What is a Leave of Absence?

If you need to take a break from your course, it may be possible for you to take a leave of absence. This is an authorised break in studies, usually for the remainder of the current academic year or a period of up to 12 months.

A leave of absence means that you take time out of your studies, and therefore stop attending your classes and are not required to take your assignments.

Students may request a leave of absence for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Health reasons
  • Maternity
  • Personal or domestic problems
  • Bereavement
  • Financial difficulties
  • Work placement
  • Changing course

How do I arrange to take a Leave of Absence?

In the first instance talk the option through with your Personal Tutor or another relevant member of staff in your academic school, such as a year tutor, programme director or study support tutor. They will be able to advise you on academic implications, such as the availability of your course and particular modules when you return.

You should then contact Student Services to discuss the practical and financial implications of taking a leave of absence. You can email student.services@keele.ac.uk or request a telephone call back by contacting us on 01782 734481.

Once you have received all of the relevant guidance, you will then need to complete the online leave of absence request form. This is found in your eVision account in the Courses and Modules section.

How do I complete the online form?

The form will ask you for the following information:

  • Start date: This is the date that you complete the form, or a future date if there is a particular date that you are requesting the leave from. Please note that leave of absence start dates can not be backdated.
  • End date: If you are returning to study at the start of the academic year in September please enter the return date as 1st August. If you are returning at the start of the second semester please enter the return date as 1st January. Please note that if you are studying a postgraduate or distance learning course, you may be able to agree an alternative return date and you should confirm this directly with your programme.
  • Reason: Select the most appropriate reason from the drop down menu. Please note that if you are taking leave of absence for health reasons, medical evidence is required.
  • Evidence: Attach your supporting evidence, for example a letter from your GP or other health professional if the reason is health, or an employment contract if the reason is work placement.
  • Statement: Outline the reasons that you wish to take leave of absence, noting how your studies have been affected by your circumstances and who you have discussed your request with.

What are the implications of taking leave of absence? (Undergraduate)

Tuition fees:

UK/EU students: You will be charged tuition fees for this academic year based on your withdrawal date. Please note that these dates change slightly each academic year depending on the specific term dates, but the following dates are a general guide. As part of your discussions with a student support adviser we will advise you on the specific dates.

  • First 4 weeks of the academic year - no fee.
  • Term 1 - 25%
  • Term 2 - 50%
  • Term 3 - 100%

This amount will get added to the total amount borrowed from the Student Loans Company. You can receive funding for the full length of your degree programme plus one additional year, therefore this will have an impact on the funding you can receive in the future when you return to university. If you have already used your repeat year funding, it’s important that you discuss this with Student Services, as we will be able to advise you on your options such as applying to Student Finance for compelling personal reasons funding.

You will then be charged tuition fees for your repeat year as normal.

International students: If you take a leave of absence in the first 4 weeks of the academic year, you will not be charged tuition fees. Following this, your tuition fees will be charged on a pro-rata calculation based on the number of completed weeks.

You will then be charged tuition fees for your repeat year as normal.

For further guidance on specific tuition fees, you should contact your academic school.

Maintenance loan:
UK/EU students: Once your leave of absence is processed, we will send a notification to Student Finance and they will recalculate your entitlement to maintenance loan this academic year based on your date of leave of absence. They will contact you directly about any overpayment.

Please note that if you are taking leave of absence for health reasons and provide medical evidence to support this, Student Finance will include an additional 60 days of funding that you are entitled to after the date of your leave of absence.

What are the financial implications of taking leave of absence? (Postgraduate)

Tuition fees:
If you take a leave of absence in the first 4 weeks of the academic year, you will not be charged tuition fees. Following this, your tuition fees will be charged on a pro-rata calculation based on the number of completed weeks.

You will then be charged tuition fees for your repeat year as normal.

For further guidance on specific tuition fee amounts, you should contact your academic school.

Postgraduate Student Finance:
If you receive a postgraduate student loan from Student Finance, please note that in most cases you will not be entitled to receive any further funding if you repeat a year of your course. However, if you have experienced exceptional circumstances that have led to you taking a leave of absence you should contact Student Finance to discuss the compelling personal reasons process.

What are the implications for my campus accommodation?

If you live in campus accommodation, once your leave of absence is processed you will have 28 days to move out of your accommodation and return your key to the accommodation office. If moving out outside of office hours, during the evening or weekend you should return your key to the security office in Darwin building instead of the accommodation office.

Your accommodation fees will then be recalculated based on this date. If you have overpaid then you will be entitled to a refund of the overpayment. This will automatically be calculated, however if you have any queries you should contact the Income Office.

Please note that if you live in off campus accommodation, this guidance does not apply. Students with off campus tenancies are usually liable for the full rent for the remainder of your tenancy, unless you can find a replacement tenant as per the terms and conditions of your agreement. For further guidance relating to off campus accommodation you should contact ASK in the Students Union.

 

 

What do I need to do while I’m on leave of absence?

While you are on leave of absence continue to check your Keele email for important information. Keep in touch with your academic school for information about module choices and guidance.

If you intend to live on campus after your return from leave of absence, you should apply for accommodation following the usual processes and timescales. If you take leave of absence after the accommodation application deadline or are returning for a single semester only, contact the accommodation office directly for guidance on campus availability.

What are the implications if I am an international student?

If you are an international student and you hold a Tier 4 visa, we will inform the Home Office when you start your Leave of Absence and you will then be required to leave the UK as your current visa will be curtailed (cancelled). A few months prior to returning to Keele, it will be necessary for you to request a CAS and apply for fresh Tier 4 Entry Clearance in order to return to the UK and resume your studies.

What is the process for returning from a leave of absence?

You will be given a task in your eVision account to complete prior to your return. You will need to complete this to notify the university of your intention to return to studies, or to request to discuss your circumstances with an adviser. The task will be available in your eVision account at the following timescales:

  • Health based leave of absence: 8 weeks prior to your return date
  • Any other reason: 6 weeks prior to your return date

Please note that if you are returning from a health based leave of absence you will also be required to provide medical evidence that confirms that you are fit to return to your studies. This should be from your GP or other relevant health professional. You will not be permitted to return to your studies until medical evidence is provided, so please ensure that you take steps to obtain your evidence as soon as the return process becomes available.