NUS Totum

Temporary Withdrawal

Temporary withdrawal is an approved absence from university. The University rules for temporary withdrawal are contained in Regulation 36.1 (5-9).

You can, in certain circumstances, request a temporary withdrawal from your course - normally this will be on health or personal grounds. Further information can be found on the University website, including the online application form.

The University guidance states that students may apply for temporary withdrawal for financial, personal and medical reasons, for pregnancy, or for some visa difficulties (e.g. where an overseas national fails to obtain a visa in good time to attend their course).

You should initially talk to your Personal Tutor or an appropriate person in your department, to consider if temporary withdrawal might be an option for you. We would also recommend talking to an Advisor in the SU Advice Centre so that we can discuss all the implications of a temporary withdrawal and any consequences it might have before you make a final decision.

There are rules which apply to temporary withdrawal, and the application must be made on the correct form.

Once you have decided that you need to make an application for temporary withdrawal, these are the stages the application will normally go through:

  • Complete the online application form. In it, you have an opportunity to explain why you need the temporary withdrawal - make sure you explain fully how your circumstances are affecting your ability to study at this time.
  • Get all the supporting evidence together, e.g. medical certificates.
  • Submit your online application with supporting documents.
  • Your application will be forwarded to the Director of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies in your department for consideration.
  • Once the request is approved, the Academic Office will notify the student and their department by email, confirming the last date of attendance, date of expected return and new expected completion date.

Things to Think About

Financial consequences:

  • You should contact the Student Loans Company, as temporary withdrawal is likely to affect your student funding and you may be asked to repay any money you have received for the period you are withdrawn from the University.
  • Student Funding and the SU Advice Centre can also give you full advice about the financial implications of Temporary Withdrawal.
  • Housing costs: you may not be able to get out of your contract or find someone to take it over, resulting in you having to continue paying your rent.
  • You will not normally be eligible for any state benefits, though you will continue to be exempt from Council Tax.

Other issues:

  • You will normally be allowed to use the University IT, library or other facilities, but do check with your department that this is going to happen.
  • While you are on temporary withdrawal, you remain a member of the Students’ Union (subject to some restrictions).
  • If you are in receipt of the student exemption for Council Tax, this should continue while you are on temporary withdrawal.
  • If you withdraw for medical or health-related reasons, you will be asked to supply a medical certificate confirming you are fit to resume your studies
  • You are not normally allowed to withdraw temporarily for more than 2 consecutive years, or for more than a total of 2 years over the duration of the course. There is further guidance on the length of time allowed on the University webpage for Temporary Withdrawal.
  • If you are an international student, it may not be possible for you to take temporary withdrawal and remain in the UK. Take advice from the Immigration Service at the International Office by telephoning 024 7657 5229 or emailing Alternatively, contact the SU Advice Centre.