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Guidance for students on interrupting your studies

Students may occasionally need to take an interruption of their studies for personal reasons, e.g. for serious or ongoing health issues or maternity/paternity/adoption leave.

Please approach your course team, ideally in writing, if you wish to apply for an interruption of studies. The interruption will need to be approved by your Course Director (or their nominee).

Staff only: link to IoS Form

Please note the following:

  • A short absence which does not impact your progression through the course can be approved by your Course Director under the Attendance and Academic Engagement Policy.
  • An interruption cannot be used to avoid an assessment or a student procedure (e.g. Disciplinary or Fitness to Study or Practise) and cannot be approved on academic grounds alone.
  • You cannot interrupt for the current academic year after the end of teaching. An application for Mitigating Circumstances can be made if you feel your performance in assessment will be affected by your circumstances. You may then need to interrupt for the next academic year if your assessments have been deferred to later in the next academic year or because your personal circumstances mean that you cannot yet return to your studies.
  • If you are on an Assessment Only year, i.e. you are not attending any teaching during the academic year and only taking assessments, you will be considered to be on an interruption of studies for the year. You will not need to apply for an interruption, but your course team may require you to complete some documentation.
  • If you take an interruption of studies and then withdraw without returning, the withdrawal date will be set as the Interruption start date.

If you apply to interruption your studies, you will complete a form with a member of the course team:

  • An interruption will usually be approved for up to a year, your return date will be agreed and will often be at the beginning of the term or semester in which you interrupt, in the following year. If you need to interrupt for a further period after this, it will need to be approved by your Course Director. A long interruption may have implications for the currency of your learning.
  • You will not pay tuition fees for the period of an interruption. You must discuss implications for your funding with the Student Finance and Policy Officer, and you must inform Student Finance England when you interrupt your studies, you will generally not be eligible for maintenance while on an interruption, you may be eligible in certain circumstances, see advice here.
  • If you are on a Student Visa we will need to inform the Home Office when you take an interruption and you are strongly advised to contact the International Advising Team, to discuss the implications for your visa.
  • The university may need to consult Occupational Health and there may be conditions imposed on your return to study.
  • An interruption of study (except where due to maternity reasons, intercalation, PhD years and Student Union Sabbatical posts) will count towards your maximum period of study and you may need to apply for an extension, Procedure for Consideration for an Extension to a Maximum Period of Study.
  • When you return to your studies you may resume your studies on a new Scheme of Assessment, new Course Regulations and new Curriculum which has been introduced in the meantime. Please discuss this with your course team and please note that some study may need to be repeated or replaced and additional fees may be incurred in line with the Tuition Fee Policy.

While on an interruption your studies are completely paused:

  • You will remain registered at the university but not enrolled.
  • You are not expected to attend any teaching, research, assessments or any other university activities. You must not attend placement.
  • You will retain access to your SGUL email, and you should continue to monitor this. Please ensure that you maintain up to date contact details with the university and remain in contact with us.
  • You will also retain access to your IT account, Canvas, your Personal Tutor, the Counselling Service and other support services and access to buildings and the Library.
  • Please contact your Course Administration Team if you have any difficulties with your email or IT account.
  • If you are a resident in the University Halls of Residence you will need to leave.
  • You are not eligible for a TfL student Oyster card, council tax exemption or any of St George’s financial support.
  • Your Course Administration Team can help with any queries you have.

Resuming your studies

Please discuss the details of your return to studies, including teaching, placement and assessments with your course team, ideally two to three months prior to your expected return.

If you require a student visa you must discuss this with the International Advising Team at least 3 months prior to your return date.

You will need to re-enrol to resume your studies and you will need to have cleared all outstanding tuition fees, please contact Finance, if you have outstanding fees. Please note that you may continue to receive fees reminders while you are interrupted.

Please see Resuming your studies for further advice.


You may wish to discuss an interruption of studies with your Personal Tutor or a member of the course team before making an application.

As noted above please discuss financial implications with the Student Finance and Policy Officer, and visa implications with the International Advising Team

If appropriate you may wish to seek the support of the Disability Service.

Details of all our support services including the Counselling Service and SU support, can be found on our Student support A-Z page.

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