerns with someone else. Alternatively we could offer guidance via email, although this can be a more lengthy process.
I am a parent/guardian and concerned about my son/daughter/ward who has left university before completing their intended qualification. Can I discuss their situation with you?
We could only talk to you in the most general terms. We cannot discuss anyone’s personal circumstances with a third party without their written permission. Please encourage your son / daughter / ward to look at the back on course Scotland website and contact us, either by phone on 0845 890 3664 or by email at: Contact-Scotland@backoncourse.ac.uk. We will treat their concerns sensitively and in confidence. Scotland@backoncourse.ac.uk

Contacting Back on Course Scotland

As a single parent, it’s hard to find the money needed for a course and even if I have the funds, my childcare responsibilities make it difficult to attend classes. Can you help me?
Our advisers can discuss your situation and help you to explore the options available to you. These can include studying part-time, by distance learning or online, which may allow you to fit your studies around your childcare commitments. They can also advise you on funding towards course and childcare costs for which you may be eligible. Please do contact us so we can discuss your specific circumstances in more detail.
I had to leave my previous course due to a disability but I would like to go back to university. Can back on course do anything for me?
We can discuss with you the additional requirements you have as a result of your disability and the issues that arose during your previous course. We can help you to explore the support you are entitled to and, if needed, liaise with any university you are interested in attending, so that with early preparation and access to the right assistance you would have a better experience next time. Please contact us to discuss your situation. You can also find useful information and contacts for support under the Disability section of our Useful resources page.
I ended up studying the wrong subject and I’m not altogether sure what subject would be right for me. Can you provide careers guidance?
Yes. We can offer a careers guidance appointment. Initially, you will speak to a Back on Course Scotland team assistant who will then arrange the careers appointment for you.
Can you guarantee my previous HEI will not be notified of my reasons for leaving?
Yes. The information we collect will be used by Back on Course Scotland to identify the range of reasons students have for leaving university early, but no individuals will be identified in this process. Your discussion with the Back on Course Scotland adviser will be confidential.
Can you help me with my UCAS personal statement as I’m looking to re-apply to university?
Yes. Our advisers can discuss this with you and provide helpful feedback on the best way to approach your personal statement. As a general rule you should include a brief summary of your reasons for withdrawing from your previous course; and then talk about what you enjoyed about your experience of higher education, the study skills you gained, what you learned about yourself and what you hope to achieve from the new course. We can also advise on other common questions, such as who to use as a reference, and we’ll be happy to offer feedback before you submit your new application to UCAS.
Do you offer funding?
We cannot offer funding, but we can offer advice about the funding options that may be available to you.
I’ve left my postgraduate course, can you help me?
Back on Course Scotland works with UK undergraduate students who have officially withdrawn from Scottish universities. The Prospects Postgraduate study pages may be of interest to people who have left a postgraduate course.

How we can help

What are the deadlines for my UCAS application?
All the main UCAS deadlines can be found in the Important dates section of the UCAS website.
When are the deadlines for funding applications?
The Student Finance section of our Useful resources page has details of funding sources, and links to their websites for further information and deadlines.
Where can I get information about postgraduate funding?
You can find information on postgraduate funding options together with links to further advice for studying at that level in the Prospects Postgraduate study pages.
Can I complete the rest of my degree from home?
If you have received academic credits for your previous study you may be able to transfer these to an organisation offering distance learning programmes. You would then complete your degree under their regulations while studying from home. Please visit our Useful resources page for further information on distance learning.

Questions about returning to study

I would like to speak with an adviser urgently, how can I do this?
Please contact us by telephone on 0300 303 0264 and explain your situation, and we will arrange an appointment as early as possible. If you have previously had an interview with an adviser or need clarification on a small point of information we may be able to answer you straight away, if an adviser is free to speak to you.
Where will my guidance appointment be held?
All of our guidance appointments are conducted over the telephone at a time and date that is convenient to you.
What can I expect from a guidance appointment?
One of our advisers will contact you by telephone when your appointment is due. The guidance session can last up to 45 minutes, depending on how much support you need. During the session, the adviser will discuss your situation with you, listen to your concerns, answer any questions and help you to explore your options. At the end of your discussion, they will put together an action summary, detailing the steps you’ve agreed on to help get you moving in the right direction. The adviser will also arrange a follow-up call to see how you are getting on.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for my guidance appointment?
Before your guidance appointment, it’s worth making a note of the information you need and any questions you want to ask. Your appointment can last up to 45 minutes, so try to set aside enough time to talk. It’s also useful to have a paper and pen handy to take down any key points, information and telephone numbers you may be given.
I have already spoken to a Back on Course Adviser. Can I speak to him/her again?
Yes, please contact us to arrange a convenient time for an appointment.