Interruption of Study

Interruption of Study is the term the University uses if you have absent with authorisation for more than 10 consecutive study days. A student can self-certify an absence if they will be absent for 10 days or less. However, if you’re absence is going to exceed this, you will need to follow the Interruption of Study Procedure. The University will not normally allow an Interruption of Study to last more than 12 months. It is always advisable to notify the school of any period of absence.

Students can apply for an Interruption of Study via SIMS. In the application you should express how long you would like to take and provide the reason for the interruption.

Initially, if you are considering an Interruption of Study, you should speak to your School (Personal Tutor or Course Director or your Supervisor if you are a postgraduate research student). They will be able to discuss any possible academic implications that may result from an Interruption of Study. There are only certain grounds under which your application will be accepted.

The grounds are as follows;

  • Ill Health - this includes both physical and mental health
  • Maternity
  • Parental Leave - this would include parental responsibilities that may prohibit your studies
  • Sabbatical Office
  • Work  Experience - Only applies to Students on non-sandwich Programmes provided that it is relevant to their programme of study. Students on sandwich programmes will only be granted an Interruption of Study in exceptional circumstance
  • Exceptional Professional Commitments for Part time students
  • Study Abroad
  • Compassionate Grounds
  • Financial Hardship - An interruption may be granted in situations of financial hardship provided that this has arisen as a result of changed circumstances outside of your control. (PGR students will likely not be permitted an IOS under this ground as Research Councils will not accept this)
  • Academic Ground - An interruption may be granted to a student under this ground if it is deemed to be in their best interest.

The main restriction to be aware of it that an Interruption of Study application cannot be considered within 10 days of an assessment period or during an assessment period.  After this point a a studnent would need to apply for Extenuating Circumstances

Notes for Postgraduate Students

  • The Interruption of Study procedure should not be used in the place of seeking approval for an extension.
  • Applications that exceed the submission deadlines will not be considered. You will have to request an extension formally before applying for the Interruption of Study.
  • A request cannot be granted after the deadline for a thesis submission has passed.

A Student Advice adviser can explain the different grounds for Interruption of Study and what supporting evidence would be appropriate to support your application. There may be academic, professional, financial or practical consequences for taking an interruption of study and it is important to be aware of these before making the application. An interruption of study may also have an impact on a student visa.If you would like advice on the possible financial implications of taking an interruption of study it may be beneficial for you to speak to the Advice and Money Team in Student Support.  Their email address is

Once you have submitted your request, the Head of School will decide whether or not to authorise this and you will be notified by Registry of the outcome. If your request is rejected, you have 10 days to submit an appeal. A Student Advice adviser can advise you on how to make an appeal if you are unsuccessful. If a student is granted an Interruption of Study, they will lose student status for the duration of their interruption and will not be entitled to use University facilities.

The process is:

  1. Student submits request for Interruption of Study on SIMS
  2. Application is considered by Head of School or Nominee 
  3. Student is notified of outcome by the Academic Registrar or Nominee