Interruption of Study

How you can take a break or absence from your studies.

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International students should also read important information about their visas.

Illness and unavoidable circumstances

If you are unwell, you should inform your department(s) on the first day of absence and immediately upon your return.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 please follow this process, ensuring you remain at home and follow NHS advice.

Authorised Absence

If you need to be absent for under four weeks you can request to take an Authorised Absence. This is commonly used when students suffer a bereavement.

This is usually arranged through an appropriate tutor in your academic department.

You will be charged your fees as normal during this time.

Interruption of Study

If you need to take a longer break, you may do so up to the end of the spring term (excluding Postgraduate Research students) in any academic year for a maximum of two years in total.

Research degree students may take up to 8 weeks’ annual leave in each year of study, on dates to be agreed with your supervisor. Further detail can be found in the Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research and Training (PDF).

For those international students on a Student Visa, there may be additional implications to taking an interruption to your studies, if you are considering this, please contact the Immigration Advisory Service to discuss this with them first.


Providing you have permission for the interruption, and depending on when you leave, you may be entitled to a partial refund of your fees.

Please see our tuition fee liability and refunds page for more information on fee liability on interruption of studies.

If you are in receipt of a tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan, please contact Student Finance to discuss any implications on your funding.

Maximum period of Interruption

Students can normally only take a maximum of two years’ of interruption during their programme of study under the College’s Academic Regulations. Following approval at Academic Board, any period of interruption taken during 2019/20 and 2020/21 will not be counted towards the maximum interruption period normally permitted.

In turn, interruptions taken during this time will not count towards maximum registration periods.

Apply for Interruption of Study

Submit the change of status form no later than 2 weeks after the interruption date.

You must advise your department within one week of your last day of attendance.