Should you defer your place?
Weigh up the pros and cons of deferral
In normal circumstances, deferring your university place and taking a year out before starting your degree can be a great opportunity to travel, get work experience, save money or take a break.
Now, things are a little different because of the impact of coronavirus. Before you make any decisions, there are some things to think about.
If you decide to take a year out, contact your university to find out if you can defer your place. But be aware that not all courses allow for deferral. Decided to defer from Portsmouth? Scroll to the end of the page to find out how.
Things to consider before deferring
The information below can help you weigh up the pros and cons of deferring to guide your decision.
Transitioning from college to uni
Taking a year away from your studies can refresh you, but it can also make it harder to get into the routine of studying when you do start uni. Going to uni straight from college means you're more likely to remember how to study. You'll also be more practiced in skills such as research methods and time-management. But a year out can also give you time to work on your study skills if you don't feel confident enough to start uni just yet.
You're committed to your course once your defer
Once you've applied for deferred entry on a course, you're committed to taking your place the following academic year.
If you change your mind about the course you've been accepted to study, you won't necessarily be able to change your place at uni. Instead, you'll have to contact the university to withdraw your place and apply again for a different course.
If you decide you want to start your course the same year you apply, and cancel your deferred entry, you'll need to contact the university directly.
Learn new skills
Lots of people take a year out before uni to get work experience and develop skills other university applicants might not have. You could use the year out to take online courses that could help you when you start uni. Or you could try to set up your own business.
At the moment, many companies are finding their feet after COVID-19, which could make it difficult for you to find paid work. In this case, you might find it helpful to stick to your current plans and progress to your uni course, complete the first year of your degree, then do work experience programmes in your second and third years.
Find out how our work experience opportunities can give you the skills to boost your career, give you a better understanding of topics on your course and let you learn in the workplace.
Save up money
If you find work during your year out, you can save some money before you start uni. The UK currently needs key workers in many industries such as food retail and farming, which you could do if you're not at high risk. However, jobs in flexible industries such as hospitality are hard to find right now.
If you go straight to uni, you'll be supported by your student loan and – when the economy starts to grow – you can find a part-time job to do alongside your studies.
Many students defer university to travel or work abroad during their gap year. With travel restrictions currently in place and no clear timeline for them to be lifted, you might find it difficult to take the trip of your dreams in the near future. If you decide to travel, do your research wisely before settling on a location.
Instead, you could start uni in the autumn and study or work abroad in your second year as part of your degree. Take a look at the study and work abroad options you could do as a Portsmouth student.
Take time for unexpected situations
You might be going through an unexpected personal situation that you need time to focus on. Delaying your uni start could give you the breathing space you need.
If you were planning on leaving home to go to uni but your personal circumstances mean you can no longer leave home and you don't want to defer, you could apply to universities local to you. Or you could do a degree that's taught online.
Not having a plan
A gap year passes incredibly quickly and taking one without a plan can be a waste of a year. While it's good to take a break and refresh when you need to, you don't want to feel like you've wasted a year while your peers moved forward. If you do defer your place, make sure you've got a plan for how you'll spend the next 12 months.
How to defer your university place at Portsmouth
If it's possible to defer your course, you can apply for deferred entry when you complete your UCAS application.
If you decide to defer after you've applied or received your offers, contact us as soon as you can. You can usually switch to deferred entry up until the original start date of your course.
It's important to note that you still need to meet your course conditions in the same year you apply. For example, if you want to apply for deferred entry in 2022/23 (for a 2023 start), you’ll need to meet the course conditions of any offers by 7 September 2022.