Support to study
As a university we recognise that, in some circumstances completely out of your control, you may experience difficulties or have conditions that may require additional support.
The Support to Study process is intended to provide a positive and supportive approach to the management of your physical and/or mental health. The University provides a comprehensive and well-established range of services that will aim to support your academic achievement and overall student experience.
The Support to Study process has four stages, it can be started and resolved at any Stage, your circumstances will determine which stage is most appropriate for you.
During your studies there may be times when concerns are raised about your health and wellbeing, or you may be worried that ongoing issues are having a longer-term effect on you. As a university we recognise this and, in some circumstances, you may experience difficulties or have conditions that may require ongoing additional support.
These concerns may include
- your academic progress
- your health and/or wellbeing
- your ability to live safely and independently at university
- how you are mixing with other students.
Stage 1 of the Support to Study process is intended to be supportive; it is recommended that a meeting takes place as soon as possible with an appropriate member of staff from your School, for example, your Personal Tutor, Programme Director, Supervisor, or relevant other member of staff such as your Year Tutor, School Manager, or the Student Experience and Support Officer.
During this meeting you will be given the opportunity to discuss your support needs and agree a suitable plan to manage the situation effectively.
It is really important that you attend this meeting and show your commitment to the agreed action plan. If it is decided that you require further support the lead member of staff will escalate your case to stage 2 of the process.
Support to Study is a process designed to help you to participate fully in student life when health and other related issues may be causing you problems. If these issues initially present or during Stage 1 become more serious a staff member may recommend a Support to Study stage 2 meeting.
The meeting may involve the staff member (or members) concerned about you and staff from Student Services to make sure that appropriate help and support are in place for you.
At the meeting you will have the chance to discuss the issues that you have been experiencing. This may include what steps you have taken to address the situation, and what support might be helpful for you.
The meeting will be friendly and supportive, and everybody will treat you with respect.
Staff will ask you questions, make recommendations for support, and discuss what impact these could have.
An action plan will be agreed which should help improve your situation. Actions are normally agreed with you and could include recommendations for support. The actions will be reviewed during regular support meetings.
Please note that for professionally accredited programmes, the Stage 2 meeting may be replaced by the Health and Conduct Committee.
Stage 3 of the process will only begin if all other options have been exhausted. Student Services staff will make every effort to support you through your difficulties and work with you to resolve any concerns and issues that are preventing you from achieving.
However, on rare occasions your health and well-being may cause serious and continual concerns and alternative arrangements may need to be considered.
These may include
- A Leave of Absence, this would allow you time to recover and access more intensive support
- A temporary suspension may be suggested until you have been assessed by a medical professional.
- We may recommend that you engage with additional support services outside of the University.
- If there is no reasonable prospect you can re-engage with your programme, then it may be recommended that you are excluded from the University.
Please be assured that the above is a last resort and would only be actioned under the following circumstances
- where University staff and/or a health care professional/occupational health advisor considers that your health, wellbeing, and ability to study is significantly affected by your condition.
- when all other options to deal with your situation have been explored.
- where there are serious concerns and risk regarding your own health and safety or where there is a perceived threat and risk to others.
- where an immediate temporary suspension is in the best interests of either you or the University.
If it was agreed during any stage of the Support to Study process that a leave of absence was appropriate, then on your return you will need to attend a meeting with a member of the Student Support Team.
In addition, you will need to provide medical evidence from a registered healthcare professional, this will need to confirm that you have overcome your original difficulties and state you are well enough to return to your studies.
The precise nature of the evidence required will depend on your individual circumstances and can be discussed with Student Services.