Fitness to Study

This page explains the support offered to students who are unfit to participate and function in University life and outlines our Fitness to Study policy and procedure.

Fitness to Study

Definition 

Fitness to study is defined as your fitness to participate and function in University life. 

You are deemed fit to study where:

  • You are able to function independently in academic, residential and community environments.
  • Your mental or physical health needs do not disrupt the learning/research work of other students. 
  • You are able to benefit from the programme of study/research and pursue for the required period with a reasonable chance of progression.

You are deemed unfit to study under the University Health Regulations where:

  • for health reasons, it is not in their interest or that of the University that the applicant should begin or the student should continue a programme of study

Please visit the page below to find out if you are eligible for disability support.

For a full outline of our support services, please visit the page below.

Alternatively, our Student Online Support pages can signpost you to the most appropriate information and support.

Where you think you may have an eating disorder, please visit the page below.

Our Policy

Where you have disabling conditions or long-term mental or physical health issues, your ability to participate and function will be supported by focused, appropriate and boundaried support.

This includes reasonable adjustments and support to ensure you have equal opportunities to succeed in all aspects of University life.

Occasionally, this is not possible because:

  • the adjustments and support offered are not sufficient or appropriate
  • you are unable/choose not to engage with the adjustments and support offered
  • we judge (based on clinical evidence) that continuation is detrimental to your health
  • your presentation is disruptive in a way that impacts significantly on the study/work of others in the University

Where this support is not possible, you may be deemed unfit to study and the University Health Regulation (26) may be invoked.

How to Set up a Support Package

Where you are struggling to deal with the challenges of University life, you may benefit from an integrated package of support provided by clinical and specialist staff.

This is where several support services work with you to agree on supportive measures to help you deal with the challenges of University life (e.g. counselling, mentoring, help from a doctor etc.).

Below is a brief outline of our Fitness to Study procedure. For a more detailed explanation, please read the PDF below.

Fitness to Study Procedure (PDF, 136kb)

Step 1: Contact relevant support service

Where you think you will benefit from a discussion of your circumstances, you should make contact with the relevant support service (e.g. Disability and Dyslexia Support, Counselling Service etc.) to discuss your needs.

Step 2: Initial Case Consideration Meeting

Where the service believes you may benefit from a support package, they will discuss your case at an Initial Case Consideration Meeting.

  • This will be attended by any relevant support services and department(s).
  • You will be asked to give your express consent to have your case discussed at this meeting, however you can remain anonymous.
  • Information will be shared in extreme cases where there is a risk to yourself or others.
  • The meeting will consider the range of support/options available to you and monitor your progress.
  • Where it is decided that a support package would be helpful, you will be contacted by the Mental Health Support Co-ordinator.

Step 3: Support Package Meeting

A Support Package Meeting will be held to discuss what will be included in the package and how it will work. You may be asked to attend this meeting but often the Mental Health Support Co-ordinator will report on your behalf.

During this meeting, the support services will work with you/your co-ordinator to agree on a number of measures to help you deal with the challenges of University life.

Step 4: Progress review

When a package has been agreed, your support package coordinator may contact you to make sure everything is going as planned.

Your package may be reviewed occasionally and if your needs or circumstances have changed, adjustments can be put in place.

You can ask for changes to be made at any time.

Regulation 26 Meeting

Where the group consider that for health reasons, it may not be “in their interest or that of the university that the applicant should begin or the student should continue a programme of study”, they will hold a Regulation 26 Meeting to discuss whether you should be required to take a leave of absence, withdrawal or deferral.

You can request a deferral, leave of absence or withdrawal at any point.

See Also