Accessibility statement

Engagement and attendance

At York Law School, it is expected that you will take an active part in your learning. This is what we call engagement. Engagement is about more than attendance; it is about participating as fully as possible in your formal learning activities and engaging in effective study outside those activities. As is suggested at the very beginning of this handbook, the more you put in to your programme of study, the more you will get out of it. 

University Regulations state that you should be present at any time at which teaching or other academic engagements have been arranged for your programme (including Saturdays). This includes teaching that is not compulsory. Based on our own experiences YLS has developed a detailed engagement and attendance policy.

York Law School engagement and attendance policy

YLS has a policy on engagement and attendance which is intended to support your learning. 

We expect you to attend all timetabled learning activities, and your failure to do so may trigger a formal response from us.  This policy is intended to give some clarity on attendance requirements and on the consequences of non-attendance.

We recognise that all members of YLS are adult learners who are capable of making their own decisions about their learning.  Nonetheless, we have a policy of compulsory attendance at certain learning activities because of the nature of the curriculum.  In YLS, a significant proportion of your formal learning activities take place in groups (usually, but not exclusively, your Student Law Firm).  Group work can be a very effective way to learn, but it creates obligations on members of the group: to attend, to engage and to participate fully and fairly in the work of the group; and to deal professionally and courteously with the group in situations where attendance, engagement or participation are not possible.  We have also designed the curriculum carefully such that there ought to be a real benefit to you from attending learning activities (if there is not, we hope you will let us know). 

 If you know you are going to be unable to attend learning activities or you miss an activity for good reason, please inform the Law School , by e-mail on the specific e-mail for this purpose: ( as soon as possible.

  1. There are various different formal learning activities in YLS.  This policy applies to small group learning activities such as PBL sessions, Skills sessions, Roundtables, seminars, and other classes in option modules run by YLS.  This year the policy will also apply to the scheduled meetings with your personal advisors.  In those learning activities, registers of attendance will be taken.  These activities are referred to below as ‘compulsory’ learning activities.  Attendance at all other learning activities is also expected and strongly advised. 
  2. If you are unable to attend or you miss a compulsory learning activity, you should report your absence as soon as is reasonably practicable to the YLS Undergraduate Administrator through the special e-mail address with a short written explanation of the reasons for absence.  This explanation will be placed on your student file.
  3. If you are unable to attend or you miss two consecutive compulsory learning activities without explanation, you may receive a request for an explanation for your absence sent by the YLS Undergraduate Administrator on behalf of your Year Advisor, or, as a last resort, from the Senior Advisor.
  4. If you receive such a request, you must send a written explanation for your absence to the YLS Undergraduate Administrator within one week.  Any written explanation will be copied to your Personal Advisor and placed on your student file. You may also find it helpful to arrange a meeting with your Personal Advisor to discuss your absence. 
  5. If your Personal Advisor is of the view that the explanation for your absence is satisfactory, the matter will be closed and a note to that effect will be placed on your student file. If you do not respond to the request for an explanation for your absence within one week, or your Personal Advisor takes the view that your explanation is not satisfactory, your Personal Advisor may decide that it is appropriate (a) to inform other YLS staff including the Year Advisor, the Senior Advisor or Chair of the Board of Studies of your absence; and (b) to refer you to other relevant support services within the University.
  6. If your unexplained absences persist, the Senior Advisor may seek an explanation for your persistent absences or require you to attend a further meeting to discuss your absences.  If the explanation for your persistent absences is not satisfactory, the Year Advisor in consultation with the Senior Advisor may refer the matter to the Board of Studies.
  7. If you do not respond to correspondence from your Year Advisor or the Senior Advisor, or you do not attend the meeting to discuss your absences you will be sent a reminder within a week. If you ignore this ‘final call’ two weeks after the date on your letter / email your case will automatically be referred to the Board of Studies, which may result in the termination of your programme of study at YLS. Any formal decision of the Board of Studies will be communicated to you as soon as is reasonably practicable.
  8. This policy and procedure does not affect any of your rights under the University Regulations.