menu

Advice and Counselling Service

Advice and Counselling Service menu

Print

To use this guide you either click on the section headings on the left-hand side or go forward through the whole guide by clicking on the section headings at the bottom of each page.

If you would like to print the whole guide please click on ‘printer friendly version’ at the bottom of this page. If you want to print a section of this guide, go to the section and click on the ‘printer friendly version’ at the bottom of that page.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for Queen Mary University of London students who pay the international rate of tuition fee.  It covers the practical, administrative, academic and immigration issues for someone who needs to re-sit, retake or interrupt their studies, or who is thinking of leaving their studies completely.

If you are studying a part-time or a distance learning programme, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service for advice about your situation.

Disclaimer

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly so make sure that you are referring to the online version of this guidance which is updated regularly. The information in this guide is given in good faith and has been carefully checked. Queen Mary , however, accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.
 
Regulation of Immigration Advice
 
The OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) is an independent organisation that monitors immigration advice and services. Welfare Advisers at Queen Mary are regulated under OISC guidelines to give immigration advice and have to attend regular training to do this. If you ever need to complain about the immigration advice you receive, the Advice and Counselling Service has a complaints procedure. Alternatively, you can complain directly to the OISC. Their complaints form is on the website at www.oisc.gov.uk

Thinking about your options

Many students have doubts about whether they can continue with their studies. You might feel that you have rushed your decision about coming to university, or feel that you would be more suited to a different programme of study. University life and studying in the UK can be very different to your expectations. Sometimes personal or financial circumstances mean that you cannot give your studies the attention that you would like to.

Whatever your reason for considering leaving, or taking some time out, staff at Queen Mary can support and advise you. It is important not to rush into a decision until you have really thought about it. Talking to someone who is used to advising students about these matters might help you to consider options you did not know about. 

Think about your decision

 

    • Are you worried about your English language skills, writing essays or preparing for exams?

 

    • Is your programme of study really the main problem? Maybe other issues in your life are affecting your ability to study.

 

    • Do you feel pressured to study a subject that you don’t really enjoy?

 

    • Do you need to know more about other study or career options before you can make an informed decision?

 

    • Are you finding it difficult to adjust to the education system in the UK?

 

    • Is this the right time for you to be at university at all?

 

If these questions sound familiar, you might find it useful to get help and support before you make your decision:

 

    • A Counsellor or Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service can help you to think through your options and offer you support with practical, financial or personal issues

 

 

 

 

Think about the practical implications of your decision

 

    • Will you need to leave the UK?

 

    • What will you do instead of studying?

 

    • How easy will it be to come back to the UK to study in the future?

 

    • What will happen to your financial sponsorship?

 

    • What immigration issues might you need to consider?

 

    • What are Queen Mary’s administrative formalities if you leave your programme of study at Queen Mary?

 

    • If you are living in Queen Mary halls of residence, how long will you be able to stay? If you live in other accommodation are you tied to a contract?

 

Before you make a decision, it is vital that you get accurate information about these practical matters, and this advice guide can help you with this.

Immigration implications if you hold Tier 4 immigration permission 

If you are considering interrupting, or leaving or changing your course of studies, or if you are required to resit out of attendance or repeat part of your studies, there could be implications for your Tier 4 immigration permission. 

Limit (“cap”) on number of years spent studying in the UK

There is a five academic year limit on university study in the UK at degree level with Tier 4 immigration permission, or with pre-Tier 4 student immigration permission. There are exceptions for postgraduate research programmes, Medicine and Dentistry, and for progressing from a 4-year Bachelors to a 2-year Masters.

If your current immigration permission already takes you to the five academic year limit, it may not be possible to apply for any further Tier 4 permission to repeat part of your studies. To check if these limits will affect your study plans, please see the subsection “Time limit (“cap”) on studies” in our guidance on making a Tier 4 (General) Student immigration application

Will my immigration permission be curtailed (cut short)?

If you are currently in the UK with Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, changes to your studies may result in your immigration permission being curtailed or cancelled. Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information.

If you have an authorised absence from your School which means that you will interrupt your course for less than 60 days, and you can still complete your studies within your existing Tier 4 permission, then this would not be reported to Home Office. In this case your Tier 4 immigration permission would not be curtailed.   

Warning: It is important that you make time to read this guidance and make sure that you personally understand the implications that changes to your studies will have on your immigration permission. 

Research Degree Students

If you need to take leave for one of the following reasons it may be possible to interrupt for more than 60 days without Queen Mary withdrawing sponsorship, unless this means you cannot complete your studies within your current period of Tier 4 immigration permission.  Evidence will be required to support your request. Contact the Research Degrees Office to discuss this with them:

  • statutory maternity leave
  • statutory paternity leave
  • statutory parental leave
  • statutory shared parental leave
  • statutory adoption leave

What are the implications of changes to my studies?

Please see our guidance on the immigration implications of changes to your studies to see how this may affect you. This guidance contains information on: 

    • Changing courses at Queen Mary

 

    • Changes to the details of your course at Queen Mary

 

    • Progressing onto another course at Queen Mary

 

    • Progressing onto a new course at a different institution

 

    • Withdrawing from your course at Queen Mary and moving to a different institution

 

    • Information for intercalating medical students

Interrupting your studies (taking time out)

Why might I interrupt?

You might decide that you need to take a break from your studies for personal, medical or financial reasons. At Queen Mary University of London, we call this ‘interrupting’ your studies. You may interrupt for a minimum of one month and a maximum of two years in total. Interruptions for a period longer than this will be granted only in highly exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the Queen Mary Academic Registrar.

If you are experiencing health, personal or financial issues which are impacting on your ability to study, get advice as soon as you can about your options. Your academic school, the Advice and Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service and the Learning Development team can all offer you support depending on your circumstances. This may result in you being able to continue with your studies at Queen Mary so you would not need to interrupt.

If you do decide that you want to interrupt your studies, you must get permission from your academic school. Speak to your personal tutor or academic adviser about why you feel that you need to interrupt, whether this will be allowed, and if so, when would be the best time for you to return. If you are an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student, you can only resume at the start of a semester, not part way through. There is a Student Support Officer in most academic schools who is usually your first point of contact for this type of issue.

Your Tier 4 immigration permission requires you to be enrolled and studying full-time at Queen Mary. If you interrupt, your permission will normally be curtailed and you will need to leave the UK. Your Tier 4 immigration permission does not allow you to interrupt and stay in the UK for work experience, to earn money for your studies, or to spend a “gap year” in the UK. Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information.

When is the deadline to interrupt?

There are strict deadlines for interrupting. These dates apply to most taught degree courses but there are some exceptions - see below. In the 2019/20 academic year the deadlines are:

  • Friday 3 January 2020 if you do not wish to sit the Semester A exams
  • Friday 1 May 2020 if you do not wish to sit the Semster B exams

(If you are a medical or dental student, the official deadlines for interrupting differ according to which course you are studying and which academic year you are in. Check with the Student Office at Whitechapel). 

If you are a PHD student check with the Research Office. 

These dates may also not apply if your course is held outside of the UK. There are also variations for distance learning programmes and courses with a January or April start date.  Therefore please always check the relevant dates with your School.

If you miss the deadline but feel that you are unfit to sit exams or submit coursework due to medical or personal circumstances, you need to consider making a claim under the university's Extenuating Circumstances policy. Full guidance on this policy and how to submit a claim is explained in the Advice and Counselling Service advice guide Extenuating Circumstances.

If you sit the Semester A exams and want to interrupt before the start of Semester B, you need to apply for an interruption by Friday 17 January 2020.

Interrupting during the summer vacation -  If you are an undergraduate student you may have completed the academic year and decide during the summer vacation that you need to take time out and return to your studies at a later date (for example due to health, personal or financial reasons), you need to obtain permission from your Academic School and submit an Interruption of Study form. The interruption deadlines above do not apply in this situation. Postgraduate students should discuss interrupting during the Summer with their academic school as this not normally a vacation period.

How do I apply for an interruption of study?

You will need to complete an Interruption of Study form (see the next section). Try and do this as soon as you can so your tuition fee liability can be correctly reassessed according to the date you interrupt (see the later section of this advice guide Tuition Fees and Refunds).

If you are a medical or dental student, the official deadlines for interrupting are different, and can vary depending on your course and your academic year. Check with the Student Office at Whitechapel.

On the interruption of study form you need to write your planned date of return, which you will need to agree with your academic school. When you are allowed to resume depends partly on what point in the year you interrupt. 

Where can I get an Interruption of Study form?

You can print this from the Queen Mary Registry website.

You can also get a form and guidance notes from the Student Enquiry Centre(ground floor, Queens’ Building, Mile End campus), or from the Student Office at the Whitechapel campus or from the Advice and Counselling Service reception.

If you are a PhD student, visit the Forms and Guidance Notes section of the Research Degrees Office website.

How do I complete the form?

The form asks for your last date in regular attendance and the date your studies will resume. If you stopped attending Queen Mary University of London sometime before you decided you wanted to interrupt, your academic school may agree to backdate your interruption of study. If this happens, your tuition fee liability would be reassessed which may result in a decreased liability depending on the date you interrupt – see the later section of this advice guide Tuition Fees and Refunds for more advice about this.

What do I do with the form?

You need to submit the interruption of study form to your academic school by the deadline (see above). Your school will then need to sign the form to say that your interruption of study and proposed return date have been approved. Ask your school for a copy of the completed form. Your school will then scan the form and send it electronically to Queen Mary Registry. Once the Registry have processed your interruption, they will either send you a letter or an email confirmation. You can also check on Mysis that the interruption has been processed.

If you are in the UK on Tier 4 Student leave, once the relevant office at Queen Mary receive your interruption of studies form they will check to see if you will be interrupting for more than 60 days during term time. Normally, if you will be interrupting for more than 60 days, Queen Mary will report your interruption to the Home Office. Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information.

What if I miss the deadline for interrupting?

If you miss the interruption deadline but feel that you are unfit to sit exams or to submit coursework due to medical or personal reasons, you need to make an extenuating circumstances claim to your academic school. This will involve getting documentation to give to your school as evidence to support your claim. For information about the process of submitting a claim for extenuating circumstances, please read our ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ guide.

If you have only narrowly missed the interruption deadline and you have evidence of compelling reasons why you couldn’t meet it, for example if you were in hospital, you can talk to your academic school about whether they can exceptionally process a late interruption.

Do I need to do anything before I return from an interruption?

You should check with your academic school well in advance of your resumption of study date to ask whether they will need you to provide any information before they can allow you to resume. For example, if you interrupted for health reasons, the school might need you to provide medical evidence that you are now well enough to study.

If you interrupted due to ongoing ill health, a disability, specific learning difficulty, or mental health condition, contact the Queen Mary Disability and Dyslexia Service several weeks before you are due to resume. They can advise you about any extra support you may be eligible for, and if you have contacted them early enough, this can then be put in place in time for your resumption. 

You must also check your immigration options as you may need a new visa to return to your course.  Read the following sections of this guide: How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to undertake my re-sits and How and when do I apply for immigration permision to return to my studies.

What if I pass my exams but still want to take time out?

Even though you may be able to progress to your next year of study, you might decide after the exam period or during the summer vacation that you need to take time out and return to your studies at a later date. This could be due to health, personal or financial reasons. If you wish to do this, you would need to obtain permission from your Academic School and submit an Interruption of Study form as above.

If you are in the UK on Tier 4 student leave you will not normally be allowed to remain in the UK while you are not attending your course. Please see our guidance on  for more information.

Students who are temporarily enrolled

If you are temporarily enrolled because you have not been able to pay the amount of tuition fee which is required to fully enrol or if you have not been able to provide evidence of your qualifications, you will have been given a deadline on which your temporary enrolment will end, at which time your record at Queen Mary will normally be terminated. If you know that you will be unable to pay the required amount of tuition fee or provide evidence of your qualifications by that deadline, and you are unable to arrange an extension of that deadline, you could apply to your academic school to interrupt your studies, rather than have your record terminated. If you are allowed to interrupt, you can resume your studies the following academic year, without having to apply for a new place. You won’t normally be charged any tuition fees if you were only temporarily enrolled.

 

Resitting out of attendance

If you have not passed enough modules to progress into the next academic year of your course, you will normally be required to re-sit failed modules at the next available opportunity, which is usually in August. If you pass these re-sits, you will be able to progress into the next academic year in September.

What if I am not able to do the August re-sits?

If you feel that the reason you failed some modules was due to health or personal issues, and that these will not be resolved before the August re-sits, you could apply under the Extenuating Circumstances policy for permission to be absent from the August exams, and to defer your re-sits until May of the next academic year. See our guidance on Extenuating Circumstances for more information.

This means you would be ‘out of attendance’ for a year. You are not normally required to participate in your studies while you are re-sitting out of attendance.

Very rarely, if a student has health or other personal issues which means that they cannot undertake re-sits the following academic year, Queen Mary may give permission for a second consecutive year of re-sitting out of attendance.

Immigration implications if you hold Tier 4 immigration permission

If you are re-sitting out of attendance, Queen Mary will need to report this to the Home Office, who will curtail your immigration permission.  This means you will need to leave the UK.

Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information.

For information about immigration options to return to the UK to do your re-sits, see the section of this guide "How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to undertake my re-sits?"

Fees

You do not usually have to pay tuition fees during your period out of attendance. There are no exam re-sit fees.

Resitting a project or dissertation

If you are resitting your project or dissertation, Queen Mary will not normally issue you with a CAS or provide you with any documentation to support any other type of immigration application on the basis of your studies because there is not normally a requirement for you to be in the UK.

If you are resitting a project or dissertation, you should be able to do this outside of the UK. If your project or dissertation requires sample data, your school should provide you with this.

If you feel that you need physical access to the Library or other resources (though strictly speaking you shouldn't need to if the decision is that you are re-sitting out of attendance), then you can use the time between now and when your current immigration permission expires or is curtailed (cut short) to use these resources.

If you feel that you need to spend more time in the UK preparing your dissertation than your current Tier 4 permission allows, contact Immigration Compliance (casinfo@qmul.ac.uk) to see if this will be possible. They will need to contact your academic school to ask if they require you to be in the UK to prepare or submit your dissertation. It is unusual for an academic school to support this, but if they do, the Registry may be able to issue you with a letter which you can use to apply to come to the UK as a Short Term Student. See the section of this guideHow and when do I apply for new immigration permission to undertake my re-sits?”.

I want to retake my studies in attendance

Retakes of modules (requiring attendance) are only approved in extremely limited circumstances.

If you feel that you should be given an opportunity to re-take your modules again (by attending your classes again) you need to make a successful academic appeal. However, as students are expected to have arranged an interruption of studies if they are not fit enough to engage with their studies or sit exams, appeals are usually only successful if you can show that you were not able to interrupt. Please see the Academic Registry website for more information about academic appeals. If you would like advice about whether you have grounds to appeal, you can seek advice from the Students' Union's Academic Advice Service.

Please also see the section of this guide Re-taking a period of study in attendance”.

Undertaking studies elsewhere during a period of interruption or resitting out of attendance

You need to check with your School whether you are able to take time out of your course and how long you can interrupt your study.  

Impact on Tier 4 student immigration permission

If you are in the UK with Tier 4 student immigration permission and you interrupt your studies or re-sit out of attendance, you will not be required to attend your course. Queen Mary will report this to the Home Office and your visa should be curtailed.  Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information. 

Tier 4 progression requirements

Even if Queen Mary agrees that you can study elsewhere, the logistics of two new Tier 4 (General) Student immigration applications (one to move to your new institution and one to return to your studies at Queen Mary could be problematic.

Because you would not have completed your course at Queen Mary, you would normally have to return home to make an immigration application to study elsewhere as your new institution will be unable to certify progression.

You would normally have to return home to make your immigration application to resume your studies at Queen Mary. This is because your continued studies at Queen Mary would not be a progression of your studies elsewhere.

Tine spent attending another course on a Tier 4 visa would also count towards the cap (the number of years you are allowed to study in the UK at degree level).  See our section for information about the Time Limit (cap) on studies on Tier 4 leave.

How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to undertake my re-sits?

This information applies if you have been studying in the UK with Tier 4 immigration permission.  

Do I have to apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK?

If you have been studying with Tier 4 immigration permission, this immigration permission should have been curtailed (see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment), and you should apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK.

If you attempt to travel on your existing Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, you may be denied entry to the UK.

What sort of immigration permission should I apply for?

If you are returning to the UK to take re-sits you will normally apply for Short-Term Student immigration permission

However from September 2019, for most Undergraduate and Taught postgraduate courses there will be two exam periods in the academic year. Exams will be held in January and May/June.  The late re-sit option in August remains in place.

(Please note that the two exam periods will not apply to MBBS/BDS, some programmes taught outside of the UK, programmes with a January or April start date and some distance learning programmes).

If you are due to take your re-sits in January and will immediately continue to attend Semester B you may have the option to apply for Tier 4 immigration permission to cover your re-sits and the remainder of your course. 

If you are due to take re-sits in May then continue to attend your course from the next Semester you may also have the option to apply for Tier 4 immigration permission This would also cover your re-sits and the remainder of your course. For example this may be the case for you if you are undertaking re-sits in the second year of your undergraduate degree and will progress onto your third year if you successfully pass the re-sits.

However, if you are taking re-sits only and will not be attending your course at the next available opportunity, you may have to make two (or more) visa applications. Here are some examples:

You are returning to sit your January exams and will not be attending Semester B.

  • You will require Short-Term Student immigration permission to sit your exams.
  • Within 30 days of completing your exams you are required to leave the UK.
  • You will require a Tier 4 student visa to return to the UK to resume your study with attendance.

Please note that you will not normally be allowed to sit your exams with Standard Visitor permission. 

You are required to sit exams in January and May while out of attendance

If you are not required to attend your course, it may be possible to obtain Short-Term Student immigration permission once so that it covers both exam dates.  There are two issues to consider:

  • you must clearly state in your application that you intend to sit exams in January and in May so that you do not have to leave within 30 days of completing the January exams and,
  • The maximum period of time allowed in the UK with this immigration permission is 6 months so you must also consider when you want to obtain this immigration permission so that it covers both exam periods.  Timing is important.

Remember you will not be able to work in the UK with Short term student immigration permission and will not be able to extend this visa. You will have to return home to apply for further Tier 4 immigration permission if continuing to attend your studies or if you intend to apply for a different immigration category.

If you are unsure of your immigration options please contact a Welfare Adviser for advice.

Our guides for Short-term Student immigration permission and Tier 4 immigration permission explain how to apply and which documents you will need to support your application. 

I also need to attend my graduation ceremony - a warning about frequent and successive visits

Short-term student immigration permission is granted for six months at a time. There is no rule that states a visitor can only remain in the UK for 6 out of any 12 months, but a Home Office decision maker will examine the pattern and frequency of visits to see that it does not amount to residence.

If there will be a large gap between your exams and your graduation ceremony (this may be the case if you are studying a Masters degree), you may need to apply for immigration permission and travel to and from the UK twice: once for your exams and once for your graduation ceremony.

You may need to return to the UK twice, first as a Short-term student to sit your exams, and then as a Standard Visitor to attend graduation. 

I will be resuming my studies after I have passed my re-sit exams. What should I do?

If, after successfully completing your exams with Short-Term Student immigration permission, you will be continuing your studies, you will have to return home again to make a further Tier 4 (General) Student immigration application (please see the next section for more information).

 

 

 

 

 

 

How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to return to my studies?

Do I have to apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK?

Because your Tier 4 immigration permission should have been curtailed (see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment), you should apply for new immigration permission before returning to the UK.

If you attempt to travel on your existing Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission you may be denied entry to the UK.

 

What sort of immigration permission should I apply for?

If you are returning to your studies, you will normally need to apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission. However, if you are returning to the UK to take a short period of study, and you do not intend to stay on in the UK after your studies (for example as a Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker or to undertake further studies), you may decide to apply to return to the UK as a Short-Term Student instead of under Tier 4

 

Further guidance

If you will be applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, we have produced an advice guide, “Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission” and video guides to help you apply. You can find these resources on the Advice and Counselling Service website.

 

If you will be applying for Short-Term Student immigration permission, see our advice guide, “What Immigration permission do I need to study at QMUL?” You can access this advice guide from the Advice and Counselling Service website.

 

These guides explain how and when you can make your application, what documents you will need and how to get them.

What about my financial sponsorship while I am interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance?

If you receive financial sponsorship from your government or other organisation, contact them as soon as you have arranged to interrupt or re-sit out of attendance.

Check that they will continue to sponsor you after you return to your programme of study, and whether they will sponsor you during your period out of attendance. If they will not sponsor you during this time, you will need to make alternative financial arrangements.

Students who have been fully sponsored for both tuition fees and living costs by a government or international scholarship agency will normally need the sponsor’s specific consent for a future Tier 4 application to complete or extend studies. This consent is required even if you will be self-funded for the new period of study.

Refer to our web pages for help planning your finances.

Practicalities if you are no longer in attendance

What university services can I use while I am interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance?

The Queen Mary University of London regulations state that if you are not enrolled or registered (and this normally includes people who have interrupted their studies, or who are re-sitting out of attendance) you may not use most Queen Mary facilities. The exception to this is if your academic school agrees to make a request for you to have use of a facility which they feel you specifically need. If you feel that there are strong reasons why your studies are being adversely affected because you don’t have access to a certain Queen Mary facility during your interruption or re-sit out of attendance, contact your academic school to discuss this. There is more information on the Queen Mary University of London Registry webpages

Academic school or institute

You might only have limited contact, if any, with academic staff during a period of interruption or re-sitting out of attendance. Check with your academic school or institute whether you can contact your personal adviser, tutor or Student Support Officer if you need help planning your revision or for feedback about what caused you to fail last time. 

Library

Your library access may be stopped if you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance. 

IT Services

Your access to IT Services will normally remain the same while you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance. However, if you do not use your email account for a long time, you may be sent an email asking if you want to keep the account open. If you do not respond to this email, and you are not enrolled, your email account will be disabled. 

Careers and Enterprise Service

You can use the Careers and Enterprise Service while you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance.  

Disability and Dyslexia Service

Even if you have not previously been supported by the Disability and Dyslexia Service, you can still contact them for support whilst you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance.

It can also be helpful to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service to get advice about what support you might need when you resume your studies, if you are taking time out because of ill-health, a disability, or a mental health issue. 

Advice and Counselling Service

You can use the Advice and Counselling Service, even if you have not previously done so, while you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance. 

Accommodation 

I live in Queen Mary University of London Residences 

If you live in Queen Mary Residences and need to interrupt or re-sit out of attendance, or you withdraw from your studies at Queen Mary, or are deregistered or transfer to a different university, you will not normally be able to stay in your accommodation and will need to move out.

As soon as Queen Mary has approved your change of circumstances, you will need to provide a copy of the relevant documentation to Queen Mary Housing Services. You will then be asked to complete a ‘Notice of Intention to Vacate’ form giving 28 days’ written notice to leave your Queen Mary accommodation.

You will remain liable for residential fees for the full 28 days unless Housing Services are able to re-let your accommodation sooner. Once the 28 day period has expired and you have returned your keys, your liability will cease.

See the Moving out early section of the Residents’ Handbook for more information. 

I live in privately rented accommodation 

If you are renting accommodation from a private landlord, and you need to move out because of a change to your academic studies, you need to carefully check the terms of your contract. If you have signed a contract for a set period of time such as nine months or a year, you cannot normally give notice to end your tenancy until the fixed term has ended, unless the contract contains a ‘break clause’ allowing you to give notice part way through. Contact Queen Mary Housing Services with a copy of your tenancy agreement or contract for advice about your options. 

Council Tax

You retain your full-time student status during an interruption of study or re-sit out of attendance, and so you would normally remain exempt from having to pay Council Tax. An exception to this can be students who are re-sitting their final year out of attendance. The rules are explained in our Council Tax advice guide

If you withdraw from or are deregistered from your course, you are no longer a full-time student and so you cannot claim Council Tax exemption on that basis. 

18+ Student Oystercard

If you have an 18+ Student Oystercard, Queen Mary University of London will notify Transport for London (TFL) that you are no longer in attendance. When TFL receives this notification, they will cancel your student discount, but you can continue to use your Oystercard as a standard Oyster card.

If you resume your studies, you will need to pay for a new 18+ Student Oystercard. 

NUS Extra card

If you already have an NUS Extra card, this should not be cancelled as neither Queen Mary University of London nor the Student Union would normally notify NUS that you are no longer attending.

If you are interrupting or re-sitting out of attendance, and you do not already have an NUS Extra card, it should still be possible to apply for one. 

National Railcard/Coachcard

If you already have a national railcard or national coach card it should not be cancelled if you are no longer in attendance. However, if you have already interrupted your studies or are already out of attendance and wish to apply for a new card, the Student Enquiry Centre will not normally stamp the application form as it asks for confirmation of attendance.

Re-taking a period of study in attendance

Why might I need to re-take a period of study?

Re-taking a period of study in attendance is only offered in very limited circumstances, as students are expected to interrupt their studies if they are not fit to engage with their studies effectively.

However, if you have an extenuating circumstances claim approved by Queen Mary University of London, you might be granted a re-take in attendance as part of your claim. For more information about Queen Mary University of London’s extenuating circumstances claim process, see our advice guide Extenuating Circumstances.

If you are granted a re-take in attendance, you must make sure that you have enough funding for this, as you will usually have to pay tuition fees and living costs for the extra period of time.

Medical and Dental students are usually required to re-take the whole academic year in attendance if they have interrupted their studies or need to re-sit exams. 

What about my tuition fees?

See the section of this guide Tuition Fees and Refunds’

What about my funding?

You must make sure that you have sufficient funds to pay for your tuition fees and maintenance costs for your extra period of study.

If you are sponsored by your government or other organisation, check that they will continue to fund you for this. If not, you must find alternative funds to pay for your tuition fees and maintenance costs for the extra period of time. 

What about my Tier 4 immigration permission (‘visa’)?

If you do not have to interrupt your studies and/or you will not have any gaps in attendance on your course, your Tier 4 student immigration permission should continue as normal.  However as you are likley to take longer to complete your course than expected, your Tier 4 student immigration permission may no longer cover the full length of your course and you will need to apply for additional Tier 4 Student immigration permission in order to complete it.  Contact Student Advice to check if you can make this application in the UK or will be required to leave the UK and apply from your home country. For more information see the section below "Applying for new Tier 4 Immigration Permission".

If you have an authorised absence from your School which means that you will interrupt your course for less than 60 days, and you can still complete your studies within your existing Tier 4 permission, this would not be reported to Home Office. In this case your Tier 4 immigration permission would not be curtailed and you can continue to study  using your current Tier 4 immigration permission.

However, if you have not been attending your course, have had a gap in your study and/or interrupted your study for more than 60 days, this should have been reported to the Home Office.  Normally your visa will have been curtailed and you will have left the UK and returned home.

You can read more about this and the options available to you in our Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment page. 

If a report has been made to the Home Office and/or your visa has been curtailed, you should not try to travel back to the UK using your last Tier 4 immigration permission.  Instead you will normally require a new Tier 4 visa to return to the UK and resume your study and re-take the year.  If you are not sure whether Queen Mary has made a report to the Home Office or if your immigration permission has already been curtailed, you can contact us and we can help you to check.

Applying for new Tier 4 Immigration Permission (visa)

Before you apply for new Tier 4 student immigration permission you must also check that you can now complete your studies within the relevant Home Office time limit, which is normally five academic years. Information about the time limit can be found in our Guide Applying for Tier 4 General Student immigration permission. If you will not have enough time remaining, please contact a Welfare Adviser about your options.

If you are within the time limit and you need to apply for a new Tier 4 (General) Student visa to return to the UK to complete your course, you will need to make a Tier 4 (General) student immigration application for the additional time that you will need.  For your application you will need a new Confirmation of Acceptance of studies (CAS).  You must apply for a CAS from the Academic Registry. You should be able to apply for your new CAS through MySIS after your student record has been updated to reflect your new expected completion date.

Remember you must also meet the Tier 4 visa requirements including the financial requirements. 

If you will be applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, we have produced an advice guide, “Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission” and video guides to help you apply. You can find these resources on the Advice and Counselling Service website.

Leaving your studies completely (withdrawing/deregistration)

Withdrawing 

You may be thinking about leaving completely with no intention of returning to your current programme of study. Make sure that you talk your decision through with somebody first. This might be your personal tutor, academic adviser or a member of staff at the Advice and Counselling Service. If you decide this is the best option for you, you will need to complete a withdrawal of study form, which your academic school will need to sign to approve your withdrawal. This will be sent to Registry and your student record will be updated. Once you have withdrawn from Queen Mary University of London, you cannot return to your programme of study, although you could later on apply as a new student for a new programme of study. 

You can get a Withdrawal of Study form and guidance notes from Queen Mary Registry webpages or from the Student Enquiry Centre, ground floor, Queens Building, Mile End campus, or from the Student Office at the Whitechapel campus. 

In 2019/20 the withdrawal deadlines are:

  • Friday 3 January 2020
  • Friday 1 May 2020

If you miss these dates you can still withdraw but your last date of attendance on the withdrawal form cannot normally be backdated to before the exam period. 

If you missed the withdrawal deadline but you feel that you are unfit to sit exams or to submit coursework due to medical or personal reasons and, even though you are withdrawing you would still like the opportunity to do this, you need to make an extenuating circumstances claim to your academic school. This will involve getting documentation to give to your school as evidence to support your claim. For information about the process of submitting a claim for extenuating circumstances, and about what documents are acceptable as evidence, please read the Advice and Counselling Service advice guide Extenuating Circumstances. 

If you don't sit exams or submit coursework, and you don't submit an extenuating circumstances claim, you will normally be given a zero fail for those assessments. 

Deregistration

‘Deregistration’ is where Queen Mary decides to officially remove you as a student. This could be because your attendance is very poor or because you have not paid enough of your tuition fees.

As a result, you will not be eligible to continue your programme of study and cannot use any Queen Mary facilities, attend classes, sit examinations or attend graduation.  

Can I stay in the UK if I have withdrawn or been deregistered?

This will depend on the UK immigration permission you hold.

If you hold Tier 4 student immigration permission,  you will not normally be able to stay in the UK.  Withdrawing from your programme of study or being deregistered means that you are no longer a student and Queen Mary will report your withdrawal or deregistration to the Home Office. Please see our guidance on Tier 4 Reporting and Curtailment for more information. 

What if I plan to start a new programme of study?

See the section of this guide, Transferring to a new programme of study

What if I want to return to my programme of study at Queen Mary?

If you have withdrawn from your programme of study at Queen Mary, you cannot be reinstated on that programme of study. You would need to apply for a place on a programme of study as a new student.

If you have been deregistered for non-payment of tuition fees, you may be able to get reinstated on your programme. To preserve your right to rejoin your course at a later date, you will have to pay your outstanding tuition fees and an administrative charge of £250 by 31st July of the same year in which you are deregistered. If you do this, you will normally be able to resume your studies at Queen Mary, but no earlier than 12 months following your date of deregistration. As you will have paid your outstanding fees by 31st July, when you return to complete the academic year (in which you were deregistered) you should have no further tuition fee to pay for that academic year. If you cannot pay your outstanding fee by 31st July, you cannot normally be reinstated at Queen Mary .

If Queen Mary decides to allow you to return to your programme of study, please see the section of this guide “How and when do I apply for new immigration permission to return to my studies?”. 

Can I submit an appeal or make a complaint about being deregistered?

Yes, you may submit an appeal against the decision to deregister you. The letter you receive informing you that you have been deregistered should explain that you have a right of appeal against your deregistration. If you decide you want to appeal, you must do so within 14 days of the date stated on the letter. As deregistration relates to progression on your programme of study, you would need to submit an appeal rather than a complaint. If your appeal is successful, you would normally be allowed to be reinstated on your course. However, if you are not looking to reverse the deregistration decision, but wish to complain about other matters such as, for example, the way that your deregistration has been processed, you could consider making a complaint. You must submit your complaint within 3 months of the date stated on your deregistration letter.

To find out how to make an appeal or complaint, see the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Office webpages.

Before you submit your appeal or complaint, it may be useful for you to take independent advice from the Academic Advice Service in the Students Union.

Tuition Fees and Refunds

This information is taken from the Queen Mary University of London Tuition Fee Regulations.

Interrupting your studies

The following table explains what you will have to pay depending on when you interrupt your studies and when your school agrees you can return.

 

Table 1: Fee liability following an interruption

Start of interruption

Resuming study at the start of semester 1 the following academic year

Resuming study at the start of semester 2, the following academic year

Interrupting at any time during semester 1:
You will be liable for 100% of your tuition fee for this academic year and…

You will be liable for the whole tuition fee for the following academic year.

You will be liable for 50% of the tuition fee for the following academic year

Interrupting at any time during semester 2:

You will be liable for 100% of your tuition fee for this academic year and…

You will be liable for the whole tuition fee for the following academic year.

You will be liable for 50% of the tuition fee for the following academic year.

International students who interrupt their studies before the start of the second semester will not normally get a refund unless they meet one of the exceptions set out in the Tuition Fee Regulations, section 16.1.

You may, at the discretion of Queen Mary University of London, be allowed to credit 50% of the overseas university fees paid in the year you interrupt against the fees charged when you resume studies the following academic year.

International students who interrupt their studies during the 2nd semester will not be allowed to carry forward any part of the fees towards future fee charges.

Overseas tuition fees as well as Home/EU postgraduate fee are set by Queen Mary and are listed on the website. In normal circumstances if you return from an interruption of study you would be required to pay the fees of the new cohort you are joining. However if the reason for your interruption was pregnancy or a disability then you would normally be allowed to pay the annual inflationary fee increase only. The amount of this increase is confirmed by the Fees Office in June each year. Contact the Fees Office for further information. The reason for your interruption must be made clear at the point of interruption, on the form.

If you interrupt after completing semester 2, so that the following academic year you are able to resume in the exam period, we have been advised by the Fees Office that you will be liable to pay the difference between the total tuition fee for the year that you interrupted in, and the total tuition fee for the new cohort you join on resuming your studies. For example, if in 2018/19 your tuition fee is £12,000, and when you come back in 2019/20 a new student on the same course pays £12,500, you would be liable to pay £500. However, if your interruption was due to a disability or to pregnancy, when you resume in the exam period you would only be liable to pay the inflationary increase between the annual tuition fees.

Retaking in attendance

You may be retaking all or part of an academic year, after failing your exams, or being exempted from your exams due to extenuating circumstances. Normally you will pay the tuition fee of the new cohort you are joining in your retake year. However, if you are retaking due to pregnancy or disability, instead you would normally be allowed to pay the same rate of tuition fee that you paid in your previous academic year, plus the annual inflationary fee increase. The amount of this increase is confirmed by the Fees Office each June.

Resitting out of Attendance

You do not usually have to pay tuition fees during your period out of attendance and there are no resit fees.

Transferring to a new university

If you have personal or academic reasons why you want to transfer to a different university, you may be entitled to a refund of some of your tuition fees. Refunds can only be paid directly to the university that you are transferring to. The Queen Mary Fees Office can advise you about whether the university you are transferring to will qualify you for a refund.

If you have paid your tuition fees for the year in full and you transfer before the start of semester 2, you may be entitled to a refund of 50% of your tuition fee, which will be transferred to your new university. Contact the Fees Office to see if you are entitled to have any of your tuition fees transferred to your new university. You will need to have an unconditional offer for your new course before this is considered.

If you transfer in Semester 2, you will be liable for the full tuition fee for the academic year and you will not receive a refund. If you have not paid your tuition fee in full the Fees Office may instruct a debt collection agency to recover the remaining fee for the academic year.

Withdrawal

If you withdraw from your programme of study after enrolment you will be liable for your full tuition fee for the academic year unless you have exceptional circumstances (see below). If you have not paid your tuition fee in full the Fees Office may instruct a debt collection agency to recover the remaining fee for the academic year.

Exceptional circumstances

If you have to withdraw from your programme of study before the start of Semester 2 due to:

  • serious illness; or
  • the death of a close relative

you will only be liable for 50% of your tuition fees. If you are subject to UK immigration control and have paid your fees in full, you will be entitled to a refund of 50% of your fees if you can show that you have left the UK. If your immigration permission is dependent on your studies at Queen Mary, you will not receive your refund until you have obtained immigration permission on some other basis, have become exempt from immigration control or have left the UK.

If your circumstances don’t exactly match those listed above, but you wish to explain your reasons for withdrawal and whether you can be exceptionally considered for a refund, you should discuss your case with the Fees Office.

The Fees Office contact details are:

  • Queens Building W117
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7882 7676 or +44 (0)20 7882 3685 or +44 (0)20 7882 7775
  • Email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

If you withdraw after the start of semester 2, even if you have exceptional circumstances, you will be liable to pay the full tuition fee for the year.

 

Return to top