If you are experiencing serious personal, medical or financial issues you may be able to apply to interrupt your studies. If you interrupt your studies, it means you’re taking time out from your course with the intention of re-joining later, usually within 12 months. While interrupted you are still considered a student for most purposes, but Student Finance is not usually available during the interruption period.
Things to know
Interruption is not an opportunity to repeat periods of study or improve assessment already undertaken as this could provide an academic advantage over peers.
- Interruption periods are approved for no less than one semester, or equivalent, and for no more than one calendar year unless permission is granted directly by the Head of Academic Registry.
- Applications to interrupt are not considered for new students within the first two weeks of their start date. Any new student unable to continue at this stage should contact the Academic Records Team for further guidance.
- Students are not normally permitted to interrupt after the fourth week of teaching for the semester. For those programmes that incorporate a placement, it may be appropriate for a student to commence a period of interruption at a different point in the year depending upon the timing of their placement. Interruption start dates are subject to agreement with the department and require authorisation from Academic Registry.
- The content of courses sometimes changes, therefore the course or modules you are currently studying may not be running when you return from a period of interruption.
Any changes to your student status may have financial implications. If you interrupt your studies, your tuition fee liability will be calculated in accordance with the University’s Tuition Fee Regulations. You will not be eligible for any maintenance support, bursary and/or scholarship payments from the date you last engaged with your academic studies.
Where applicable, the University will advise funding providers of the interruption to study.
If you are funded by Student Finance your entitlement to student funding (loans, grants, disabled student allowance etc.) ceases from your last date of engagement until the date you return. Student Finance will re-calculate your funding entitlement for your period of registration and will contact you in writing about any overpayment. If you interrupt for reasons of ill-health, subject to providing evidence, your maintenance loan and/or grant entitlement will extend to a further 60 days. After this, you will not usually receive student funding whilst on interruption. If there is a delay reporting your interruption to the University and there is an overpayment of your maintenance loan, as you have received payment you weren’t entitled to, this will be deducted from your next award, upon your return to study.
Entitlement to a Student Finance tuition fee loan is limited and may not always be available when you return to study. It is important that you clarify this directly with them before you make your decision to interrupt. If a loan is not available when you return to complete your year of study you will be considered a self-funding student and must pay any remaining tuition fee liability to the University in accordance with scheduled payment dates. Your entitlement to a tuition fee loan should continue for any future years of study on that programme.
The University will not charge you a tuition fee whilst you are interrupted.Tuition Fee Regulations
The Fees and Bursaries Team and Money Advice Team are on hand to answer any of your money or funding related questions.Fees and Bursaries
Where a student interrupts, repeats, or transfers their course, or decides to withdraw from the University, and stops engaging before their scheduled learning ends (see term dates) their last date of engagement will be required.
It is the basis upon how the University works out a student’s liability for tuition fees and any bursaries the student maybe in receipt of, for example the DfE Teacher Training bursary or the NHS Learning Support Fund. Student Finance will also calculate how much maintenance loan the student is entitled to, based on the last date of engagement provided by the University. This means that if your last date of engagement is halfway through a term, Student Finance will have overpaid you 50% of your maintenance instalment for that term.
The last date of engagement is defined as the date that the University can confirm the student last engaged with their academic studies. This includes classroom based study, submission of coursework, meeting or communicating with tutors.Find out more about last day of engagement
If you have a visa to study here, there are potential visa implications when you apply to interrupt your studies.
The International team are on hand to provide further information.
Email the team:
If you are considering a period of interruption you will need to discuss your position with your Personal Tutor or relevant department representative, to ensure all options have been explored and considered. You also need to ensure you are fully aware of all the financial implications of interrupting before completing the application form.
Application forms must be completed by you in conjunction with your Personal Tutor or relevant department representative. The department must support the application for it to proceed, applications will not be processed if they have not been endorsed by the department.
Completed applications need to be submitted to the relevant Academic Records team, who will process the application and notify you once the application has been processed.
You are not expected to engage with study or the university while on a period of interruption, but your personal tutor or department representative will maintain contact with you as agreed in the Interruption and Support Agreement. You will continue to have access to the majority of facilities including:
- Network account (including email)
- Help and support services
- Library facilities and services
- Electronic resources
You will also continue to have access to the virtual learning environment (VLE) and the modules you were enrolled on at the point of interruption. You will not be able to access interrupted modules until you return to study.
The Academic Records team will write to you 10-12 weeks prior to your return date to request confirmation of your return to study.
If you are expecting funding from Student Finance be sure to make your application at the earliest opportunity to confirm your entitlement and avoid delays with payment to yourself and the University.
You are required to re-enrol when you return to study. Once you have re-enrolled, we will notify the Student Loans Company and/or the NHS Business Services Authority (if applicable).
If you are returning to a professional programme after a period of interruption, you must satisfy professional requirements, such as occupation health and DBS checks before being allowed to re-enrol.
Contact the relevant team for further information and to obtain the interruption application form.