Taking a break from your studies
We understand that you may encounter exceptional circumstances resulting in you needing to take a break from your studies; if you do then please read the following guidance carefully to ensure that you fully understand the consequences of taking a break from your studies.
Taking a break (after completion of an academic year / prior to enrolment)
If you wish to take a break in your studies after the completion of an academic year and before formally re-enrolling for the forthcoming academic year, you need simply advise the University of the period requested.
- Students principally studying on a year-long structure can take a break for a year but not a semester.
- Those principally studying on a semester-based structure may take a break for a semester or a year (assuming that there are no academic impediments to this, such as the course/modules not running on their return).
Please submit the completed form to your Student Hub.
Submission deadlines: your form must be submitted before the first day of teaching; please do not (re)enrol.
Taking a break (part way through an academic year /once enrolled)
If you are considering taking a break from your studies whilst enrolled you should think carefully about whether this is the correct option for you, as any break in studies will count as a year of student funding, a fee will be due and any entitlement to benefits may be stopped for this period. Additionally, during an approved break you are not eligible to sit examinations, submit coursework or undertake any other form of assessment.
International students studying at the University on the basis of holding a Tier 4 student visa should note that the University is legally required to report any break in studies to the UKVI who will cancel your visa. You will need to apply for a new visa before you can return to the UK. International students must seek immigration advice from the International Student Advice Team before making their decision.
A break from studies will only be confirmed following your signed confirmation that you have received:
- financial advice from our Student Services team;
- academic advice from your Course Leader;
- for international students, advice from the International Student Advice Team.
If you have unforeseen circumstances that are acute, severe, unforeseen and outside of your control, and that occur immediately before or during an assessment period, you should submit a claim for Mitigating Circumstances rather than request a break in your studies; you would then continue as an enrolled student and still be eligible for financial support.
If you only need to take a short break from your studies you can ask your Course Leader to allow you to have authorised absence of up to 3 weeks.
Please submit the completed form to your .
It is very important that all parts are completed fully, and independent evidence provided to support the application. If you cannot continue elements of the course on health and safety grounds (for example, laboratory sessions whilst pregnant) this should be specified in the request.
Refund entitlements for full-time Undergraduate students:
- Requests received by 31 December for September starters (and 31 March for February starters) will attract a 75% refund.
- Requests received by 31 March for September starters and (30 June for February starters) will attract a 50% refund
If you are a part-time Undergraduate student or a Postgraduate student you should consult the University Fees Policy in respect of any refund you may receive if you choose to take a break in your studies.
What if I have missed the deadlines / I cannot continue my studies this academic year?
Please contact your Course Leader who can advise you of the options and support available based upon your individual circumstances.
Minimum and maximum periods for a break in studies
The minimum period permitted for a break in studies is one semester and the maximum is normally one year. An exceptional request for a second year will be presented to the Head of Academic Services for consideration. The maximum period of registration for all courses includes all breaks in study; in considering your request, the University will take into account any previous breaks.
- The maximum period in which to qualify for an Honours degree (including any breaks) is six years.
- The maximum period in which to qualify for a Postgraduate degree (including any breaks) is three years.
- If you are in receipt of student finance support, the Student Loan Company will be contacted and your enrolment will be cancelled. If you are studying on a student visa, the University is required to inform the relevant authorities.
- We will be unable to progress your request if it results in you being absent for more than two consecutive academic years or if you will not be able to complete your course within the maximum period of registration.
- Once you have started the break from your studies you will not normally have access to University facilities and premises and will not be eligible to sit examinations, submit coursework or undertake any other form of assessment.
- You should contact your in the period before you intend to come back so that you can confirm your academic programme. You will re-enrol via your Evision account which will be opened up for you about 6 weeks before the start of the semester.
- Your break from studies must be confirmed by the University and you must (unless it is impossible to do so) continue your studies whilst awaiting this confirmation; if you leave without prior approval you are at risk of being deemed to have withdrawn from your course.
- Students whose studies have been discontinued by the University, or who have been excluded for fee debt should not complete this form; they should discuss their situation with their Course Leader.
If you want further advice please do contact your Student Hub for help and guidance.
020 7133 7001
020 7133 7002
Email (Home/EU students):
Email (International students):
Telephone: +44 (0)207 133 4186
9.30am – 12pm
9.30am – 12pm
To make an appointment, please email email@example.com.
Appointments by request
LCM-04, Learning Centre
International Programmes Office
Study Abroad email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Study in London email: email@example.com
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7133 4146
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7133 4146