Student Registry

 

Intermission (also known as authorised absence)

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Please note that it is not normally possible to apply for, and have agreed, retrospective terms of intermission (authorised absence), or to apply for intermission (authoroised absence) for the purpose of taking employment.

Applying to Intermit for Medical Reasons

You may wish to request a period of intermission from your course if you become ill and are unable to undertake your course. (Maternity leave should be applied for under intermission for non-medical reasons).

If you are registered for the PhD Degree, it is normally possible to apply to intermit for 3 full-time or 5 part-time terms at any one time, but not normally more than 6 full-time or 10 part-time terms in total throughout a programme. If you are studying for one or two year programme of study there may be restrictions to the number of terms intermission that can be agreed. If your PhD submission date would fall in a term that you were intermitting, your submission date will be recorded as the last day of the term in which you are returning.

If you need to apply for permission to intermit (be granted authorised absence), you will need to complete an application form, which is available from your Self-Service Pages. Attached to your application must be a supporting statement from your doctor or other medical professional.

Approval of your return to your course is conditional upon confirmation from your doctor that you are in good health, and, are able to resume your course a few weeks before you are due to return. Please ensure that you let all parties know if you make an application to intermit, including your College, Sponsor and the International Student Team if applicable.

Your Supervisor, College, Department, Faculty Degree Committee and the Student Registry all consider your application.

You will receive an e-mail confirming the outcome of your application and describing any implications on any visa held.

If you hold a visa to study, then you must consider the potential implications of applying for intermission on your visa. Please refer below to the additional Intermission Information (authorised absence) for Tier 4 Sponsored Students.

    Further information

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Applying to Intermit for Non-Medical Reasons

You may wish to request a period of intermission as you are unable to undertake your course because, for example, you are having a baby (maternity leave), need to nurse a sick relative, deal with an emergency domestic situation etc. You are required to provide full details and supporting paperwork and, if applicable, confirmation from a medical practioner.

With regards to maternity leave: Please note that normally applications for intermission are made for actual terms if time planned on being away fits with this but normally maternity does not fit neatly into the University terms. Therefore when completing an application to intermit on maternity grounds, you should also note on the form the actual dates you are planning on being away from your research and also note on your application form details of your funding body, if applicable. If a break from study has been formally agreed for reasons of maternity by a research Council for example, between the dates of X and Y, the Student Registry Board of Graduate Studies, if provided with this information, should be able to grant you intermission for the terms where it is applicable and, at the same time, be able to agree an amended ‘end date’ (submission date) that fits your maternity leave dates.

If you are required to undertake a language course or a research fellowship that is intrinsic to your research and not for personal interest, please ensure you clearly indicate this on your application form.

It is not normally possibly to intermit (take an authorised absence) if you take up employment. You should in such cases normally make an application to withdraw (with a view to you being able to later apply for reinstatement when ready to resume your studies)

If you are registered for the PhD Degree, it is normally possible to apply to intermit for 3 full-time or 5 part-time terms at any one time, but not normally more than 6 full-time or 10 part-time terms in total throughout a programme. If you are studying for one or two year programme of study there may be restrictions to the number of terms intermission that can be agreed. If your PhD submission date would fall in a term that you were intermitting, your submission date will be recorded as the last day of the term in which you are returning.

If you hold a visa to study, then you must consider the potential implications of applying for intermission on your visa. Please refer below to additional intermission information (authorised absence) for Tier 4 Sponsored Students.

If you need to apply to intermit, you will need to complete an application form, which is available from your Self-Service Pages. Attached to your application must be a supporting statement from your doctor or other medical professional or confirmation of your place on a language course etc.

Please ensure that you let all parties, including your College, Sponsor and the International Student Team if applicable know if you make an application to intermit.

Your Supervisor, College, Faculty Degree Committee and the Student Registry consider your application. You will receive an e-mail confirming the outcome of your application and describing any implications on any visa held.

    Further information

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Additional Intermission Information for Tier 4 Sponsored Students

To obtain your Tier 4 visa, the University confirmed that you were studying full-time at Cambridge. The UKBA granted your visa on that basis. If your circumstances change, including change to your study pattern, the University is normally required to inform the UKBA.

Therefore, in applying for intermission you need to consider the following:

  • Since intermission means that you are not studying full-time at Cambridge, the UKBA considers that the reason for which your Tier 4 visa was granted no longer applies, and that you do not need to retain your visa for this period of absence. In exceptional circumstances, and for short periods, the University can continue sponsorship under Tier 4 this is a decision made by the University on the basis of each intermission application. We refer to this as authorised absence, remain on the Register with a current valid student visa.

    'Authorised absence, remain on the Register: with a current valid student visa is an agreed period of absence where the University determines that the circumstances are such that the student requires their Tier 4 visa during the period of intermission.'

    If the University makes the decision to continue Tier 4 sponsorship during a granted period of absence, you retain the right to remain in the UK on your student visa. However, you must continue to abide by the conditions of Tier 4, (e.g. adhering to work restrictions) and continue with your responsibilities (including keeping contact with your college, keeping your contact details up-to-date, informing your college of any changes to your circumstances).

    The University may approve your absence but determine that it cannot remain responsible for you, or you may choose not to continue with your visa for that absence. We refer to this as 'authorised absence, remain on the register without a current valid student visa.

    'Authorised absence, without a current valid student visa: is an agreed period of absence where circumstances (for example lack of finances or student returns home to write up) prevent the student from studying full time; and may or may not require the student to repeat the missed period of study, and requires the student to be recorded as having a period of authorised absence, not requiring a valid student visa).'

    Under this definition, the University ceases to sponsor you for a visa and must notify the UKBA within ten days of the outcome of your application. The International Student Team confirms the detail and date of the notification to you by e-mail. The UKBA then expects you to leave the UK with 60 days of that notice. Before resuming your studies, you require a new CAS to make a new Tier 4 application. You must request this CAS from the International Student Team (international.students@admin.cam.ac.uk).

  • Since 06 April 2012, the UKBA imposed a time limit for studying on a student visa. The count usually continues during periods of absence. The UKBA allows some concessions in 'compelling and compassionate circumstances' such as 'serious injury and disability'. Therefore, and especially if you are undertaking a course other than PhD, you may wish to relinquish your visa for your intermission. (International Students Team: Time limit information).

For further information please contact the Student Registry and if applicable the International Student Team:

Student Registry (student.registry@admin.cam.ac.uk)

International Student Team (international.students@admin.cam.ac.uk)

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Consequences of Intermitting (taking authorised absence)

While intermitting, a student remains on the register of graduate students. He or she may therefore continue to use the University Library and certain other facilities. However, students who are intermitting are not expected to carry on studying through the period of intermission and will normally be expected to be out of residence, unless alternative arrangements have been agreed in advance with your College.

  • Repayment of a UK student loan may remain in abeyance during a period of approved intermission it is your responsibility to check this with your loan provider
  • If you have taken federal loans or have federal loans in deferment they will be affected if you intermit. If you have a federal loan for the current year please refer to 'Leave of Absence' on the US Loans website. Please contact the Student Registry immediately if you are planning on applying or have been granted leave to intermit whilst having a current federal loan or one that is in deferment. US regulations require that you also inform your lender of any changes in enrolment so if you have been approved leave to intermit you must also inform your lender that you have taken a 'Leave of Absence'
  • Terms for which intermission is granted do not count towards the terms of residence or research required for the qualification. You are expected to come back to Cambridge to complete the course on a specific date if you have not yet completed the minimum requirements for the course
  • No fee is charged for any term of intermission. If a fee has already been paid, you should check with your College if they will retain this fee to pay for a term to be taken in the following year
  • You will need to be aware that the cost of living for the extra time spent in Cambridge will need to be found by your sponsor or from your own resources
  • If you are funded by a Research Council or other sponsor you must inform the sponsor immediately if it is likely that you will need to intermit. The sponsor may agree to suspend the award for the period of intermission and resume it in the following year, but it is your duty to discuss this matter with your sponsor and find out the exact arrangements for funding prior to making any application. Maintenance payment received during the period of intermission may be considered an 'overpayment' and may well have to be repaid to the sponsor
  • Part-time research students can only apply to intermit for part-time terms
  • If you retain your student visa during a period of intermission, the UKBA will count your intermission as study and so will include this period when calculating time spent on a student visa. See additional information for Tier 4 sponsored students below.

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Returning From Intermission (authorised absence)

If you have intermitted (taken an authorised absence) on non-medical grounds you will be expected to return into residence as expected following the period of agreed intermission.

If you have intermitted (taken an authorised absence) for medical reasons the Board of Graduate Studies will have attached a condition of your fitness to return to study. Evidence of this condition having been met is required prior to you returning to your course of study. You are not authorised to resume residence without the permission of the College, the Board of Graduate Studies and the Faculty Degree Committee. This means that in advance of your return, you will need to complete the required forms and return them to the Student Registry - Secretary of the Board of Graduate Studies for consideration.

Forms for students applying for/returning after an examination allowance

Student declaration form

Application form for permission to return to study

Forms for students returning after a period of medical intermission

Student declaration form

Application form for permission to return to study

Information for Medical Practitioners

Medical practitioners who you have asked to support your request for your return to study should be provided with the University's specific guidelines.

Guidelines for medical practitioners.

Further information

Please note the Degree Committee, College, Student Registry, or the International Student Team may have imposed other conditions (for example, confirmation of the arrangements for funding, or your assurance that you have a valid visa is in place).

If you have outstanding debts to the University or College you may not be allowed to return from intermission until arrangements have been made to the satisfaction of the College for the payment of the debt.

You need to state, on your application, the exact dates that you will be away from Cambridge

For further information please contact the Student Registry or, for confidential advice, please email Sarah Pickard.

student.registry@admin.cam.ac.uk.

sarah.pickard@admin.cam.ac.uk.

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