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Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

Postgraduate research students are normally required to be resident in Edinburgh, or fully engaged in study, during their prescribed period of study, however:

  • periods of absence of up to 15 months must be approved by the Deputy Director of Graduate School, in writing using the following Leave of Absence Request Form.
  • periods of absence totalling more than 15 months must be approved by the College Postgraduate Studies Committee.

Short Periods of Absence

Students may be absent from Edinburgh for short periods to allow for vacations, attendance at conferences, workshops, etc. with the agreement of their principal supervisor. PGR students are permitted to take up to six weeks of vacation leave throughout the year; although a formal leave of absence is not required, students and supervisors should agree a start and end date for the absence in advance and the Informatics Graduate School should be notified.  Visa restrictions may also apply in the case of International Students; they should contact the International Office for advice.

Longer Periods of Absence

Where students will be absent from the University (not on vacation leave) the Principal Supervisor must apply for a formal leave of absence.   The period(s) of absence should:

  • be to allow for fieldwork, academic research, work experience, etc. at another institution or site
  • not normally be more than 15 months in total during the prescribed period of study
  • must not delay the completion of a student's thesis
  • not fall in the first three months of the prescribed period of study.

    Tier 4 Visa restrictions

  • Visa restrictions may also apply in the case of International Students; they should contact the International Office for advice.
  • Any change to a student's 'location of study' must be notified to the UKV&I within 10 days.
  • The student must be working on their research full-time.

Applying for a Leave of Absence - Request Form

To apply for a leave of absence the Principal Supervisor should provide Graduate School with the following information:

  • the exact start and exact end dates of the proposed absence
  • the reason for the proposed absence
  • an indication of how the proposed fieldwork, research, etc. will contribute to the student's research project
  • details of the arrangements for continued supervision during the absence.


When the leave of absence is approved the Director of Graduate School will write formally to the student confirming the details, with a copy to the Principal Supervisor.