Student Progress


Attendance and Engagement with your Studies

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 You may be withdrawn from your programme if you do not demonstrate satisfactory engagement and progress.

NEW Please read 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.