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The Student Progress Service maintains several University policies that you may need to refer to during your studies, including those relating to attendance, assessment and examination.

Attendance and engagement with your studies

Engagement Monitoring and Absence from Study: FAQs

The University has a Student Engagement Policy. It is important you keep your School/Institute informed of any absence by following the Student Sickness and Absence Procedure.

As part of your commitment to your studies you are expected to engage with the teaching provided by your Academic Unit and attend all elements of your timetabled programme of study, (except for absence with good cause), this could include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • practicals
  • laboratory work
  • language classes
  • performances
  • fieldwork
  • examinations

Research shows students who interact with their teaching material and attend their classes tend to be more successful in their studies. You may be withdrawn from your programme if you do not demonstrate satisfactory engagement and progress.

See the Frequently Asked Questions about Engagement Monitoring and Absence from Study.

How do we monitor your attendance at timetabled events?

Attendance at timetabled classes is monitored to help us to identify, contact and support at an early stage any student whose attendance record gives us cause for concern.

On some degree programmes most or all timetabled classes are monitored, and in others just a proportion.

We use the SMART card scanners located throughout campus to record attendance and your attendance at timetabled classes is recorded whenever you are asked to scan your SMART card.

Different degree programmes record engagement in different ways for different types of classes. Schools/Institutes may record on-line engagement or interaction or keep registers of those attending or ask students to confirm their attendance in other ways. Your programme’s policy on which types of classes it monitors should be made clear to you at induction. Please also refer to your programme handbook for the approach in your subject area, and ensure you understand the University Engagement policy. 

University’s general regulation about absence from study

The University’s General Regulation about absence is listed below. Individual programmes may also have specific additional requirements.

  • Absence from your programme, for whatever reason, should be notified using the Student absence request.
  • You are normally required to engage with the teaching provided by your programme during standard term dates.
  • You are advised to consult your tutor or supervisor if there is a problem leading to long-term absence, or a pattern of shorter absences. Your academic unit may be able to support you or direct you to the Student Health & Wellbeing Service for additional support. However, It is your responsibility to catch-up with academic work missed during a period of absence.
  • Although your academic unit will keep a record of all absence notification you should not assume your absence from the programme is authorised. The University reserves the right to reject requests for absence, including self-certification of sickness, if there are concerns about your overall pattern of attendance.  In such cases, Academic Progress Review or Support to Study procedures may be invoked.

Postgraduate taught students

Postgraduate taught students are normally required to attend their programme for a minimum of 45 weeks per year.

This normally includes 30 weeks across the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms, and 15 weeks over the June-September period.

Holiday entitlement is limited to the standard Christmas and Easter closures. Exceptionally, by discretion, you may apply to take a further 2 weeks' holiday in the summer period.

International students are required to seek approval for this vacation in advance and are advised to take this leave as early as possible in the summer period (June). This is particularly important if you intend to travel outside the UK, as your visa eligibility to return to the UK to complete your studies may be affected. Seek Visa Advice if you are unsure.

Postgraduate research students

Postgraduate research students are normally required to attend their programme for a minimum of 45 weeks per year.

In any full academic year you are entitled to 7 weeks (35 working days) holiday, which includes bank holidays and University closure over the Christmas period. There is flexibility about when this holiday can be taken, although it is assumed that bank holidays and University closures will be taken as standard, unless agreement is reached with your supervisor in advance. For all other holidays, a leave request should be completed.

International students are required to seek approval for all holidays in advance and cannot take more than 4 weeks’ vacation at any one time. You are also advised to avoid vacation at the end of your programme and near the end of your visa. Seek Visa Advice if you are unsure.

Postgraduate research students undertaking study outside of the University for periods greater than 4 weeks should complete the ‘Outside Study’ form. For periods less than 4 weeks the Student absence request should be completed.

Finance and insurance

The policy on tuition fees can be found in the General Regulations document. Details of the tuition fees that apply to specific degree programmes can be found in the Fees Schedule which is updated annually.

Insurance policies that cover student activity are also available:

Health, safety & wellbeing

All students should familiarise themselves with the University’s Health and Safety Policy.

The Student Progress Service has provided useful personal safety advice. The Student Wellbeing Service maintains policies that relate to the physical and mental health of students:

Student travel

During your studies you may need to travel outside the UK to complete fieldwork or a placement as part of your programme of study.

Please refer to the specific travel policies created for undergraduate and postgraduate students:

Prior to travelling you should also refer to the University’s Travel Insurance Cover for Undergraduates or Postgraduates, as appropriate.

Student immigration compliance

As a Student Route visa Sponsor, Newcastle University is required to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure immigration compliance across the student community. 

The University has developed its own internal policy on Student Immigration Compliance Policy relating to circumstances under which a Student Route visa sponsorship and registration are permitted, as well as documentary requirements relating to the registration process at the University.

Whilst the University will endeavour to support prospective and registered students with their immigration requirements for academic purposes, Student Route visa sponsorship is not guaranteed in all circumstances. For further information, familiarise yourself with the policy and contact the Visa Support Team if you have any doubts about your circumstances.

Student parental leave

Student Parental Leave Procedure 2024

Jury Service

Guidance for students

Everyone on the electoral register between the ages of 18 and 70, including students, may be selected as a juror at random by Her Majesty’s Courts Service, therefore, there may be occasions when students are called for jury service.

Those selected will receive a Jury Summons Form containing all the details relating to the jury service, such as where and when the jury service starts and how to reply to the summons.  The summons form MUST be returned to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau within 7 days of receipt and returned in the envelope provided, or there may be a fine of £1,000.  Due to the short timescale for responding, a student should seek further guidance from the following as soon as possible to understand how the University can support them undertaking jury service:

  • Students on taught programmes should contact their Personal Tutor/Academic Unit Office
  • Students on research programmes should contact their Supervisors/ relevant Graduate School
  • Students on  both taught and research programmes can also contact the Student Advice Centre about a jury summons

The normal expectation is that a juror will serve at the time of being summoned.  If a student acting as a juror is asked to serve on a case that is likely to last more than 10 days, they may want to consider the potential impact on their programme and academic progress.

There may be instances where serving on a jury would interfere with a student’s study and impact on assessment and examinations.  In these cases, it may be possible for a student to request a deferral by writing directly to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau and explaining the potential impact on their study.

A student may be asked to provide a list of dates when they will be available in the 12 months after the jury service was supposed to start.  A student should consider their programme requirements and exclude dates when assessment will occur. A student’s Academic Unit will be able to provide information on this if a student is unsure.  Please note that deferral of jury service is NOT an automatic right and will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. All jurors can request one deferral to a jury summons but when a second date is set, a juror must attend.  It is unlikely that a student will be excused entirely from jury service.  Further information can be found at:

The University cannot request a deferral on a student’s behalf, but the University can provide a student with a letter confirming student status and registration, which may be used to support the deferral request.

If a student is unable to defer their jury service, or it is deferred to a time where there is an impact on study, students on taught programmes should consider submitting a PEC form to request appropriate adjustments.  Students on research programmes should seek advice from their Supervisors/ relevant Graduate School.

Updated 11 April 2024 (This guidance was initially approved by ULTSEC on 2 May 2018).

Additional University policies

University policies maintained by other sections of the University can be found on the following websites: