Suspension of studies

If you are a UEL Doctoral student, and your studies are being disrupted by circumstances outside of your control, you may be able to apply for a suspension of studies, which is not counted as part of your registration period.

The maximum period of enrolment on a UEL validated Professional Doctorate (ProfDoc) programme is eight years (clause 4.2.2) and the max time permitted on the research phase is normally 5 years. In addition to the normal enrolment and registration periods and as part of the agreed teach out of the UEL – Tavistock validated ProfDoc programmes, students may only be allowed an additional one year intermission/suspension during the normal enrolment period of their programme (inclusive of both the taught and the research side). The one year intermission/suspension is not additive and replaces the existing intermission/suspension period of two years during the taught side and two years during the research side.  Please note that applications for intermission/suspension will need to be supported by documentary evidence; and will be considered by both the Trust and UEL on a case by case basis before being approved.

Normally, the following scenarios are considered as (but not limited to) ‘exceptional circumstances’:

  • If you or a partner or spouse, close family or friend has suffered from a serious physical or mental illness;
  • If you have suffered the bereavement of a partner, close family or close friend;
  • If you have been the victim of a criminal act;
  • If you have suffered distress due to a natural disaster or catastrophe;
  • If your source of funding for the programme of research or postgraduate research degree tuition fee has changed;
  • If you have experienced a delay in obtaining ethical approval for the programme of research due to external factors and where the application was submitted in a timely fashion;
  • If you have been selected for jury service;
  • Standard maternity or adoption leave;
  • If your research has been subject to delays caused by a change in members of the supervisory team;
  • Any period of internship or vocational placement essential to the degree programme.

Please note that a change in employment would not normally be considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Applying for Suspension of Studies - for students who have registered their thesis

  1. In order to apply for a suspension of studies, please complete the  Suspension of Enrolment / Registration (SR) form. . You must accompany this form with documentary evidence (for example, a doctor’s certificate). Without relevant documentary evidence covering the period of time you wish to suspend, the application will be rejected.
  2. Please note that although the form requests the period of suspension in semesters, the Tavistock is not semesterised and we require the suspension period to be completed in terms.There are three terms per academic year: Autumn Term (normally September-December); Spring Term (normally January-April); Summer Term (normally May-July). You can apply for a minimum of one term and a maximum of one academic year (in the first instance).
  3. Scan and email the fully signed and completed form to Academic Governance and Quality Assurance along with your documentary evidence, or bring hard copies to the Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Office room 260 of the Tavistock Clinic. Please note that this form must be signed by both you and your Director of Studies (1st Supervisor) prior to submission.

For the full regulations relating to suspension of studies, please see section 3.9 of the Trust-UEL Research Degree Regulations.


Applying for an Intermission of Studies - for students on the taught phase of the programme

  1. In order to apply for a intermission of studies, please discuss with your Course Lead and complete an Intermission form. You must accompany this form with documentary evidence (for example, a doctor’s certificate). Without relevant documentary evidence covering the period of time you wish to suspend, the application will be rejected.
  2. Please note that although the form requests the period of intermission in semesters, the Tavistock is not semesterised and we require the suspension period to be completed in terms.There are three terms per academic year: Autumn Term (normally September-December); Spring Term (normally January-April); Summer Term (normally May-July) You can apply for a minimum of one term and a maximum of one academic year (in the first instance). Further breaks will be considered on a case by case basis.
  3. Scan and email the fully signed and completed form to Academic Governance and Quality Assurance along with your documentary evidence, or bring hard copies to the Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Office room 260 of the Tavistock Clinic. Please note that this form must be signed by both you and thee Course Lead prior to submission.

For the full regulations relating to suspension of studies, please see section 3.9 of the Trust-UEL Research Degree Regulations.