Students who are satisfactory in their attendance, submission of work and application to their studies are normally granted Leave of Absence provided that the Board of Studies supports the application. Grounds for leave of absence include: medical, compassionate, financial, motivational, maternity reasons, work experience.
Leave of absence is also granted for students transferring from one programme to another and re-starting their studies the following academic year (this should be marked on the transfer form) and for students entitled under Departmental regulations to re-sit failed examinations ‘out of residence' during the forthcoming academic year.
Students will not normally be allowed to repeat periods of study of longer than two whole terms except in exceptional circumstances, since this may give an unfair advantage over other students.
Please note that temporary policy changes have been agreed regarding the provision of evidence to support leave of absence requests in light of the Covid-19 situation. The following has been agreed in relation to leave of absence applications made from 1 March 2020 onwards for UK students (this date may be earlier for students affected by Covid-19 in other countries):
Students taking LoA on ‘Compassionate (Medical Self-Certified)’ - Code 26 grounds are advised that, if the Covid-19 situation is resolved at the point that they are due to return from leave (and medical practitioners have returned to normal operations), they are strongly advised to obtain confirmation from a medical or other professional confirming that they are fit to return, if the reasons for their leave of absence relate to a medical reason.
Leave of absences will normally be granted for a maximum of one year at a time and limited to a total of four years for any degree (thus making seven years the total length of time in which a three-year degree might be achieved and eight years the total length of time for a four-year degree etc).
Recommendations for leave of absence beyond four years may be considered at a hearing of Special Cases Committee rather than by Chair's action. The Committee would look at factors such as:
During a period of leave of absence the following conditions will apply unless specific permission for a variation has been given by the Special Cases Committee:
Ordinarily, with some types of leave of absence, students may have certain conditions they have to meet to be permitted to return from leave of absence. These are known as conditions of return. Such conditions are usually either:
In light of the Covid-19 situation, academic conditions of return will stand. There will be some changes to the process for students on medical leave of absence confirming their fitness to return however.
The Government response to Covid-19 has necessitated restrictions on access to NHS services, access to University buildings, travel and physical meeting arrangements (these restrictions are referred to as the Covid-19 Restrictions).
The University recognises that the Covid-19 Restrictions limit students’ access to medical evidence that may be required as a condition of return to study.
A student on Medical Leave of Absence who wishes to return to study during the Covid-19 Restrictions will fall into one of the following three categories:
1) Students with existing medical evidence
Where such existing evidence is sufficiently contemporaneous to the proposed date of return then students may rely on this evidence as part of the return to study process.
2) Students whose proposed return to study is reasonably considered to raise any of the following issues:
Students in category 2) will be required to provide evidence that they are fit to return to study notwithstanding the Covid-19 Restrictions.
The University will discuss these requirements with affected students and will consider alternative approaches to obtaining the required evidence such as video conferencing with the University's medical practitioner where appropriate.
3) Students not in category 1 or 2 above will be permitted to rely on self-certification in order to return to study during the Covid-19 Restrictions.
Students will not be expected to decide whether they call into categories 2) or 3). This will be determined at the point the leave of absence application is submitted by the Board of Studies to the University Student Records Team.
Who to contact
For academic progress issues you should talk to your supervisor.
Alternatively, please contact:
- Student Hub
Student Hub, Market Square
- Tel: 01904 324140
- Office Hours: Term time: 9am - 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 10am - 5pm Friday
Office hours: Vacation: 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday