If you have been informed that you need to repeat the academic year, i.e. you are trailing at least 40 credits, please complete the Repeat Year Form and return it to Registry Services.
Is there a marking process followed when assessing my work?
Written assessments are moderated by a second marker. A minimum sample of 10% will be chosen, this includes an equal batch from the top, middle and bottom of the marking scale.
All dissertations and projects must be double marked.
[Level 4 students only] – All assessments at the pass / fail borderline should be double marked.
A representative sample of students work will normally be second marked in order to ensure consistent application of the assessment criteria
All borderline fails, including those at level 4 must be moderated
For each subject there will be one or more External Examiners appointed by the Academic Board to ensure that the system of assessment is fair and is fairly operated in the determination and classification of awards made to students.
How do I receive feedback on my coursework?
Staff provide students with timely and regular feedback on their performance and progress.
Feedback on coursework is provided on a structured feedback sheet that addresses the assessment criteria. Such feedback will include appropriate guidance on how the work may be improved.
Is it possible for me request feedback on an exam?
You may request feedback on examination performance from the module convenor on an individual basis.
I have a disability and require arrangements in place for my upcoming exam(s). How may I go about requesting this?
Special arrangements for an examination may be made for a candidate with a disability or additional requirements. You should apply for consideration in the first semester to the Dyslexia & Disability Co-Ordinator, or as soon as the additional requirement(s) are known.
If you wish to be assessed for additional requirements there will be a published deadline each semester for students.
Please contact Wellbeing for further information.
What happens if I do not submit coursework by the deadline?
If you fail to submit coursework by the set deadline you will receive a mark of zero for the assessment in question. Resit penalties will be applied unless you have submitted a successful extenuating circumstances (EC) claim which permits you a resit opportunity without penalty.
Can I request an extension on my coursework?
Extensions for coursework can only be considered following submission of a successful EC claim.
How many credits do I need to proceed to the next level of study?
The minimum number of credits required for progression is 100.
If you pass 100 credits you must still make up the missing 20 credits the following academic year in addition to the 120 credits.
You can make up the missing credits by either:
a) Resitting the outstanding module (you must do this if it is a core module, as core modules are compulsory parts of your course)
b) If the module you failed was optional, you can choose a new one to replace it (hence, take 140 credits rather than 120 credits)
I have passed 100 credits at Year 1 and 100 credits at Year 2. Can I proceed to Year 3?
No – you can only proceed to the next level of study if you have no more than 20 credits outstanding. In this scenario you have 40 credits outstanding therefore are not permitted to progress to Year 3.
I am a Year 3 student and did not achieve enough credits to graduate this summer. What happens now?
If you successfully achieve the required number of credits in the next academic year, you will be able to graduate in the award ceremony for that year.
What are Compensation Credits and Internal Module Compensation?
Compensation credits are awarded at the discretion of the Examination Board and applies if you have failed a module but exhibit strength in other areas.
Internal Module Compensation
If you have achieved a pass mark overall for a module but have not passed each individual assessment element, the Programme Examination Board may recommend that you are allowed to pass the module. (This is subject to the Programme Specification. It is advised you refer to your programme specification for further information.)
Please note you are required to gain a mark of at least 30% (for undergraduate programmes) and 40% (for postgraduate programmes) in any substantive assessment element to be compensated in a module.
*Substantive Assessments – assessments carrying at least 35% of the total marks available
For further information on compensation credits please refer to the Academic Regulations
I have failed a module, what are my options?
If you have failed a particular module, the Programme Examination Board shall recommend one of the following:
- re-submit for the failed module with consequent assessment penalty or;
- re-submit for the failed module with no assessment penalty (this applies where your EC claim has been approved) or;
- take a replacement module or;
- where there is no further resit or retake opportunity and it is a core module, your programme is terminated
I have failed an assessment/module and am required to resit/retake. Will I be penalised?
If you have failed an assessment or module then the mark gained in the resit or retake will be capped at the pass mark. (Unless the student has an approved University Level EC for that assessment)
For UG students the overall pass mark is 40%
For PG students the overall pass mark is 50%
When is the resit period and are there any re-sit fees to be aware of?
The resit period takes place at the next available opportunity which will either be July or the next time the module runs, whichever is easier.
If you are a final year student and have a failed a module in Semester 1 you will be offered the opportunity to resit the module in the Semester 2 main examination period. This will potentially allow you to graduate, if successful.
Resit fees may be required. You should check with the Fees Office for further details.
You may contact them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 8240 4035
I have already passed a module, but would like to resit it again to improve my grade. Is this feasible?
The Academic Regulations states the following:
“A candidate who has passed a particular module shall not be permitted to retake the assessment for that module,”
You cannot retake modules you have already passed.
You will have to retake any failed core modules. You may take new optional modules if you wish, provided there are spaces available.
I have been informed that I have failed an assessment and am entitled to a resit. How many times am I allowed to attempt the failed assessment?
Undergraduate students have their first attempt to pass their assignment, plus a further two resit attempts.
Postgraduate students have their first attempt to pass their assignment and only one further resit attempt.
The Academic Regulations states the following: “PGCE students have the right to resit two failed pieces of academic work only. Further resits are at the discretion of the University PGCE Examination Board.”
As mentioned in the regulations it is advised you refer to your Programme Specification for accurate information about re-sits. Programme specifications are available to access here.
Will repeating the year give me extra attempts at the modules I failed?
No – you will not get any additional attempts.
All previous attempts will remain on your examination record. This will be your final attempt at any module unless you have had an EC claim approved for the modules in question.
If you have not had an approved EC claim, your marks will be capped at 40% (UG students).
If, during your repeat year, you have failed a core module on your third attempt your programme will be subject to termination in accordance with the University’s Academic Regulations.
All UG students have a maximum of three attempts at each assessment and must pass all core (compulsory) modules.
What happens regarding my Student Finance next year?
Tuition fees will be charged on a pro-rata basis, depending on how many credits (modules) you will need to take next year.
If you are in receipt of Student Finance and decide to retake modules next year (on a part time or full time basis), you are strongly advised to contact Student Finance to obtain information regarding funding and any impact repeating a year may have on future funding.
There were issues that affected my studies last year. What happens now?
If you experience personal or other difficulties (e.g. health problems) which affect your studies, you are advised to seek help from either your academic programme or Student Wellbeing as appropriate.
During your studies if you feel that your academic performance is affected by extenuating circumstances, you are entitled to submit an extenuating circumstances claim. Please be aware that this will not enable you to progress but it may prevent your marks from being penalised if your claim is successful.
I do not want to continue and repeat my modules. What happens now?
If you do not wish to retake the modules, you should withdraw from the University by completing the appropriate paperwork with Registry. Please email email@example.com for further information.
Please note: If we do not hear from you and you do not register in September, it will be assumed that you have withdrawn and your record will be updated accordingly, with no further communication from St Mary’s, other than the issuing of an exit award, should you meet strict eligibility criteria.
How do I apply for a DBS certificate?
- Once the University have registered you with First Advantage Online Disclosures (an external provider who administers the DBS check) an email will be sent to your email account prompting you to complete an online application and nominate three documents to verify your identity and address.
- You will then be asked to bring your three nominated documents to the Registry department (located on the first floor of the J Block) for verification. One document must be from Group 1 and two from either Group 1 or Group 2. Please note photocopies will not be accepted. You must bring in original documents for verification.
- Once the documents have been verified you are required to pay for your DBS application online via the First Advantage website.
- Following submission of the online DBS form your application will be sent to DBS electronically for checks to be made in accordance with their statutory powers and the police. You will be issued a unique serial number for your reference.
What information must I need to include on my DBS application form?
All the addresses and postcodes that you have lived at for the past 5 years
- National Insurance Number
- Place of Birth
- Passport Number
- Driving Licence Number (if applicable)
What three documents do I need to provide for verification?
You must provide at least three original documents; one from Group 1 and any two from Group 1 or 2. Please check the Government website for suitable documentation.
How much are the fees for DBS checks?
Prices effective from 1st October 2019:
- Basic DBS Check: £23
- Standard DBS Check: £23
- Enhanced DBS Check: £40
Please note the fee for the Update Service will remain the same, at £13 per year. The fee for an Adult First check will also remain the same, at £6.
For up to date prices, please check the Government website.
Can I track my DBS application?
Yes, you may track the application. In order to do so please visit the First Advantage website and use your unique serial number.
Where will my DBS be posted?
Your DBS certificate will be posted to the primary address you have noted on your application. Please note it is your responsibility to ensure you provide the correct address.
What is the Update Service?
The Update Service allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date for as long as you subscribe or until new information is added to your certificate. You will need to apply for the service within 20 days of your certificate being issued.
I have lost my DBS Certificate, how do I get a new one?
Please note DBS can process your request if all of the following points apply:
- Your DBS certificate was issued over 14 days ago, but you haven’t received it
- The reprint request has been made within 3 months of the date of issue of your certificate
- The address you request your certificate to be reprinted and sent to matches the address on your DBS application
If your reprint request meets the criteria complete the relevant reprint form and email it to DBSReprints@dbs.gov.uk.
If you have lost/damaged your DBS certificate, you will need to begin a new application and cover the costs for the new DBS certificate once issued.
Who decides whether my claim for Extenuating Circumstances is granted?
This will be done by your Programme Team for Programme-level claims, and by a panel of senior members of St Mary’s staff for University-level claims. Each case will be considered on its merits and a judgement made as to whether the claim for Extenuating Circumstances is to be granted – and this will be done solely on the basis of the form and the documentary evidence submitted.
Who will see the evidence I present to support my claim for Extenuating Circumstances?
The Programme tutor for Programme-level claims; and the Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Committee for University-level claims.
However, where University-level claims involve very sensitive personal information (such as detailed medical certificates and police reports) these are treated very carefully in order to ensure the student’s privacy and confidentiality. Normally only the Chair of the Sub-Committee will examine this type of evidence, and then just confirm to the rest of the members that relevant acceptable evidence has been presented – and the claim is then assessed on that basis.
What happens if I am granted Extenuating Circumstances for an examination?
If your application for Extenuating Circumstances is successful you will be offered a further attempt at the exam without penalty (ie: your mark for that attempt will not be capped at the pass mark). This attempt should normally be made at the next available opportunity, which will either be the Semester 1, Semester 2 or the Summer Resit Examinations periods – it is not possible for additional examination sessions to be arranged for students as a result of Extenuating Circumstances.
Please note: if you do not have sufficient credits to proceed into the next year of your course, you will be required to take a Leave of Absence, or be a “Suspended” or “Repeat Year” student.
What is meant by a serious impact on performance?
Many things may have an impact on your performance – a poor night’s sleep, minor illness (such as a cough or cold), a minor injury, and financial worries etc. Whilst these may well affect your performance they would not be expected to have a serious impact and hence would not normally be acceptable as Extenuating Circumstances.
What happens if I sit an exam or submit coursework and then wish to apply for Extenuating Circumstances?
If you sit an examination or submit coursework by the deadline then you are stating that you are “fit-to-sit” and you will not be eligible to apply for Extenuating Circumstances.
What is meant by the statement that I am expected to make reasonable plans to take into account commonly occurring circumstances even those which, on occasion, may have been unforeseeable and unpreventable?
For example, if you commonly take a route to University which experiences severe traffic delays on occasion, you would be expected to leave earlier or plan to take an alternative route on the morning of an examination. The important point is that it is up to you to manage your life so that these types of occurrences can be handled if they arise.
What happens if I cannot submit my coursework on or by the deadline date because of delays with printing or transport problems?
Claims for Extenuating Circumstances for missing a coursework deadline date for circumstances occurring on the date of submission will not normally be successful. You should plan to finish and submit your coursework before the last available date. The coursework deadline is the last available date for submission not the target date. If you choose to leave it to ‘the last minute’ you are choosing to put yourself at risk of non-submission through poor planning.
Does an Extenuating Circumstances claim allow me to get a better grade/raise my mark(s)?
Extenuating Circumstances do not allow you to achieve better marks by improving and completing coursework past the deadline, nor does it enable you to get a better mark in the exam(s) for which you have been granted Extenuating Circumstances.
What a successful claim for Extenuating Circumstances does allow is for a further attempt of the affected piece(s) of work without penalty – ie: if you successfully pass the assessment your new mark for the attempt for which you were awarded Extenuating Circumstances will be given without being capped at the pass mark.
What if I submit my coursework on time by the deadline? Can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances in order to improve on my marks?
No. If you hand your coursework in on time, you will not normally be eligible to apply for Extenuating Circumstances. Extenuating Circumstances do not exist for you to be able to improve on the work you have handed in and/or for it to be re-assessed.
If you hand your coursework in on time, it will be assessed and a mark awarded based on the quality of that work. You will not be able to apply for Extenuating Circumstances if you have already submitted your coursework.
What happens if I was misinformed of the coursework deadline or examination date?
This would not be covered by Extenuating Circumstances. However, it might be grounds for an Academic Appeal on the basis of a procedural irregularity or it might be dealt with as a Complaint.
Please see the Academic Appeals Procedure and/or the Student Complaints Procedure for more information.
What happens if I was not given adequate supervision for my project?
This would not be covered by Extenuating Circumstances but might give grounds for a Complaint which would be handled under the Student Complaints Procedure.
Can I claim Extenuating Circumstances on the basis that I have a disability?
This would not normally be covered by Extenuating Circumstances. There are separate procedures governing disability and the University’s obligations in this area, and if you have a disability which is affecting your studies you should contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service (within Student Wellbeing) for support.
If you have a long-standing condition then you will need to Register with Student Wellbeing. If applying for Extenuating Circumstances you will need to complete the relevant form, however, you do not need to provide further evidence if you have already provided this to Student Wellbeing.
Can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances for coursework?
In principle, yes – however, you cannot normally apply for Extenuating Circumstances for coursework you hand in on time. This also applies to partial submission of your coursework – so you cannot claim Extenuating Circumstances if you hand in a piece of unfinished work before the deadline.
Extenuating Circumstances cannot give you a higher mark or a chance to resubmit an improved piece of work.
If you are unable to submit your work because of circumstances you believe constitute Extenuating Circumstances then you should submit a claim as soon as possible.
Can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances for my dissertation or thesis?
It would be unusual for a student to need to apply for Extenuating Circumstances for a dissertation or thesis. This is because your dissertation or thesis is planned and written over a long period of time, and you should not wait until the last minute to submit it.
Please note: the guidelines on storing your work electronically also apply to dissertations and students should ensure that their work is regularly and carefully backed-up.
If you do intend to apply for Extenuating Circumstances for your dissertation or thesis,you should supply evidence to show that you had been making satisfactory progress with the work before the extenuating circumstance occurred. Examples might include your supervision records, or the feedback which your supervisor has given on your drafts.
Can there be Extenuating Circumstances for group coursework?
Yes, an individual’s claim for Extenuating Circumstances can be considered for group coursework.
You should however bear in mind that members of the group are expected to work together to produce the group output – this is so even in the case of the absence of a member of the group.
Please also note that each member of the group will have to submit their own Extenuating Circumstances form and supply their own evidence.
'Group applications’ for Extenuating Circumstances will not be accepted.
When will I know if my claim for Extenuating Circumstances has been granted?
You will be notified as soon as possible after the Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Committee meeting and normally no later than five working days afterwards.
What can I do if I do not agree with the decision of the Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Committee?
The decision of the panel is normally final and will be based on the evidence you submitted for your claim, and no correspondence will be entered into on individual decisions.
However, if you feel that there has been a procedural irregularity in the handling of your claim for Extenuating Circumstances, and/or that you have been subjected to bias and prejudice in making your claim then you are entitled to submit an Appeal under the Academic Appeals Procedure.
What evidence should I submit to support my claim for Extenuating Circumstances?
Please remember that the decision made by the Sub-Committee will be made solely on your form and the documentary evidence you submit, and therefore it is essential that you submit sufficient relevant evidence for this at the outset (unless you have indicated on your form that the evidence is delayed).
You should also remember that the Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Committee checks on the authenticity of the documentation submitted, and that any fraudulent submissions may render you liable to action being taken against you under the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
Should I get a letter of support from my tutor, lecturer or any other individual as my evidence?
No, this will not normally be acceptable as evidence. You must provide independent third party to evidence your actual unforeseen circumstances for which you are claiming.
Can I obtain a medical certificate from my Doctor after I have recovered from my illness?
Each case will be considered on its individual merits, but a claim for Extenuating Circumstances may be rejected if the evidence has been obtained after the time at which you claim to have fallen ill – unless you can provide evidence as to why this delay was unavoidable.
My evidence is regarding a close family member who has a different family name to me. Will I be required to demonstrate my relationship to this person?
Yes – if your claim relates to the illness or death of a relative, whose name is different from your own, you must also include a birth certificate/marriage certificate/letter from a health professional which clarifies your relationship to the person who illness/death has given rise to your claim for Extenuating Circumstances.
What happens if I cannot submit the evidence in time – should I still submit my claim?
Yes. If supporting evidence is submitted at a later date, your claim may be re-considered by the Chair of the panel. If the Chair judges that evidence could have been reasonably expected to be submitted on time the Chair will reject your claim.
If the EC Sub-Committee needs further clarification or evidence will it ask me to supply this?
No. It is your responsibility to submit all evidence that is required to support your claim.
What happens if I submit my claim for Extenuating Circumstances late?
Normally, late submission of a claim for extenuating circumstances will not be accepted. However, it is recognised that there may be cases where a student is unable to submit a claim for Extenuating Circumstances within the normal time period (e.g. emergency in-patient hospital treatment occurring during the examination period). In this case you will need to provide evidence as to why you submitted your claim for Extenuating Circumstances later than would be expected.
For University-level claims it is the Chair of the Panel who will decide whether to accept the late submission. The Chair’s decision will be final – unless you feel you have valid grounds for submitting an Academic Appeal on the basis of procedural irregularity and/or bias and prejudice from the Chair.
Can I withdraw a claim for Extenuating Circumstances once I have submitted it?
No, once submitted, your claim will be assessed. It is a serious step to apply for Extenuating Circumstances and you should not apply unless you really believe you are justified in doing so.
Is it worth submitting Extenuating Circumstances for an assessment as an ‘insurance’ against failing?
No. Once a claim is submitted it will be assessed, however, if you submit work or sit an exam after submitting a claim then that claim will become void, even if you fail that assessment.
What will happen if I do not submit my coursework, or submit it after the deadline?
If you fail to submit coursework by the deadline, or submit coursework after the deadline set by the Programme, you will receive a grade of zero for that assessment. Resit penalties will be applied, resulting in a cap (of 40% for UG programmes and 50% for PG programmes) being placed on that assessment, unless you make a successful Extenuating Circumstances claim for a resit without penalty.
What will happen after I submit the Programme-level Extenuating Circumstances form?
Decisions on the removal of penalties for late submission, as with decisions on other extenuating circumstances procedures submitted up to 15 days after a coursework deadline, will be made by your Course Lead, or a person nominated by the Course Lead.
You will be informed by your Programme via email of the outcome of your application, usually within 5 working days.
Instances of remission of penalties for late submission will be recorded by the Programme Administrator. A list of all remissions approved at School level will be presented to the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Committee. Any student requiring more than two remissions in one year will be seen by the Programme Director and appropriate advice given or suitable action taken.
What happens if I submit late formative coursework?
Work for formative assessment is submitted so that you can benefit from feedback. Submitting such work late is discourteous and disrupts the plans staff will have made in allocating time to provide the feedback. The penalty for late submission, therefore, is forfeiting any right to feedback. You may approach the member of staff who would normally read and comment on the work in order to apologise, present excuses and request feedback. In the case of late submission of formative work, it is entirely up to the member of staff to agree or not, and, if agreeable, to determine the time when such feedback will be given.
What is the Fitness to Study policy?
The fitness to study policy outlines a procedure the University utilise when there are concerns “that your behaviour or health is seriously disrupting your academic progress, your welfare or that of other members of the University community, or has the potential to do so.”
Who does the Fitness to Study policy apply to?
The fitness to study policy applies to an individual who is:
- a registered/enrolled student on a full-time or part-time programme
- on a professional placement off-campus
- on a leave of absence
- an applicant who is yet to enrol, but concerns have been raised during pre-enrolment
On what basis can a Fitness to Study process be triggered?
A fitness to study process may be initiated as a result of a wide range of circumstances. The policy highlights the following examples where a student’s fitness to study is brought into question:
- Where your ability to independently and successfully participate in academic study and everyday life as a student at St Mary’s University is in question, including living in halls of residence
- Where your health, wellbeing and/or behaviour is considered a significant risk to you, other students, staff or members of the University community and the teaching environment, regardless of whether there is an impact on your academic work or progression
- Where there is doubt that you are unable to manage your own health and safety
- Where your behaviour puts unreasonable demands on University staff or other students
I have been invited to a meeting under the Fitness to Study procedure. Can I bring someone with me to the meeting?
Yes – you may be accompanied by another St Mary’s University student, a friend, family member or a member of Student Union.
Prior to your meeting you must provide the Panel with the name and contact details of your chosen companion.
Please note: Legal representation is not permitted. The policy states students “are not permitted to be represented by a legally qualified solicitor or barrister”
What happens if I do not attend the meeting?
The scheduled meeting may proceed in your absence at the Chair’s discretion. This is most likely to occur where the Chair deems you received good notice of the date and time of the meeting and are absent without reasonable explanation.
What happens at Level 1 of the Fitness to Study procedure?
Level 1 is considered a low-level of intervention for emerging / low level concerns.
This is triggered when a concern is raised about minor problems in relation to health, wellbeing or conduct (health related).
Concerns at this level are dealt with by either a:
- Personal Tutor
- Course Lead
- Health and Safety
- Member of Student Services
The lead person will contact you and make you aware of the concerns.
Informal meetings may be held to discuss the matters raised and give you the opportunity to respond.
The lead person will highlight the relevant support services available at the University.
The lead person may conduct a follow-up meeting with you after you have had sufficient time to address the concern and engage with any relevant support.
What happens at Level 2 of the Fitness to Study procedure?
Level 2 intervention is a more formal approach for continuing / significant concerns, since it involves a case conference.
A Level 2 Case Conference is essentially a meeting conducted to determine whether a student can return to study following an enforced leave of absence (LOA). Often students will just receive a letter to say they have been placed on an LOA, usually following receipt of a witness statement relating to their behaviour and/or mental health. When students feel ready to return and can support this with medical evidence they must contact Wellbeing. Wellbeing will then directly contact the Head of Registry Services to arrange a Level 2 Case Conference.
A case will only be considered for Level 2 intervention if:
- Level 1 (low level intervention) has not resolved the concern
- The concern raised is too serious to be dealt with informally
- You refuse to engage with the low-level intervention and the concern persists
What happens before the case conference?
- Usually at least 2 working days before the case conference the Head of Registry Services will notify you of the meeting
- You may be invited to submit documents for consideration
- Copies of the documentation to be considered by the Panel will be sent to you at least 2 working days in advance
What happens during the case conference?
The Chair of the case conference will determine how the meeting will be conducted.
You will be presented with the opportunity to demonstrate the grounds of your request for review of the decision.
What are the possible outcomes from the Fitness to Study investigation?
The possible outcomes may include one or more of the following:
- Impose a mandatory suspension of studies for a specific duration
- Recommend a voluntary suspension of studies (this is in accordance with the University Leave of Absence procedure)
- Implement a support plan, detailing any steps that you will need to take and any support to be provided by the University
- Recommend a transfer to an alternative mode of study (e.g. part time or distance learning) – This outcome may only be applicable where it has been made available, you consent to the transfer and has been agreed with the relevant Faculty/Department.
- No formal action is required
What is required of me during my suspension of studies?
During a suspension of studies students are advised to maintain contact with the Student Wellbeing Team.
This to help facilitate your return to study with information about your progress when you are considered well enough to resume your studies by the University.
In advance of your expected return date the Head of Registry will write to you and copy in Student Wellbeing Service who will also contact you to provide support.
How do I return to University and resume my studies?
In order to return to University you are required to provide satisfactory evidence to prove you are fit to return and resume your academic studies.
The evidence must include a medical report which is:
- Up to date
- From an appropriate independent health professional with sufficient knowledge of your health
- Highlights any potential impact on your return to study
In addition to the above required medical report you will also be invited to attend a meeting with a member of the Student Wellbeing Service who will determine whether you are fit to return to your studies.
Can I bring someone with me to my meeting with Student Wellbeing?
Yes – you are entitled to bring another St Mary’s University student, a friend or a member of the Student Union’s team.
Please note: Legal representation is not permitted.
My suspension of studies has been extended. What are the implications of this?
If your suspension of studies has been prolonged you may not be able to return to the same or similar programme. This may be due to the programme being discontinued or significantly modified after long periods of time.
I have not been able to provide satisfactory evidence to prove that I am fit to return to University. What happens now?
The University may, in exceptional circumstances, with the approval of the Vice Chancellor formally terminate your studies.
I disagree with the decision made regarding my return to study. Can I dispute the outcome?
Yes – You can request a review of the decision which will be considered by the Provost.
Should you wish to appeal the outcome of your case you must submit your request for review in writing within 10 working days from the date of the established decision.
How can I request a review of the decision?
Within 10 working days from receipt of the decision you may submit a request for review in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org FAO Head of Registry Services.
The request should clearly outline grounds for the review with all relevant supporting evidence attached.
The grounds for Review are:
a) There is new evidence/information that, for good reason, was not made available to the Panel at the relevant time
b) There was a procedural irregularity (e.g. bias, failure to comply with the procedure which had an adverse effect on the outcome)
c) The outcome was unreasonable and/or disproportionate to the evidence made available to the Panel
Who can I contact for advice and support with regards to this procedure?
St Mary’s University Student’s Union
University’s Wellbeing Service
University’s Student Services
What is a Leave of Absence (LOA)?
“A pause in studies when a student temporarily and formally, and with the agreement of the University authorities disengages from their studies at the University.”
The Academic Regulations states (20.1): “A student may apply for a Leave of Absence (i.e. interruption from their studies) due to illness or other personal or extenuating circumstances.”
It is a substantial break from your studies students can request as a result of various reasons (i.e. illness, work placement, personal circumstances, etc.). It is a temporary break from your education and indicates you intend to return to St Mary’s once able to do so.
What is an Enforced Leave of Absence?
The University may decide that it is in a student’s best interest to take a leave of absence, usually as a result of mental health. This decision is made with reference to the University’s Fitness to Study Policy. To initiate an enforced leave of absence the University will contact the relevant doctor to confirm whether a leave of absence is necessary.
In order to return to the University, the student will need to provide a doctor’s report as evidence to indicate that he or she is fit to return to their studies and to university life.
If the appointed doctor does not deem the student fit to return then it may be necessary for the University to extend the leave of absence.
Who do I talk to about taking a Leave of Absence?
Course Lead - It is important you speak with your Course Lead in the first instance who will help you explore your options.
Student Services - The University’s Student Services department assist with any health, welfare, financial or personal issues.
It is also advised that you speak with your family and/or friends who may be able to help you decide whether an LOA is the best option for you.
Accommodation Services (if you are living halls) – To clarify what happens to you room and how to apply for accommodation when returning to St Mary’s from your LOA
Landlady / Landlord (if you are in private rented accommodation) – To clarify if you are liable for any outstanding rent for the duration of your tenancy
Can anyone take a Leave of Absence?
You need to have a valid reason for interrupting your studies which will then be reviewed by the University to determine whether your circumstances warrant you taking an LOA.
Please see the list below displaying a non-exhaustive list of appropriate reasons for a Leave of Absence with example of types of evidence that you are expected to provide in support of your LOA application (please note there is no guarantee that one will be approved):
- Medical reasons
- Medical letter signed by a GP/Consultant
- Maternity/Paternity/Adoption leave
- Birth or adoption certificates
- Work Experience (not included as part of course but relevant to course of study and adds value to it)
- Competitive Sports (national or international level)
- Letter confirming selection / participation in sport at national or international level
- Other valid personal reasons
Please note the University can decline your LOA application if insufficient or inadequate / irrelevant documentary evidence is provided. Therefore, please ensure you supply as much evidence in support of your application as possible.
I am an international student in the UK on a Student Visa and would like to apply for a Leave of Absence. Are there any visa implications?
To request LOA any student on a student visa must email Registry before they submit an LOA request on the student portal. In the event a student studying on a Student Visa is put on LOA the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Manager will save a note on the Personal Tutor Dashboard. The student must be reported to the Home Office within 10 working days of the considered date. Student Visa leave will be curtailed to 60 days from the date the Home Office notify the student of their visa curtailment. A student will lose all working rights if they are no longer studying and should be advised to leave the UK at the earliest opportunity. Please contact the UKVI Compliance and Immigration Manager with any questions: email@example.com.
How long can I request a Leave of Absence for?
A Leave of Absence can be requested for periods of a semester and no longer than 12 months.
Usually students apply for a semester or a year’s leave of absence commencing at the start of the academic year or semester. However, this may not always be possible (e.g. in cases of pregnancy).
What if I need more time off - may I extend my Leave of Absence?
Absences of over a year are usually not granted. However, if you have exceptional circumstances that may warrant an extension to your absence for longer than a year you must speak to your Programme Director and then submit your request in writing to the Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Periods of leave longer than two years can only be approved at the discretion of the University’s Examinations Board following recommendation from the Head of Registry Services.
Postgraduate students must obtain approval from their Course Lead before an extension to their leave of absence can be granted.
What are the implications of taking a Leave of Absence?
Students in St Mary’s accommodation should contact the Accommodation Department to discuss any implications or queries they may have.
Students in private rented accommodation who are concerned about their liability for continuing rent can also discuss this with the Accommodation Department.
Once your leave of absence has been approved, Registry Services will automatically notify Student Finance.
You are strongly advised to also contact them yourself to determine how an LOA will affect your funding and any maintenance loan or grant that you have received.
Student finance will amend any student loan amount to reflect the LOA period, since you are not entitled to student loans whilst on leave.
It is important to note fees may increase on your return to your studies and you will be liable for the current year’s fees.
Please look at the Tuition Fee Regulations for the dates of tuition fee liability increases.
You are eligible for 25%, 50 % or 100% if you attended at least 1 day of the term.
MA/MSc/PGCert (not PGCE) Fee Liability Once the course tutor has confirmed which modules were started or studied in the current academic year, the Fees Office will adjust the student account and any overpayments will be refunded to the student. Liability will be calculated on the number of modules which have been started. We will advise Student Finance on your change of circumstances.
FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS:
- Course tutor confirms which modules you have started / studied in the current academic year
- Fees Office adjust the student account (any overpayments are refunded)
- Liability calculated based on the number of modules started
- University informs Student Finance accordingly
- Repeating any part of your studies after an LOA may affect funding – contact sponsors / scholarship awarding bodies to determine whether taking an LOA will affect your eligibility to continue receiving any support
- Benefits may be affected – contact student funding services to check whether eligibility to receive benefits affected
Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply for a Leave of Absence?
The leave of absence policy states:
“Normally, only one period of Leave of Absence will be granted for the duration of a programme. Any request of an additional period of absence will be reviewed and a decision made by the Head of Registry.”
For your information the leave of absence policy can be found here
How may I apply for a Leave of Absence?
- Contact your Course Lead (or both Course Leads if you are taking studying a Joint Honours degree) to discuss taking a leave of absence and explore other options that may be available to you.
- Complete a Leave of Absence online form via the student portal.
My leave of absence has been accepted, what happens while I’m away from the University and how will this impact my studies?
Whilst you are away from the University you will not attend lecturers or seminars and will not submit work or attend exams.
When on leave of absence, students may normally be able to defer any assessments outstanding for modules that are incomplete. This is subject to the Head of Registry and Course Lead's approval and the availability of such assessments.
You may also be able to take all new modules as an uncapped first attempt when you return to St Mary’s.
Will I be able to access any St Mary’s resources whilst on a Leave of Absence?
During your leave of absence you will have access to:
- Student email account
- University’s library services
- Careers Services
- Student Services
What happens when I’m due to return from a leave of absence?
Registry Services will write to you at least two months before you are due to return from a leave of absence – it is important that you reply promptly to confirm your return.
You should meet with your Course Lead to discuss the plan for the year, any concerns you may have and to identify any academic support needs.
The Course Lead should initiate the meeting and send reminders if no response is received.
If you have taken a leave of absence for medical reasons a ‘Fit to Return to Study’ GP note is required before you are allowed to enrol the following academic year.
If you intend to apply for accommodation on campus please make sure you are aware of the application deadlines and contact Accommodation Services for further information prior to your return.
Please note: when you return to University from a leave of absence you are expected to comply to the current academic regulations and subject requirements at the level you return to.
My request for a Leave of Absence has been refused. What should I do?
You may appeal the decision within five working days of receipt of the notification. If you have any additional evidence to support your statement please ensure this is attached to your appeal.
A panel of Registry Services staff and Faculty representatives will then review the decision and respond to you within ten working days of receipt of your appeal.
I am currently on a Leave of Absence, however have decided I would like to withdraw from the University. What should I do?
If you are on a leave of absence or due to return to the University from a leave of absence, however wish to withdraw from the University you must inform Registry Services and email email@example.com with regards to your decision.
What are the reasons for student withdrawal?
A student may either decide to withdraw from their programme (self withdrawal request) or can be withdrawn by the University based on the following grounds:
- Academic failure
- Expelled as a result of a disciplinary process or academic misconduct investigation
- Following the outcome of a fitness to study / practice process
- Failure to comply with the University’s regulations (e.g. non-payment of fees)
- External compliance issues (e.g. UKVI regulations)
- Failure / cease to attend programme
- Failure to arrive / enrol for your studies
I am thinking about withdrawing from the University, who can I speak to you?
If you are considering to withdraw from your programme of study then it is advised you seek academic advice and guidance from the following points of contact:
Course Lead / Personal Tutors - It is important you speak with your Course Lead and Personal Tutor in the first instance who will help you explore your options and determine whether withdrawing from the University is the best course of action.
Student Services / Wellbeing - The University’s Student Services department assist with any health, welfare or personal issues
Student Union – To seek further advice and guidance on other options available before proceeding to formally withdraw
Fee Office – To understand how a withdrawal may impact your financial liability
It is also advised that you speak with your family and/or friends who may be able to help you decide whether withdrawing is the best way forward.
I have decided I want to leave the University, how do I withdraw?
- If you wish to withdraw from your studies at St Mary's you will need to complete the withdrawal request form on the student portal.
- An email is also sent to the relevant Course Lead within three working days of receiving your request for withdrawal to ensure they are aware of your intention to withdraw
- It is advised you and your Course Lead should have a meeting to discuss your reasons for withdrawal, obtain advice on pastoral and financial support available and discuss other options offered within St Mary’s.
- Upon receipt of your completed withdrawal form the Registry will process your request and update your records. Once the process is complete you, the Faculty and relevant services will be notified.
For a brief overview of the process please download the Withdrawal Process Flowchart
I’m on a Student Visa and would like to withdraw from the University. Does the same process apply to me?
The same process applies to students studying on a student visa. Once your withdrawal has processed your St Mary’s University (SMU) sponsorship will be cancelled and withdrawal will be reported to the UKVI.
If I withdraw myself from a programme, would I still be entitled to a sub award / exit award?
You will only receive an exit award if you have achieved enough credits in order to become eligible. Following the end of each academic year students receive a transcript recording all modules taken, all marks awarded, this is then looked at to determine if you are entitled to receive a sub award.
Withdrawn students will be considered at the next assessment board and credits may be awarded where applicable.
What are the financial implications following a withdrawal?
It is important to advise the Registry in writing of your intention to withdraw from the University as soon as possible. You are liable for fees until we have received formal written notification of your withdrawal, at which point the University will freeze your tuition fee liability.
You may also contact the Fee Office to seek further information on the impact of your decision on your financial liability.
Registry services will inform the Student Loans Company (SLC) of your withdrawal at the first, second and third liability points and your SLC record will be updated accordingly.
For Tuition Fee Liability, please look at the Tuition Fee Regulations.
Please note for overseas students fee liability is calculated in the same way, but the fees will vary.
What happens after I have been withdrawn?
Once you have been withdrawn from the University you will not normally have access to University systems and are not permitted to submit coursework or sit exams/assessments.