Exeter University students have met the vice-chancellor to air their concerns over proposed closures of some courses.
Chemistry students are among those affected
The university wants to end degrees in music, chemistry and Italian to plug a funding gap.
The university has insisted that current students will be able to complete their degrees.
But many students say they fear that a gradual running down of courses and axing up to 130 staff will force students to other universities.
The university has said it will be offering staff short-term contracts on courses until they end.
Third-year chemistry student Rhys Jones, 21, said: "The staff are not going to want to work in a department that is hanging by a thread.
"I just feel really disillusioned about it. We were more confident when we went into the meeting than we are now."
Fellow chemistry student Jan Novak, 22, said: "None of the lecturers I have spoken to want to return.
"I will probably have to go to another university."
Vice-Chancellor Steve Smith is also due to e-mail each student with the university's plans.
According to leaked information, up to 130 staff are to be made redundant from next July, but many would be retained on short-term contracts as courses are wound down.
The university has said that courses will not suffer.
Spokesman Stuart Franklin said: "We have a legal and a moral obligation to complete these courses."
The university says its projected deficit has risen from £1.5m this year to £4.46m.
About £4m will be used to fund any pay-offs and talks about the terms of redundancy have already started.
David Nicholson of the Association of University Teachers said: "We are not convinced about the deficits.
"The accounts from a year ago show a profit and a healthy level of reserves, so we want to explore with the university what has happened.
"Any proposals should be shelved while we are talking with the university."