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Temporary Withdrawal

A temporary withdrawal is an approved period of time when a student is not studying for their award and is governed by University Regulation 36.1. Students may request periods of temporary withdrawal for the following reasons:

  • Financial (Student proactively seeks a period of temporary withdrawal in order to make arrangements to cover tuition fees and maintenance for the remainder of their period of study.);
  • Medical (e.g. long-term illness, including depression; surgeries that prevent a student from attending their course of study for an extended period of time);
  • Maternity (Please refer to the Maternity Guidlelines in Word Format or PDF Format for further information)
  • Personal (non-exhaustive list):
  1. Family circumstances (including childcare, care for a family member);
  2. Work/Other commitments (often result of appointments to new roles and/or significant changes to a job description, resulting in the student being unable to dedicate required time to their studies);
    • Visa (for overseas nationals who fail to obtain a visa in good time to attend their course).

    A period of temporary withdrawal is for 12 months. Students may request a period of temporary withdrawal from their course of study. Only the Academic Registrar may approve requests for temporary withdrawal. Students requesting temporary withdrawal on medical or health-related grounds must supply a recent medical note in support of their request.

    The University may require that a student withdraws temporarily for a period of time in the following situations:

    • If a student, an overseas national, does not have the correct visa to study in the UK;
    • As a result of a student’s failure to pay fees;
    • If there are concerns over attendance and/or progress;
    • If there are concerns over a student’s capacity to study.

    Students deemed to be temporarily withdrawn must not undertake any formal study for the period of the temporary withdrawal and must cease to receive instruction from their Department. However, students will retain their IT access and library access and borrowing rights during a period of temporary withdrawal. Students may, of course, choose to undertake relevant reading during a period of temporary withdrawal but this is a decision for the individual to make and cannot be a requirement.

    How to apply for a period of temporary withdrawal:

    1. Students requesting temporary withdrawal must complete the electronic request form, available at Student Records On-line. Students should consult with their personal tutor or a member of the University’s Student Support Services before completing this form.
    2. The request will require the support of the Director of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies in the student's department.
    3. Once the request is approved, the Academic Office will notify the student and their department by email, confirming last date of attendance, date of expected return and new expected completion date.

    Requests for retrospective temporary withdrawal will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Such requests must include a clear rationale from the supporting Department outlining why the student was unable to make the request earlier. This should take into account department’s responsibility to monitor a student’s attendance at prescribed classes (Regulation 36) throughout the academic year. The student must also make contact with Student Finance to discuss any financial implications, e.g. paying back loans, grants, bursaries, etc.

    Issues to Note:

    Following changes to UK immigration policy overseas nationals will be required to return to their home country during the period of their temporary withdrawal. The University is obliged to inform the Home Office - Visa and Immigration of such temporary withdrawals. Neither the Department nor the Student Records Managment Team are permitted to give advice on immigration matters. Such matters should be referred to either the International Office or the Student Advice Centre in the Students’ Union ( For further information on breaks in studies, please click here.

    Home and EU students should be advised to contact the Student Loans Company for advice as to how such a temporary withdrawal may affect their student loan, maintenance grant or other student financial support. Students can also make an appointment to consult the University’s Student Financial Advisor by emailing

    Students who withdraw for medical or health-related reasons will be asked to supply a medical note confirming they are fit to resume their studies approximately eight weeks prior to their expected return date. The University reserves the right to request a second opinion on such medical notes so it can satisfy itself fully that the individual is indeed well enough to resume their studies. In all such cases the Academic Office will ensure that the University's Student Support Services are engaged in the process of enabling a student to return from a medical temporary withdrawal in order that any appropriate adjustments can be made in support of the student.

    Students will not be eligible for residence on campus during their period of temporary withdrawal.

    Students who are temporarily withdrawn retain their classification as a student of the University and continue to be exempt from paying Council Tax.

    Students may request a second consecutive period of temporary withdrawal of 12 months, but any such request must be accompanied both by the support of the Department and by evidence as to the reason for the request. A third consecutive period of temporary withdrawal will only be permitted in the most exceptional cases and will be considered by the Academic Registrar. Students are normally permitted no more than two years (individually or consecutively) of temporary withdrawal during their course of study.

    How to ..... request a TWD (a student guide to using the workflow)

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