Attendance Requirements

The University's policy on attendance monitoring can be found here Student Attendance Monitoring

As part of your commitment to your studies you are (except for absence with good cause) expected to attend all elements of your programme of study, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, laboratory work, language classes, performances, fieldwork and examinations. Research shows that students who attend their classes tend to be more successful in their studies. You may be withdrawn from your programme if you do not demonstrate satisfactory attendance and progress. It is therefore important that you keep your School / Institute informed of any absence by following the Student Sickness and Absence Procedure.

How do we monitor your attendance?


Attendance at 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 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 attendance at different types of classes and your programme’s policy on which types of classes it monitors was made clear to you at induction.


It is particularly important that all international students attend their classes or notify their School/Institute of any absence. The University policy to meet the Home Office requirements for tier 4 sponsorship means that all international students studing at Newcastle University must maintain an overall attendance of 80%. The University must report to the Home Office any international students studying in the UK who do not meet the minimum attendance level. If you are absent from classes this could lead to termination of your visa.

Schools/Institutes may keep class lists or registers or ask students to confirm their attendance in other ways. Please also refer to the Programme Handbook for the approach in your subject area, and make sure you understand the attendance policy in your School/Institute/Campus.

1. The University’s General Regulation about absence is as follows. Individual programmes may also have specific additional requirements.

'4.     Students are, except for absence with good cause, expected to attend all elements of their programme of study, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, laboratory work, language classes, performances, fieldwork and examinations.  A student who is not able to attend University should inform the school/ institute and submit a Student absence request. For absences longer than 7 days, a student must also submit a medical certificate.  A Student Notice of Absence Form is not compulsory but any absence noted by the academic unit may be recorded as unauthorised if it has not been authorised in advance.' General Reg A4, 2015/16 edition.

2. 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) from the University. Your academic unit may be able to support you through difficulties.

3. It is your responsibility to catch-up with academic work missed during a period of absence.

4. Absence from your programme, for whatever reason, should be notified using the Student absence request.  

5. Students are normally required to attend their programme during standard term dates. 

6a. 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 a further 15 weeks over the June-September period. Holiday entitlement is therefore limited to the standard Christmas and Easter closures. By discretion, exceptionally, students 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.

6b. Postgraduate research students are normally required to attend their programme for a minimum of 45 weeks per year. In any full academic year they are therefore 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, cannot take more than 4 weeks’ vacation at any one time and are also advised to avoid vacation at the end of their programme and near the end of their visa.

6c. 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.

7. Your academic unit will keep a record of all student absences – including those during the summer period for postgraduate students.

8. The Student absence request should be completed and submitted via the Student Self Service Portal (S3P). Medical and Dental students are currently excluded from this process and should therefore continue to use existing absence notification procedures as advised by their academic unit. Any students encountering difficulties submitting an absence form should contact their academic unit.

9. DO NOT assume that you 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 a student’s overall pattern of attendance. In such cases, Unsatisfactory Progress regulations may be invoked.

10. The Student absence request, particularly the aspect of self-certification of sickness, may be used to accompany a Personal Extenuating Circumstances submission. However, while self-certification can be used as evidence of absence it will not normally be deemed to be sufficient evidence to support a significant adjustment, e.g. relating to a missed examination. Such PEC adjustments will often require independent medical evidence from your GP.