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Should you suspend?
Guide to Interruption of Studies (Undergraduate/Taught)

An interruption of study is the formal procedure which allows you to request a break from your studies in your current academic year.

The deadline for interrupting in the academic year 2019/20 is 07 May 2020 (for courses starting in September).

You need to complete an interruption of studies form which can be found here.

Deciding to suspend your studies can be a difficult decision. It is really important that you are open and honest about your situation so that you can get the support you need at the earliest opportunity. Speak with your Personal Academic Tutor, Student Finance, Wellbeing and SU Advice before making your final decision. You will also need to be aware of the implications that the decision has on all aspects of your student life.

The deadline for suspending in the academic year 2018/19 is 03 May 2019.

Interruption v EC (Extenuating Circumstances)

This can be a difficult decision, but areas to think about might include whether you are able to attend University, ability and evidence required to comply with the EC process, Credits and Progression, finances, access to services:


Access to Student Union Services

Access to the library

Access to school support office

Access to Careers and Employment Service

Access to Wellbeing and Disability

Entitled to State Benefits (Job Seekers etc)

Do I need to attend university?

















*Full time students are not usually eligible for welfare benefits but if you are a single parent, have a partner who is also a student or have a disability, you may be entitled. If you suspend due to illness or taking on caring responsibilities, you may also be entitled. Seek advice from your local Job Centre Plus office.


Where are you going to live during your interrupted period and how will you pay for it? If you have signed a contract, there is no legal obligation for your landlord to release you from that contract when you interrupt your studies and so you may have to pay right up until your contract end date. Discuss this with your landlord.


You should be aware that taking time out from your studies will have an impact on your entitlement to financial support for this year as well as when you resume your studies. You should seek advice from your funding provider, University Finance office or SU at the earliest opportunity.

For undergraduates, the University will inform your funding provider that you have interrupted your studies and of your last date of attendance. In the case of Student Finance England (SFE), they will recalculate your award from the last date of attendance and future payments will cease. If your suspension is due to illness, an additional 60 days of funding may be paid by SFE and if your suspension and lack of maintenance loan would leave you in severe hardship, then you can ask SFE to continue to pay your maintenance loan throughout the period of your suspension. Read our separate guide ‘Applying for CPR’ and follow this link below for more information about this.

SFE will fund eligible students for the ordinary duration of their course plus 1 additional year, minus any years of previous study as a standard rule. Suspending part way through a year does count as a full year.

Council Tax

If you decide to stay in Student Accommodation, you should still be able to get a Council Tax Exemption Certificate so that you don’t have to pay Council Tax for the academic year.

Academic Credits

The University Regulations state that a student who gains no academic credits in two consecutive academic years will have their registration terminated and will be withdrawn from their course. You must speak with your School Support Office who will be able to look at your profile and advise you about the regulations and how they impact on your situation.

Resuming Your Studies

You must be absolutely certain that you are ready to return and that you have resolved the problems that led you to suspend in the first place.

Prior to the start of the new academic year you will receive an email from your department asking you to inform them if you are intending to return to your studies. You must reply otherwise the University will assume that you want to withdraw. The University may ask you to provide medical evidence to confirm that you are well enough to return if you had time out due to health reasons.

Keep in touch with your school support office so that they are aware of your situation and can offer guidance and support if you need it.

International Students

If you are an International Student who elects to suspend your studies, the University is legally bound to inform the Home Office who will cancel your Visa. This means that you will have to leave the UK within 60 days and return home. You should discuss suspending with the International Office.

The SU advice team can discuss your options and guide you through the process.

Contact us at or by phoning 01484 473446  to book an appointment.