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Interruption of Study

Interruption of Study

Interruption of study 'stops the clock' when a student is unable to continue with their studies due to illness or absence. It is important to note that students who fail to submit a thesis on time, and who have not been granted an interruption or extension, may be deemed to have withdrawn and will have their registration recorded as lapsed.

What is an Interruption?

An interruption of study concession is applicable where a student is unable to work on the thesis for a significant period of time due to circumstances that are largely beyond their own control. Periods of interruption do not count towards the student’s total permitted period of study and do not incur any additional fees or charges.

These circumstances can include, amongst others,

  • medical and health problems
  • personal and family problems
  • bereavement
  • problems experienced because of failure of university equipment or lack of access to equipment for good reasons that are beyond the control of the student
  • problems experienced because of deficiencies in the provision of supervision or facilities
  • registration for another degree, diploma or professional qualification
  • undertaking distinct time-limited specialised training that would be beneficial to the students project or generic skills training
  • undertaking distinct time-limited employment that would be beneficial to the students project or generic skills training

When is an Interruption not Appropriate?

Interruptions are not appropriate where the student is able to work on the thesis but is not progressing at the expected rate where the reasons are foreseeable or to allow a student to undertake long-term periods of paid employment. In addition interruptions are not available to permit students to take extended annual/holiday leave or to effectively extend the period available to the student to complete their thesis. In some circumstances an extension to the period of study may be awarded.

Applying for an Interruption

An application for interruption must be made by the principal or lead supervisor following discussion with the student. Applications may be made by submitting the application form to the Graduate School office:

Word version of the application form

PDF version of the application form

  • the form must be submitted in hard copy as a signature is required.
  • an interruption must not exceed 1 year.
  • the total period of authorised interruption of study will not exceed 100% of the Prescribed Period of Study.
  • appropriate documentary evidence should be attached to the application form, e.g. medical or hospital certificates.
  • where the interruption is to allow an overseas student to undertake paid employment, supervisors should be aware that the student's visa may restrict the number of hours that can be worked.
  • please submit as soon as possible after the problem has emerged or been discussed as retrospective interruptions will not be granted.
  • overseas students who receive an interruption of more than 60 days duration (applies also to successive periods of interruption adding up to more than 60 days) are required by UKV&I (formerly UKBA) regulations to leave the country.  
  • overseas students are encouraged to take full advice from the International Office.
  • all applications are subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate School.