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Interruption to Study

It may be appropriate for you to take a break away from your studies for a period of time due to personal circumstances. The University allows this because we understand that, sometimes, students need time away from studies, under circumstances that suspend fee liability and removes them from consideration for academic progress.

An Interruption to Study is the formal process for seeking and approving a break from study for a period of more than one month and not normally exceeding 12 months. Interruptions to study are normally approved for one or two semesters which usually means that a student’s expected end date of the course will need to be adjusted by the equivalent amount of time. During an Interruption to Study, students cannot formally engage with their course, are not required to attend class, submit work for assessment, engage with any research, write up their thesis or attend examinations or supervisory meetings. Examples of why students interrupt study include pregnancy, medical reasons, bereavement, work, family or financial commitments.

Interruption to study normally suspends tuition fee liability (please refer to the Tuition Fee Policy for your year) and for Tier 4 International Students, interruption means that the student is required to leave the UK during the period of interruption and re-apply for a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS) to return to study on their course, students are then advised to reapply from their home country for a new visa to reflect the new expected course completion date.

  • Applications for an Interruption to Study must be submitted by the student prior to the commencement of the period of interruption.
  • Retrospective requests to interrupt study will not normally be permitted.
  • For Short-term periods of absence of less than one month, please speak to your Course Leader
  • Postgraduate Research Students should view advice regarding PGR Interruptions to Study

1. Make an Application

The student should make an application in writing on the Interruption to Study Application Form:
Click here to Download a form.

2. Guidance

Students can obtain guidance on the application process from The <i>, Academic Registry, or their Academic Advisor.

3. Complete the form

Students should fully complete the form and include a ‘confidential statement in support of application’ to explain the circumstances.
This must be supported by appropriate documentary evidence:

  • Medical evidence: a doctor’s note or note from another medical professional to support an application for a prolonged or acute medical condition;
  • Appropriate third party independent supporting or collaborative documentation is required where the application is based on personal or family circumstances or public service requirements (e.g:- Jury Service)
  • Where the application is based on excessive or unpredicted work commitments caused by exceptional circumstances, written verification will be required from the student’s employer
  • Students who are funded by a sponsor/funding body, must provide written confirmation from their sponsor/funding body which explicitly agrees to the interruption to study.

This list is not exhaustive but indicative of the sort of evidence which is required to support an application and which should be taken into account in considering and approving cases.

 4. Take completed form to Course Leader

Students take the completed Application to Interrupt Study form together with supporting documentation to their Course Leader.
The Course Leader will make a decision to either approve or not approve the application on academic grounds by:

  • considering the application and supporting evidence
  • checking that the requested period of interruption to study is greater than one month but does not exceed 12 months.

The Course Leader will provide academic advice regarding implications for the student’s course and any assessment requirements taking into account:-

  • any difficulties arising from changes to the structure and content of the course which will take place during the period of interruption. Students will normally be required to pursue the course as offered at the time studies are resumed.
  • any arrangements regarding assessment so that the student is neither advantaged or disadvantaged compared with other students pursuing the same course.

If approved, the Course Leader will complete the relevant sections of the form recording the expected return to study date and details of any agreements concerning how outstanding assessments should be completed by the student following their return to study and any conditions that must be satisfied by the student prior to their return to study.

If rejected the Course Leader will record the reasons for the decision on the form.

5. Visit the <i> and SU Advice Centre

Students are advised to seek information and guidance from the <i> on the financial implications of an interruption to study. The <i> will date stamp the form to indicate advice has been sought by the student. Students are also recommended to seek advice from the SU Advice Centre concerning benefit entitlement and Council tax exemptions where relevant.. All Tier 4 International students must seek advice from the <i> concerning the immigration implications of their interruption to study.

6. Take form to Academic Registry

Students must submit the completed, signed and stamped ‘Interruption to Study Application’ form, together with supporting documentary evidence to the reception desk within Academic Registry within three working days of the form being signed and completed by the Course Leader.
Students will be formally notified of the success of their application for an interruption to study within 3 working days of submission of their form.
Students will be contacted 6-8 weeks prior to the agreed return date to plan their return to study.


Always discuss the position with a tutor you feel comfortable talking to or a University Counsellor first as there may be other options available.
Independent Academic Advice can be sought through the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
Act quickly, but please try not to make a hasty decision to withdraw from a course.
View the Interruption to Study leaflet 

Student Finance

Interruption can affect your eligibility for current and continued financial support.
If you have applied for financial support, please contact your funding body e.g. Student Finance England/ Student Loans Company and/or NHS Bursaries, Career Development Loan provider.


Check with your accommodation what implications there may be.

  • UCLan Halls - Speak to our Student Accommodation Service as soon as possible.
  • Private Accommodation - Speak to the landlord/housing agency with whom you have your contract.

The Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide further information on tenancy agreements and contracts.



Contact Academic Registry who can help support students through this process offering advice and guidance
Contact The <i> to book an <i> appointment for any financial information and guidance or immigration advice, or for referral onto Health and Wellbeing support for the Counselling Service, Student Welfare, Peer Mentoring support and Study Skills with Wiser.
Contact the Students’ Union advice centre regarding entitlement to council tax exemptions, benefits and more.