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Online Undergraduate Handbook

Interruption of study


Purpose of an interruption of study


It is the expectation of the School and the University that you will complete your programme in one continuous period of uninterrupted study. It is understood, however, that students may encounter personal difficulties or situations which may seriously disrupt their studies. In such instances, and subject to the approval of the School, students may be granted a temporary interruption to their studies.

It is important to realise that we may not be able to provide an identical teaching, supervision and assessment experience on your return as would otherwise had been available. Programmes of study and regulations change to reflect developments in the subject, requirements of external bodies and the resources available to the Univiersity. While we will try to make reasonable provision for you following your interruption you need to realise that permission for an interruption is a privilege and not a right.

Access to facilities

During your period of interruption you will not be a registered student of the University and your right to be on University premises will be that of a member of the public. You may not undertake work on University premises as you are not covered by the University's insurance arrangements. You should also note that you will lose onsite IT and student library access; however, you can retain remote IT access to your student email account, the student portal and Campus Solutions and you will also retain access to Blackboard. You do need to ensure however, that, if necessary, you save work and provide alternative forwarding contact email details to us.

If you fail to return and re-register at the expected date of return following an interruption, we will attempt to contact you but if we receive no response after 30 days following your expected date of return, we can de-register you from the student system.

Wherever possible applications should be made before the interruption is to start. This would be the expectation in respect of certain predictable medical circumstances such as forseen surgery and confinement during pregnancy. Some interruptions, however, are not predictable and are sought after difficulties have already commenced. Students normally interrupt for one full year, from the time that they can no longer attend e.g. a student interrupting his/her second year in January would return to the School in the following January to complete the year.

Students who are granted an interruption part-way through the year are allowed to carry forward coursework and examination marks obtained before the interruption began, but have to complete the remaining requirements for the coursework and examinations on their return.

You cannot normally interrupt your programme once you have started your examinations.


Sources of advice

If you are considering an interruption of studies you should seek advice from the Student Support and Guidance Team, room 2.091 in the AMBS building.


Someone within the team will advise on possible options and on the interruption process. For example, they will advise on the start and end dates of the interruption and, if appropriate, discuss the implications for assessment and course choices.

Other sources of advice can be obtained from your Academic Advisor or your Programme Director or University-wide support services such as the Student Guidance Service or Counselling Service before referral to the Student Support and Guidance Team.


In the case of non-EU students in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa the University is legally required to report to the UK visas and immigration any interruption of studies over 60 days duration.  Tier 4 students are strongly advised to discuss any consequences of taking an interruption with the Student Immigration Team in the Student Services Centre before making an application.

Approval process

Please download the UG Interruption Approval Form or PG Interruption Approval Form. Please be aware that if you do not formally complete a Programme Interruption Approval Form, you may incur unnecessary costs in fees, loans, or other awards.

Decision on applications are made in Alliance MBS.

You should complete the application form, sign it and attach appropriate supporting evidence, for example, a doctor's note in the case of medical reasons for a request for interruption.

The form and attachments will be treated as confidential and the information that you have given will be circulated only as necessary to reach a decision on your application; any reporting requirements or statistical data collection will not identify you as an individual. The School reserves the right to request further information from any source that is already named in your application or in the supporting material without making further reference to you.

Interruptions are not granted lightly. Students may find it difficult to adjust on returning the following year; their peers will have moved on and the contents of some of the courses and the way they are assessed may well have changed. That is why this course of action is only considered in exceptional cases where there are serious problems, medical or otherwise, which dictate consideration.

Tuition fees during interruption

Tuition Fees - The University charges tuition fees for any period of study where you are in attendance. Tuition fees are charged on a daily basis up to and including the date of last attendance as stated on the Programme Interruption application form. If approval is given before the interruption is due to start, then the last date of attendance will be the end of the academic year or the date of the start of the interruption - whichever is sooner. Otherwise, the date of last attendance will normally be the date on which you complete and sign the form to request the interruption.  It may be an earlier date if the School is able to state that your circumstances meant that you were absent from study or you were not able to benefit from the tuition provided.  Hence, on encountering difficulties,  you should not delay in discussing your problems and in making any resulting application.

Where tuition fees have been paid they will be refunded or held over by the University.  However, if you are refunded in one year and return in another year, you will be charged the higher rate of fee.  If the University holds the money, you won't have to pay a higher rate.  If you require a refund for fees paid beyond the date of last attendance you should write to the Student Services Centre -

Applications that are approved

If the application for interruption is approved you will be notified in writing and given guidance on whom to keep in contact with during the interruption so that Alliance MBS can monitor your progress, keep you informed of any changes to your programme and to prevent you feeling isolated from university life. It is up to you, to maintain contact with these relevant parties.

It is your responsibility to inform any organisation or person who is funding your education.  In particular, you should inform your Local Education Authority and the Student Loans Company if you are a home student and/or sponsoring body if you are a home or overseas student. If appropriate, you should also let the Accommodation Office know about an early termination of contract (

Whilst the School will try to make reasonable provision for you following your interruption, permission for an interruption is a privilege and not a right. You may need to do additional work in your own time to put you in a position to benefit from your return to study and your return may need to be scheduled to fit the needs of your programme.  You will need to abide by any reasonable return date and fulfil registration requirements. If the regulations and requirements of your programme have changed, when you return, you may be subject to the regulations and the requirements that are applicable to the cohort of students that you will then join.

Applications that are not approved

If your application for interruption is declined by the School, you have a right to appeal against this decision.  In this instance, you are advised to refer to the University's Academic Appeals regulation:

General Regulation XIX

Returning from an interruption

At the end of your period of interruption you will need to judge whether your circumstances are rectified, so making a return of study is practical and sensible.  If you have been given permission for an interruption on medical grounds you will be required to produce medical evidence of your fitness to resume study.  If your circumstances are not sufficiently rectified you may consider making an application for a further interruption but you should not assume that this will automatically be granted.

Further infromation: