STUDENTS have threatened to leave their course after discovering that the modules advertised for their course have not been offered in years. 

First-year Politics and International Relations students have published an open letter which claims that of the 14 modules advertised as options for second-year on the university’s website, only eight are available to be selected and the rest are no longer available.

Students have said that they were told the modules have not been run for years and are impacted by low staff numbers. 

The University of Winchester denies cutting any modules and insists that it is never guaranteed that modules will run each year.

Hampshire Chronicle: The University of WinchesterThe University of Winchester (Image: University of Winchester)

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The student's letter says: “Last week, at the end of our second semester of the first year, we found out that the University of Winchester had made serious changes to our course without consulting with students, which we believe goes against our student/consumer rights.

“Due to changes the University made, some of us no longer consider it reasonable to continue the course, and many of us are considering transferring to another course which would add an additional year of studies and consequently more money will be paid from our pocket.

“The actions taken towards us by the university are completely unfair, humiliating and make us feel very unimportant.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The full list of optional modules available to second year Politics and International Relations students. According to the open letter, most are not being offeredThe full list of optional modules available to second year Politics and International Relations students. According to the open letter, most are not being offered (Image: University of Winchester)

One of the students who signed the letter, Melania Greentree, told the Chronicle: “The university’s explanation is that the modules have not been run for years, and that they are understaffed. Those were the two explanations.

“One of the modules, International Law, when I asked a lecturer about it he said that the module had not been run for years, despite the fact that it is still on the website and is still being advertised.

“They also said, because the university has cut down the funding, they will not have any part-time lecturers, so there are only three lectures left for my entire degree.”

Ms Greentree continued: “We were told about the module changes on March 12, while the window for module choosing was from March 18 until 3pm on March 21, so we were given less than 10 days to make our decision, which left us with insufficient time to request any changes.

“Some of us are thinking of changing courses or dropping out, but we already have housing contracts lined up for our next year so we're kind of trapped.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Melania Greentree is one of the students who signed the open letter to the universityMelania Greentree is one of the students who signed the open letter to the university (Image: Melania Greentree)

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A spokesperson for the University of Winchester said: “There are no changes proposed to this course and it continues to run according to the outline on our website. All our courses include a range of validated optional modules which may be offered to students, but the website makes it clear that these will not necessarily all run each year, for a variety of reasons.  

“Core modules on courses do not vary from year to year. We aim to offer students some choice in their studies by offering a range of optional modules. The optional module offer for every subject will vary from year to year depending on a variety of factors, including staff expertise and student numbers. We make this very clear on our website and in our student terms and conditions. This is common practice across the University sector.

“Every year, students across the University have a two-week window in which to choose their optional modules for the following year of study. This process has been followed in the usual way for this course. We always take student concerns seriously and provide students with a clear route to raise any issues with us.”

A note on the University of Winchester website above the list of optional modules says: “Please note the modules listed are correct at time of publishing. The university cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change.

“The university will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed”.

The University of Winchester has been contacted for clarification on why the modules were cut and how long students have to choose their optional modules.