Want to change course in Poly? Here’s what you should know!

by | Jun 21, 2021

Is it possible to change course in Poly? Definitely.

Students who enroll in Poly may not always be offered the first Polytechnic course of their choice. Additionally, some students eventually lose interest in their courses.

Perhaps it’s due to the inability to cope with group projects or the Polytechnic life within those courses. For these students, here’re 20 Polytechnic tips you should know!

Naturally, these students would be keen to apply for a course transfer.

Unfortunately, the process of a course transfer isn’t something openly shared by Polytechnics.

So students who want to apply for it tend to struggle with the process and not know how to go about doing it.

Hence, in this article, we’ve compiled and addressed some common concerns students may have about changing courses in Polytechnic.

Should I change courses in Poly?

Firstly, it’s important for those who are still unsure about switching courses to look at these factors when making your decision.

1.) How long have you been in your current course?

An hourglass
This is an important deciding factor with regards to your transfer.

For example, if you’re only 1 month into your current course, the school may question if you’re just making a rash decision.

After all, you’ve barely exposed yourself to the core modules, the majority of which are usually taken in the 2nd and 3rd year.

We suggest studying for at least a semester, before deciding to change course in Poly.

In the meantime, read up on free materials online, and consult seniors and lecturers to familiarise yourself with your desired course.

A popular online platform to ask questions is SGexams, the largest Reddit student community in Singapore.

However, if you’re keen to transfer to another course, be prepared to convince your lecturers or school staff with good reasons behind transferring.

2.) Academic aptitude

If you’re doing well in your current course, you may want to reconsider switching courses.

With good results, you’ll be guaranteed more opportunities. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee you’ll do as well in your desired course.

If your mind is still set on transferring, consider pursuing your desired field of study in university instead.

Conversely, if you are not doing well, you may be wondering if that will hurt your chances of getting a successful transfer.

Well, your GPA is not a deciding factor. Our enquiries with the polytechnics have shown that GPA is not taken into account.

Furthermore, we have interviewed at least 5 students who had successfully transferred (within the same polytechnic), from Singapore, Temasek, Ngee Ann and Nan Yang Polytechnic despite having a GPA less than 3.00.

However, to be eligible to apply for a course transfer, your ‘O’ level results should meet the minimum entry requirements as well as the prevailing last aggregate score of your desired course.

3.) Passion

It’s not uncommon to be in a phase of self-discovery. As such, It’s normal to feel lost and unsure of what you really want to do.

That being said, if you plan to change course in Poly after only studying for a short period, you can’t entirely rule out the fact that you could eventually develop an interest in other modules of your course.

Furthermore, we can be rash at times and make hasty decisions. As such, we may believe we are interested in another course when this belief is purely backed up by speculation. To avoid this, make sure to expose yourself to your desired course.

If you have no passion for your desired course, then we encourage you to re-evaluate switching courses. Because it’s likely that you wouldn’t perform optimally, burn out frequently and find yourself in the same spot.

4.) Job prospects

Sometimes people tend to follow passion without considering future job prospects.

Ideally, most of us want to find a job that we enjoy doing. But different prospects will yield different ranges of salaries, opportunities for career progression and working hours.

And depending on the circumstances you are dealt with, these factors play a huge role in our happiness and lifestyle in the long run.

So, if you haven’t factored in the job prospects of your current course, we encourage you to think it through.

Frequently Asked Questions about course transfers

Frequently asked questions
We have addressed some of the common questions regarding course transfer matters. Hopefully, you may find the answers you seek below!

1.) How do I make the transfer?

If you’re interested in making an internal course transfer (transferring to another course within the same Polytechnic), then it’s best to speak to a lecturer or teacher about it.

Different Polytechnics may have different ways of handling the process and your teachers will be more knowledgeable to guide you in it.

Based on the students that we had interviewed, one of them had transferred successfully via seeking advice from the school’s ECG (Education & Career Guidance) counsellors too.

If you want to transfer to a different Polytechnic, you would have to withdraw from your current course and wait for the next admission exercise to apply (E.g. JAE or DAE).

The Direct Admission Exercise (DAE) is meant for students who are not eligible to participate in JAE nor EAE (Early Admission Exercise).

Do also note that a direct transfer to another Polytechnic will not be possible while you’re currently pursuing a Polytechnic course.

If you have any more questions, you can make a phone call to the admissions office of the various Polytechnics below to enquire. Moreover, some of the course transfer forms are available for download online too.

For ease of reference, you may refer to the relevant information for your particular Polytechnic, in the following:


2.) When can I make the transfer?

Different schools have different submission deadlines. You can find these details either in the course transfer forms or through your school’s admission’s office.

The deadlines are usually not far from after the release of your semestral results.

3.) Will my GPA be carried over?

Your GPA will not be carried over to your new course.

4.) Does my portfolio matter?

Girl thinking
As you score an interview with the course chair, they may question you on your reason for transferring.

If you have something relevant to your desired course in your portfolio, it’s a good idea to present it to the interviewer in order to boost your chances of success.

Do also note that students who are applying for Polytechnic their first time during JAE/DAE will be given priority. A good grade and relevant Portfolio wouldn’t matter as long as there aren’t any more vacancies.

That being said, each transfer application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

5.) What about my NS Obligations?

For male students, you will be granted a deferment to pursue your Polytechnic Studies under certain conditions.

As of 1st January of the year, when you begin your course studies, you will be granted the deferment if you are younger than:

  • 19 years old for Secondary 4 students
  • 20 years old for Secondary 5 and ITE Students
  • 21 years old for Nitec or higher Nitec students

For more information on NS Obligations and deferment matters, you can click here to find out!

6.) Can I transfer courses within the same Poly more than once?

Yes, that is possible. But, there isn’t any guarantee. You should avoid having to transfer more than once unless you really have a good reason to.

There have been cases where students get to transfer more than once, but chances are pretty rare.

This is why you have to be very sure that the course you’re transferring to has to be the one for you. If someone else is transferring for the first time, they would probably be given priority over you as well.

Once you have been offered the course transfer on your first attempt, do not take it for granted and be sure you won’t have to transfer again.

7.) Can I transfer courses during PFP?

Someone I knew transferred successfully in her PFP year. She approached her care Person after she received her final PFP grades, to express her interest to transfer to another course under the same faculty.

Subsequently, her course manager sent a transfer request and supporting reasons to the course manager of her desired course. After the submission request, she was called for an interview by the course manager of her desired course.

You should inform your teachers in advance if you have any thoughts about transferring. This is so that you can prevent any sort of delays in the transfer process.

PFP Admissions have stated that “Requests for transfer after the completion of PFP will only be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the polytechnics’ rules regarding course transfers apply to all students, including PFP students. Students should contact the individual polytechnics for more information”

You may read more here for more information and FAQs for PFP matters!

On a final note

There are many possibilities in life and you can’t always be sure you’re making the best choices all the time.

But at the end of the day, what’s most important is that you’re happy with what you’re studying. As many factors come into play, these factors should align with you. Otherwise, it might be best for you to change courses in Poly.

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