Students who receive financial sponsorship, e.g. from an overseas government or a Research Council, should be aware that any changes to their student status will need to be notified to their sponsors and may require their sponsor’s approval before being considered by your College. This includes requests for the following: Interruptions, extensions, change of mode of attendance, changes in supervisors or research topics, withdrawals. Students should be aware that this may delay the consideration of their request, which should be submitted in good time.
It is important that students take time out from their studies for a break in order to maintain an appropriate work/life balance and as such periods of study for research degrees make allowances for periods of annual leave.
The University allows you to take up to 8 weeks of annual leave a year, pro-rata for students studying on a part-time basis, inclusive of public holidays and University closure days.
You are expected to take active steps to manage your studies, to not take more than four weeks of leave at a time, and to take due consideration to the timing and management of any periods of leave to ensure that it does not impact on your studies or the regular contact with your supervisory team. It is therefore advised that you discuss in advance any leave of absence with your supervisory team.
Students who are funded by an external source must ensure that they comply with any requirements of the funded body with regard to taking leave.
International students who are Tier 4 visa holders need to be aware that should a period of leave be followed or preceded by a period of interruption the International Student Support Office may be required to report their absence from their studies to the Home Office.
Students are able to request a change between full-time (100%) and part-time (50%) modes of attendance where you may find you are unable to devote a full working week to study for good reasons, or to allow you to devote extra time to study if you find yourselves able to.
Applications for changes to mode of attendance should be made to your College Postgraduate Research Administration Office, where they will provide you with a form that you will need to complete and return. Signatures are required from yourself, your supervisor and the College before being approved.
Full-time students are not permitted to change to part-time after they have entered the continuation period of their research.
For International students on a Tier 4 visa it is a condition that you study full-time, and so an application to change your mode of attendance to part-time will be rejected. There are occasions where international students on non-Tier 4 visas are able to study part-time but this must be checked and confirmed with an International Student Advisor.
The Statement of Procedures on transferring from full-time to part-time status or part-time to full-time status is accessible from the link below.
An interruption of your studies means a complete cessation of academic work for a specified period. Interruptions are permitted when you are experiencing severe personal or other difficulties which make it impossible for you to continue with your research.
The minimum period of interruption that can be applied for is one calendar month, with a maximum of 12 months, and cannot exceed a total of two years during the programme.
If you feel you would benefit from a period of interruption you should discuss the matter with your Supervisor or Pastoral Tutor. If they agree that a period of interruption is appropriate you will need to complete an interruption request which can be found in MyPGR.
You do not pay fees during this period, and the period does not count towards the timeframe for the completion of your degree. Approval for an interruption of study is given by the Dean of College on the recommendation of your supervisor.
If you are funded by a Research Council, you should be aware that the approval of the Research Council should be sought before seeking the approval of the University.
ESRC: Please note that suspensions can only be considered during the funded period of the studentship. Please contact your College PGR Administrator for advice and more information and refer to the Guidance and information for ESRC-funded students. NOTE: If a student interrupts their registration after their ESRC funding has finished a suspension cannot be considered. In those instances, the DTC must submit a submission date extension request to ESRC for approval.
If you are a Tier 4 visa holder you are able to take a maximum of four months of interruption during your programme without the University withdrawing immigration sponsorship, but no more than 60 days in one period of interruption.
For other sources of help (such as Wellbeing services and the Student Guild Advice Unit) please contact SID.
The University's Statement of Procedures on interruption is accessible from the link below.
Extensions to the maximum period of study are only granted in exceptional circumstances and must be approved by the Dean of Research in your College. If you wish to apply for an extension you may do so by completing the Postgraduate Research Students Extension form. You are required to submit an outline of work completed and a work-plan and schedule for completion of the remaining parts. If your request is approved your College will write to you to confirm the new submission deadline for your thesis/dissertation.
AHRC and ESRC students who require an extension to their submission date must submit the extension form to the Postgraduate Research Administration Office three months before the submission deadline date, which will then be forwarded to the AHRC or ESRC for approval
For BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC please refer to specific Terms and Conditions
For international students, an extension to the length of programme will in most cases require the student to extend their visa. In all cases the student should make an appointment to see an International Student Advisor for the correct procedures to follow.
The University has a Statement of Procedures on periods of study permitted for research degrees which also covers the process for permitting extensions. This is accessible from the link below.
You are permitted to withdraw from your programme of study at any time and for any reason, but are reminded that any fees or fines that are outstanding must still be paid.
On withdrawing from a programme your registration is terminated and you cease to be a student of the University. If you are considering withdrawal from study due to adverse personal circumstances you should ensure that you have first considered interrupting your studies.
To help the University understand the reasons for your withdrawal, and to formally tell the University about your decision to withdraw, you must complete a form that is available from your College.
The form should be signed by the student and passed to the first supervisor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of College or nominee to be approved.
If you are an international student, following College approval you must make an appointment with the International Student Support Office to see an International Student Advisor (ISA) for approval. If you are abroad you should email the ISA with details of your withdrawal and the College should obtain the signature on the form on your behalf.
Once all parties have signed the form, the College should write to you and a copy of the form and letter will be sent to the Postgraduate Administration Office to update your record.
The University's Statement of Procedures on the withdrawal of students may be found by accessing the link below:
In exceptional cases students are able to apply for reinstatement after withdrawing voluntarily or being deemed withdrawn. In all cases the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College will need to approve the application, after also considering the resources available in the College and the feasibility of continuing study, particularly in cases where there has been a prolonged absence.
To apply for a reinstatement an outline of work completed against each thesis chapter heading, and a work-plan and schedule should be enclosed with the application. This is so should a reinstatement be permitted, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College are able to determine the period of further study required.
It is important to note that reinstatement is not automatic and will depend on the resources available in the College to offer appropriate supervision and facilities, as well as the feasibility of continuing study, particularly in cases where there has been a prolonged absence.
All approved reinstatements will be required to pay a reinstatement fee.