Leave of Absence
1. Who to Consult With
- You must discuss your proposed course of action with an Academic Adviser in your department/school (e.g. your Personal Tutor, Year/Course Tutor, Director of Studies, as appropriate).
- Read/Print the Signposting Sheet for Students (see Downloads box). This contains a list of things you should consider, including sources of advice and information, if you are thinking of taking leave of absence from the University.
- General guidance and information is also available at Help and Support for Students on the Student Services information Desk (SSiD) website (link in See Also box).
- You may also find it helpful to consult the Students' Union Advice Centre (link in See Also box).
2. Financial Implications
Please note that a leave of absence may have significant financial consequences which you are advised to check before making a decision, e.g.
- If you receive any grant/bursary from a sponsor, you may need to repay part of this; if you repeat any part of your studies on your return, you may not receive support towards your tuition fees for that part of the programme.
- You will not receive your maintenance loan whilst on a Leave of Absence. If you take a leave of absence and have already received some of your maintenance loan, you may be required to pay some of it back.
- If you are returning from Leave of Absence part way through an academic year, you will need to make a new Student Finance application for that academic year in advance of your return to studies. You should request the maximum amount of tuition fee loan and if your tuition fee is reduced the University will inform Student Finance.
- If you are responsible for paying tuition fees and your leave will have an impact on payments made/due, your position will be reviewed automatically by the University (see link to Tuition Fee Refund Policy on in the See Also box).
- Your change of status may impact on tuition fees paid and due, and you may even be entitled to a refund (see link to Tuition Fee Refund Policy in the See Also box).
- If you are returning to study for the full academic year, the full annual tuition fee will be due.
- If you are unsure as to exactly how your leave of absence may affect your tuition fees, please seek advice from the Student Fees section of the Student Administration Service on 0114 222 1288 or email the link below.
3. Visa/Immigration Implications
If you are in the UK on a student visa, please ensure that you have read this information before submitting a Leave of Absence request to your department.
- Please note that the University must report changes in your circumstances to the UK Home Office, including: changes of programme, leave of absence, withdrawal, failure to attend.
4. To Apply for Leave of Absence
- Discuss your proposed change of status (COS) with an Academic Adviser in your department/school (e.g. Personal Tutor, Year/Course Tutor or Director of Studies, as appropriate).
- Download the COS Form for Leave of Absence (from the Downloads box) and complete the Student Details section.
- Take the COS Form to your Academic Adviser and complete the rest of the Form with their assistance. Both you and your Academic Adviser should sign and date the Form.
- You will also need to obtain a Departmental Approval signature from your department/school. Once the COS Form is completed you should submit it to your department/school office, who will arrange for the departmental approval and will then forward the form to the Student Administration Service for approval and processing.
- Once your leave of absence is approved and your central student record has been updated, you will receive confirmation of the leave of absence to your University email account. You may wish to print the confirmation email for your own records.
- In order to respond to the current situation in the UK, in relation to the impact of COVID-19, the University of Sheffield has updated the procedure for students requesting leave on medical grounds. If you are applying for leave on medical grounds, you currently do not need to obtain a medical certificate from the University Heath Service (or another doctor, if you are not registered with the UHS) to submit along with your completed COS Form. Forms will be accepted without a supporting medical certificate.
- Students in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health should continue to obtain a medical certificate from the Occupational Health Service.
- If your leave of absence is on medical grounds, you may only resume your studies if you are certified fit to do so by the University Health Service (see: Returning from a Medical Leave of Absence).
- If your leave is linked to a change of programme of study, a combined COS Form to apply for leave of absence with change of programme must be completed and submitted.
5. Additional Actions
- Have you submitted a medical certificate with your COS Form (if appropriate)?
- Have you contacted International Student Support to make an appointment (if appropriate)?
- Have you notified Accommodation Office, Accommodation & Commercial Services (ACS) if you are living in University accommodation?
- Have you notified the Student Loans Company (SLC) or your funding sponsor of the change (if appropriate)?