What is an Interruption of Studies for PGR students and what impact does it have on my research degree studies?

Guidance for Postgraduate Research students who may need to interrupt their studies.

An Interruption of Study stops the clock on your research degree candidature. Any period of time approved as an interruption will be added on to your current candidature dates and you will be provided with updated ‘end of minimum candidature’ and ‘latest thesis submission’ dates, as appropriate. During the period of interruption, no tuition fees are payable. However, please note that if you are in receipt of a stipend from the University, stipend payments would be suspended during any interruption of studies.  This may apply if you are funded through other schemes/sponsors and you should check with your sponsoring body.

If you choose to interrupt your studies, this can be supported through our normal procedures which require the arrangement to be agreed and approved in advance. However, due to the current Covid-19 situation and uncertainty of the duration and impact of the disruption, we will be more supportive of requests for interruption that are retrospective – e.g. are submitted following the Covid-19 disruption period. This will give you the time to determine the real impact of the current situation on your progress.

If you are applying for a retrospective interruption and are in receipt of a stipend from the University, please contact your Graduate School for advice on how the interruption may impact on your stipend payments.  Interruptions normally apply if you are unable to study continuously for more than one month, however, it is possible to approve an interruption of studies for a shorter period, where needed. You should contact your Graduate School if you require any further information.

All applications for an interruption of study (due to Covid-19 or any other reason) should be submitted through ePortfolio and be supported by any relevant documentation and will be considered on a case by case basis by the PG Deans.

Please be assured that any disruption to your studies will be reviewed in order to understand how we might best support you. We are aware that due to the circumstances, you may find yourself working in a different and/or challenging environment e.g. working remotely, dealing with more daily caring responsibilities, inability to access facilities or travel, and/or dealing with illness, and that any or all of these things might have an impact on your studies. Our focus has been and will continue to be on adaptation; allowing you to progress, complete your studies and gain your qualifications and to minimise any delays to the completion of your project, where possible. This may require various forms of adjustment and these FAQs will provide information on the adjustments available to you.

Your Supervisor and/or Graduate School will be able to provide further information on the most appropriate adjustment depending on your individual circumstances.

If you are choosing to interrupt your studies for a reason other than Covid-19, or you are wanting to extend a current interruption of studies and require any advice then please contact your Graduate School.