Circumstances Affecting Your Studies (Taught Programmes)

Students in discussion

The information below is intended for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students only. Postgraduate research students should consult the PGR Change of Circumstances section of the Postgraduate Research Student Support Website.

As you progress with your studies you may experience illness, personal or family problems etc. which have a significant, adverse, impact on your studies or you may find that situations arise which require you to change your study arrangements on a temporary or permanent basis. 

Advice and Guidance

In the first instance we would encourage you to liaise with your school / tutor / degree programme director (DPD) regarding any change so that all of your options can be discussed before a decision is made. You can also seek support from the Student Wellbeing Service and the Careers Service is able to offer you impartial and confidential advice if you are considering transferring or leaving your course.

Circumstances Covered and What to Do

The table below provides advice on what action to take depending on the circumstances that you may face:

Circumstance What to Do Forms and Further Guidance
Absence Request


Where illness or other reasons prevent you from studying for more than three working days, you should complete an Absence Request Form and return the completed form to your academic unit or tutor / supervisor as soon as you are able to return to your studies.

The Absence Request Form should also be used for absences other than for sickness - e.g. time away from the University for personal reasons.

Further information and the Absence Request Form can be found on the following websites:

Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) If your studies or ability to complete assessments is being seriously affected by unforeseen and unavoidable personal extenuating circumstances, including illness, you should advise your academic unit by completing the Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) Form so that appropriate adjustments can be considered. Please consult the PEC webpage for further information and guidance and the PEC forms.

Includes PEC guidance regarding Examinations and Assessments arising from the emergency situation due to Industrial Action

Disability or Long Term Illness If you have a disability or long term illness that requires adjustments, you should approach the Student Wellbeing Service who will be able to assess your needs and recommend appropriate support, via a Student Support Recommendation (SSR).

Please use the following email addresses to contact the most appropriate Team within the Student Wellbeing Service:

Temporary Disability and Examinations

You can apply for a short-term adjustment for the examination period if you have a temporary disability that you believe will impact on your performance in your examinations.

Further information can be found on the Examinations & Awards website.

Programme Transfer If you wish to move to an alternative degree programme at this University please speak to your Tutor/Degree Programme Director about transferring before completing a Transfer Request Form.
Suspension of Studies If you wish to leave the University on a temporary basis and you intend to return (to the same or alternative degree programme) please speak to your Tutor/Degree Programme Director about suspending your studies before completing a DPD request form. For further information on the implications of suspending your studies for your student loan, please visit our Student Financial Support website.
Outside Study Requests If you wish to request a period of outside study please speak to your Degree Programme Director about this in the first instance before completing a DPD request form.
Presumed Withdrawn

If you are absent from your course and have given no indication to your school that you will be absent, it is possible that you may be ‘Presumed Withdrawn’ and your school may initiate the Presumed Withdrawn Procedure


International students, should refer to the information on the Student Attendance and Absence Management webpage.


Withdrawal If you decide that you want to withdraw from the University on a permanent basis, please complete a Student Withdrawal Questionnaire. For further information on the implications of suspending your studies for your student loan, please visit our Student Financial Support website’

Academic Appeal

If you wish to question the formal academic decision made by the Board of Examiners or other authorities within your academc unit or faculty please follow the Student Academic Queries and Appeals Procedure.



If you wish to make a formal complaint about a School, Service or member of staff within the University please follow the Students Complaints and Resolution Procedure.

If you wish to complain about another student at the University you should contact the Casework Team by emailing  The email should contain a full explanation as to the nature of the concern, with supporting evidence. Student Progress Service may invite you to a meeting as part of the investigation.