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This is a guide to UCL’s Interruption of Study procedure. You can contact us to book an appointment so that you can discuss your options with an adviser.
The full procedure from the UCL Academic Regulations can be found here .

For other changes to your registration status, including withdrawal from study, changing your degree programme, and completing research status you can read more on the UCL webpage, and contact us for further advice.

Modular or Flexible programmes cannot be interrupted, contact an adviser if you wish to discuss this further.

What is an interruption of study? 

It is a temporary break from your studies, if you need to take some time out, and intend to return to your studies at a later date.
You may want to interrupt your studies for a variety of reasons, often this is because of health and wellbeing issues, but may also be for parental or caring responsibilities, and other reasons. Taking up employment is not usually something for which an interruption will be granted.

For undergraduate and graduate taught students 

Full regulations can be found in Chapter 3 of the Academic Regulations.

  • for first interruptions and interruptions for up to one year you must have the approval of your Department and your Faculty
  • for repeat interruptions or interruptions for more than one year you need the approval of your Department, Faculty and the Dean of Students (Academic)

For graduate research students

Full regulations are in section 2.7 of the Academic Regulations for Research Degrees 

  • for first interruptions and interruptions for up to two years you must have the authorisation of the Director of Student Services, on behalf of the Research Degrees Committee, with a statement of support from your Principal Supervisor and/or Head of Department/Division.
  • for interruptions of more than two years you must have the authorisation of the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee, and are subject to these conditions
    • The interruption is reviewed annually, and is no longer than five years
    • The date of the submission of your thesis when you return will be no longer than 10 years from your date of registration
    • Your supervisor and/or Head of Department state in writing that your research will still be valid after a period of interruption

Applying for interruption of study

You need to make your application in advance of your interruption, however, it is possible in exceptional circumstances, with the approval of the Dean of Students (Academic) to make a retroactive application going back one month.

You can download the application form here .

Important things to know

International Students

If you have a Tier 4 visa you must leave the UK for the duration of the interruption and re-apply for a new visa in order to return to UCL. You may not be able to re-enter the UK in the future if you do not leave the UK when you interrupt. The law means that UCL must inform the UKVI of any changes to your student status.

Funding and Finance

[*If you are a research student, calendar year student or affiliate student please check the Fee Liability pages  as your information is different.*]

  • If you interrupt or withdraw from your studies within two weeks of your enrolment date you will not have to pay any tuition fees.
  • If you interrupt or withdraw from your studies after two weeks but within the first termyou will be liable for 25% of your tution fees only.
  • If you interrupt or withdraw from your studies during the second term you will be liable for 50% of your tuition fees.
  • If you interrupt or withdraw during your third term you will be liable for your full tuition fees.

The details are set out on the UCL Fee Liability pages .

We would strongly encourage you to get in touch with the UCL Student Funding team  to discuss your financial circumstances, including accessing your Student Loan, and impact on Research Grants during an interruption. It is important that you are aware of your options and any impact on your funding before making a decision to interrupt.



UCL  accommodation

You will not be allowed to remain in UCL accommodation if you are on an interruption of studies because you will not be a ‘registered student’ during this time. The terms and conditions  of your agreement state that the agreement will be ended, after giving you 14 days notice in writing. You will continue to be liable for your accommodation fees until which ever is the later of

  • the date that you leave and return your keys, or
  • the date that confirmation from your Department or Registry that you have interrupted has been received by the accommodation office.

If you live in UCL allocated accommodation for families and decide to interrupt your studies for reasons relating to pregnancy and/or maternity, your accommodation contract will end when you begin your interruption of studies and you will not incur any additional costs for leaving your accommodation early. 

Private Halls

You will need to check your agreement and discuss your decision to leave with your Halls Provider. It is likely that you will be required to leave the accommodation if you are not a registered student, and you they may hold you liable for finding a replacement or for some of your fees. If you are in this situation we strongly recommend booking an appointment with one of our advisers.

Private rented housing

You will not usually have to leave a private rented house just because you have interrupted your studies. However, you should be aware, especially if you are living with a group of full time students, that as you will no longer be registered as a student that you may become liable to pay Council Tax. If you are the only tenant who is liable for Council Tax then you would get a single occupant discount, so you would usually only be liable for 75% of the Council Tax bill, however you would be legally responsible for this amount yourself so we recommend that you book an appointment with an adviser to find out more.
If you want to move out of your house, for example if you need to return to your home country, or want to move to out of London to your parental home for a while, then you will need to be clear about the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement, and what your options are. As this can be a complex area of law we strongly recommend that you book an appointment with an adviser, and bring a copy of your tenancy agreement with you.

Returning to studies

  • Undergraduates : you need to email your Faculty one month before your expected date of return and confirm whether you intend to re-enrol.
  • Postgraduates (taught and research): you need to email your Department and the Student Records Office one month before your expected date of return to confirm you want your record to be re-instated.
  • You must re-enrol within two weeks of your expected date of return

If you are returning to studies after interrupting for health and wellbeing issues you will need to show that re-enrolling onto your studies will not be detrimental to your health, and that you are ready to start studying again. You’ll need to

  • have a meeting with the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing, and
  • provide medical evidence, such as a letter from a doctor or counsellor, that shows that you are ready to come back and study in the University environment. UCL has produced guidance for what they need from your medical evidence .
  • you may also need to have a Learning Agreement, as outlined in this procedure .

Our Advisers can talk through this process with you, help you to understand your options, support you in collecting the relevant evidence, and accompany you to your meeting with the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing.