Taking a break in study

Home students

When you join your course, it is generally expected that you will study in consecutive years until the end of your course, provided you meet the rules for progression to each level of study.

However, there are scenarios where you can take a break from your studies for health or personal issues.  Some of these scenarios require approval from the University. 

You are advised to read Annex 2 of the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedure for information.  Whether your reason for considering a break in your studies relates to extenuating circumstances or not, you must contact your Faculty Helpdesk/Reception immediately for advice.  This is because you need to consider all your options and understand the possible implications for your tuition fees and funding (and visa implications if you are an international student). 

If, after taking all factors into account, you still wish to take a break from your studies, you must complete a Take a Break form in conjunction with your Faculty Student Services.

Until this form is completed and signed by you and your Faculty Student Support Officer, you will be deemed to be still attending your course and charged fees accordingly.

If you are a care leaver, a student with caring responsibilities or a student estranged from your family you may wish to discuss your situation with a named adviser at one of the Student Services Centres. They will help you to look at all your options and understand the possible implications for your tuition fees and funding.

International (Tier 4) students

As an International student attending on a Tier 4 visa you must engage fully with your course, in accordance with the Tier 4 visa conditions. If you are unable to attend you must inform the University by requesting an absence.

An absence is an exceptional, temporary period of time when you may be unable to attend scheduled teaching and/or may be away from the University due to exceptional circumstances. These could be because of a personal or family emergency, or could include time conducting data research or writing up your dissertation.

If you intend to be absent:

  1. Read the Absence Request Guidance
  2. Complete an Absence Authorisation/Notification form

Submit your form to your Faculty Helpdesk/Research Administrator before you leave, as some absences will require approval. All requests will be assessed on an individual basis.

An Authorised Absence is not a complete break in study.

You must continue to engage with your studies as required during a period of absence, including submission of coursework / assessments. Absence is not grounds for an extension to study. If you are unsure if your absence should be recorded as an Authorised Absence or a Break in Study/Suspension, please contact your Faculty Helpdesk/Research Administrator for guidance.

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