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

A Tier 4 visa is granted for the purpose of full-time study in the UK. If a student is not engaged in full-time study for a period of time, the terms of Tier 4 sponsorship no longer apply and the Home Office expects the student to leave the UK.

If an intermission - medical or non-medical - is granted for more than sixty days, the University is required to cease Tier 4 sponsorship and report the change of circumstances to the Home Office. The Home Office act on this change by curtailing the Tier 4 visa to sixty days and the student is advised to leave the UK.

In line with Tier 4 policy, for a period of intermission up to a maximum of sixty days, the University is able to continue sponsorship for a Tier 4 visa providing the student can still complete their course within their existing visa expiry. If the sponsored student does not return to studies after this intermission, the University is required to cease sponsorship in line with the above.

In exceptional circumstances, such as serious illness or injury, Tier 4 sponsorship can be continued for an intermission providing the student can still complete their course within their existing visa expiry. The maximum period of continued sponsorship would be four months. This must be justified and occurrences are rare.

Any previous intermission will be taken into account when considering whether Tier 4 sponsorship can be continued.

In cases where Tier 4 sponsorship is ceased, the University will be able to issue a new Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a new visa application once return to study is approved; please contact the International Student Team to request this CAS.

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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