Change of Circumstances (Research Students)

As you progress with your studies you may find that situations arise which require you to change your study arrangements.  These can include needing to suspend your studies for a temporary period, changing from full-time study to part-time study, or requesting permission to undertake fieldwork away from the campus.  In all these circumstances you must request permission from the Dean of Postgraduate Studies for the changes you wish to make.

Consult with your supervisors

In the first instance, you should discuss your circumstances with your supervisor(s) to seek their advice and guidance.  Your supervisor(s) will also need to provide support for the change that you wish to request when you come to complete the application form.

Further information and support can also be sought from the Research Student Support Team (RSST) or the Medical Sciences Graduate School (MSGS).

The table below provides an overview of changes in circumstances that require the Dean’s approval.  Further information and an application form can be found by clicking on the individual links:

Change Description
Change of Programme To transfer from one type of programme to another (e.g. from an MPhil to a PhD).
Change of Candidature To transfer from full-time candidature to part-time candidature (or vice versa).
Change of Supervisory Arrangements To make changes to the membership of the supervisory team.
Interruption of Studies To request a temporary suspension of studies for a variety of reasons, including ill-health, maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave.
Extensions to Thesis Submission Deadline To request an extension to your submission deadline.
Early Submission To request permission to submit your thesis before the end of the minimum candidature period.
Outside Study To request permission to undertake your studies/fieldwork/writing-up away from the main campus base.
Withdrawal To provide notification of your intention to leave the University permanently. (Does not require Dean approval.)

You should inform the RSST or the MSGS as soon as possible of any of the above change of circumstances so they can ensure the appropriate procedure is followed. 

Retrospective requests are not normally approved.


If you are uncomfortable speaking to your supervisor, RSST or MSGS then there are other sources of advice available to you, such as Officers of the Students’ Union, the Student Advice Centre or, if appropriate, Student Wellbeing Services.

Implications for Council Tax Exemption

Full time, fully registered students are exempt from paying Council Tax.  Should your circumstances change you must notify the Local Authority of this.  Please consult the PGR Council Tax website for further information.