6. Absence from studies
The circumstances under which a student may take a leave of absence from their research degree programme are prescribed in paragraph 4.4 of Regulation 26.
Where absence is requested for the purposes of maternity, paternity or shared parental leave this must be taken in accordance with the University’s Code of Practice.
Where a student is absent from their programme due to ill health they must notify their Principal supervisor at the earliest opportunity. Where a student is expected to be absent for more than 7 calendar days they must provide a medical certificate to support their absence.
Where a student has a period of permitted absence of one calendar month or less, their period of registration and progress review dates will not normally be amended although the circumstances of the absence should be taken into account in the next progress review. Where the period of leave is expected to exceed one calendar month, the Director of Doctoral Programmes or their nominee will agree with the Doctoral College Office whether the student should be placed on formal Leave of Absence (during which tuition fees are not payable) and their period of study and progress review dates amended accordingly. Where the absence is expected to be for 3 months or more, the student should normally be placed on Leave of Absence and their period of study and progress review dates amended accordingly.
Studentships may continue to be paid during periods of agreed absence in accordance with the specific terms and conditions of the award concerned.
If a student ceases to attend or engage with their programme adequately, the Principal supervisor should discuss the situation with the Director of Doctoral Programmes. For full-time students, unauthorised absence for more than one month, whatever the circumstances, must be followed up by the School and the Doctoral College Office informed of the concerns. If a student does not respond adequately within a further 2 weeks the situation must be reported to the Doctoral College Office who will make further enquiries and potentially initiate termination of studies under Regulation IX (see para 5.1 of Reg XXVI). Students should not be allowed to remain in active registration for more than 6 weeks because they have been invited to take Leave of Absence due to lack of engagement/ill health but have not completed the relevant form.
If a School receives a Leave of Absence request which they do not wish to approve and the student cannot be persuaded to return to their studies adequately within one month, the Doctoral College Office should be informed.
The Student Handbook lists the Fitness to Study process as part of the attendance and leave of absence section.