Request to Suspend Studies

There may be occasions when you need to apply to take a temporary break from your studies. This may be because you need to take a period of maternity or adoption leave or because a medical condition is preventing you from working on your thesis.

If your studies are affected in this way then you can apply for up to 12 months suspension of study across your degree course. Your request will need the support of your supervisor and if granted puts your studies on hold until your circumstances allow you to re-commence them. To apply for a suspension of studies please follow these simple steps:

Request to Suspend Studies

Step 1Check your Eligibility

Suspensions must:

  • Be for a minimum of 3 months
  • Be requested in advance (retrospective suspensions cannot be considered under any circumstances)
  • Cannot exceed a total of 12 months across the duration of a course
  • Have the support of your supervisor
Step 2   Complete a Request to Suspend Studies Form

You should arrange to discuss your application for a suspension of studies with your supervisor. They will need to support your request and sign your form.

If you are an international student and you are studying full-time then you may also want to discuss your circumstances with one of our international welfare advisors. They can advise you of the visa implications in placing your studies on hold.

Step 3 Submit your Request to the Graduate School Office

Please submit your completed and signed application to the Graduate School Office for approval:

By email to

By post to:

Graduate School Office

University of Leicester

University Road



Step 4 Receive the Outcome of Your Request
The Graduate School Office will contact you by letter to confirm whether your request has been approved.
Step 5 Take Steps to Leave the UK (International Full-time Tier 4 Students)

If you are an international full-time student and you are sponsored under Tier 4 to study at the University then suspending your studies will affect your immigration permission.

We will report your suspension to the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) and you should take steps to leave the UK during the period of your suspension. If you have any queries about how your immigration permission will be effected then please make an appointment to discuss your situation with an international Student Welfare Adviser by emailing

Will suspending my studies affect my stipend/maintenance grant?

If you receive a scholarship package that includes a stipend/maintenance grant then payment of this stipend may be affected by your suspension.

If you have any queries about how your stipend payments will be affected then please contact your scholarship provider directly.

Access to University Services / Resources

Your University IT account will remain active during your suspension but you will not be eligible to receive supervisory support or access any labs or classrooms.

Council Tax Exemption / Adjustments

If you are in receipt of council tax dispensation then your local authority will determine whether you can continue to receive this during your suspension.

Suspensions for Medical Reasons

The research student shall be responsible for providing such documentation as shall be required by the University as evidence of their illness or of their fitness to resume the research degree programme.  Medical evidence submitted in support of suspension requests should be in English.  Where the original is in another language students are responsible for ensuring that it is submitted with a verified translation.  Medical evidence submitted should be provided by a qualified medical practitioner. 

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