Coping with Bereavement

Coping with the loss of someone close to you is always difficult. As well as bringing about personal challenges, you may also find that a bereavement can impact on your academic life in a number of ways.

We’ve compiled the following information in the hope that it will help you to help you navigate this difficult period.

What should I do if I think a bereavement may be impacting on my academic studies?

If a recent bereavement is making it difficult for you to study, or could have an impact on an assessment or exam, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances from the University. You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to report any implications for your studies. You need to submit the form to your personal tutor or other appropriate staff in your academic department. 

If you think you will need to take a break from University for a longer period of time, you can apply for a Leave of Absence.

What should I do if I need to take time out from University to attend a funeral?

When you are absent for a period of time to arrange and/or to attend a funeral, you can use the University Extenuating Circumstances Form to report your absence and any implications for your studies, including where this may affect exams or assessments. You need to submit the form to your personal tutor or other appropriate staff in your academic department.

Due to the death of a family member who helped pay my fees, I don't think I can afford to keep studying, what can I do about this?

If you are a home student, the University of Sheffield (along with all other UK institutions) are allocated funds from the government to distribute to those students fall into financial difficulties. You can apply for Financial Support Funds by collecting an application form from the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) or downloading one from the website. You will also need to contact Student Finance to be assessed or reassessed for financial support.

If you are an international student there are limited funds are available. Regardless of your status, please see the Financial Support webpages. 

What support is available at the University of Sheffield for coping with bereavement?

There are a number of services across the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students’ Union that can offer you support after you have suffered a bereavement:

We also recommend you speak to your personal tutor so that you can receive the support you need from within your academic department.

Further support is available to help students and their families at times of serious incidents/emergencies, or the period following on from distressing events. We can help students suffering from bereavement by talking them through their options and helping them access the support that they need. If you need more information, please email us:

Are there any other services or resources I can use to help me cope with my bereavement?

There are lots of services and resources available that can help you cope with your grief. We’ve compiled a list of some below:

If the information you are looking for is not included in our web pages and you aren't sure who to approach, please come to SSiD and we will try to point you in the right direction.