Leave to Work Away From Cambridge
On this page
- When to Apply for permission to work away from Cambridge
- 'Fee For The Course'
- University Fieldwork Funds
- University Travel Insurance
When to Apply to 'Work Away'
You will need to apply to work away if:
- Your research project requires you to be away from Cambridge
- There must be good academic reasons for seeking permission to work away; for example, a need directly related to your approved topic to conduct fieldwork. If you secure permission to work away from Cambridge for a part of your course you will be required to work under adequate supervision and to pursue your research on the same basis as you would during residence in Cambridge
- You will need to include particulars relating to the circumstances in which you expect to be working and the name of the authority with whom you propose to work during your period of absence from Cambridge. For many students the research project will require extended visits to other places in order, for example, to consult archives, to make use of specialist collections or equipment, or to gather data in the field
- Work away is normally granted on a termly basis, or for a specific period of time – you will need to specify actual dates, after which you must return into residence in Cambridge
- Practice varies according to subject: a number of Degree Committees do not permit candidates to work away from Cambridge until the first-year assessment and registration has taken place; some other Degree Committees, in which extended fieldwork is the norm, do not carry out the assessment and registration exercise until the fieldwork has been completed. If you are not sure, please check with your Degree Committee directly before making your application
- Students granted permission to work away are considered still to be under the active supervision of their Cambridge Supervisor unless alternative arrangements have been approved. Degree Committees should satisfy themselves that adequate supervisory cover is available for students working away from Cambridge and may think it appropriate to appoint a second supervisor locally who can monitor and guide the student
- Students funded by one of the Research Councils or the Cambridge Trusts must inform the sponsor in advance of their plans to work outside the University
- You remain a registered graduate student but you are away from Cambridge, but not for the purpose of conducting fieldwork
- For example to 'write up' prior to submission of your PhD, MSc or MLitt thesis. If you wish to apply to work away solely for the purpose of 'writing up', please note that this is not automatically agreed. Each case is considered on a case-by case basis. For example, it may be unreasonable in terms of your research or not possible for your Supervisor to continue to supervisor you if you are not in Cambridge. You should therefore not consider leaving Cambridge until you have received the written permission of the Student Registry to work away
- It is not necessary to apply to work away if you are taking a short break from your studies, normally no more than 3 weeks for a holiday for example . But, ensure you have the permission of your Department/Degree Committee and College. (If you are an International Student you would also need to advise the International Student Team Office)
- If you are registered as a PhD/MSc or MLitt student, normally work away would not be agreed if you have passed your 4 year end date. You may wish to consider withdrawal at this stage with a view to later reinstatement when ready to submit
- You need to state, on your application, the exact dates you will be away from Cambridge
- You need to state exactly what work you will be undertaking
- You need to state exactly which Countries and Cities you will be working
- If the working away is a compulsory element of you course, you will still need to formally apply to work away
- Students registered for the MPhil Degree (one-year course) you are permitted to apply to work away from Cambridge under conditions approved by the Board of Graduate Studies but must ensure that the term is 'Kept' as follows:
To keep Michaelmas, a student must spend sixty nights in Cambridge between the 1st October and the 19th December (inclusive)
To keep Lent, a student must spend sixty nights in Cambridge between 5th January and 25th March (24th March)
To keep Easter, a student must spend 53 nights in Cambridge between 10th April and 18th June (unless Full Term begins after 22nd April, in which case between 17th April and 25th June)
- You may need permission from your sponsor. Please consult your sponsor's handbook for information on this and if in doubt contact the Board
- You must ensure you have undertaken a risk assessment which has been approved by your Department/Degree Committee prior to you leaving Cambridge
- If you have been granted permission to work at another university, and are awarded a degree or other qualification from that university, you will not be allowed to count towards the requirements for your Cambridge PhD, MSc or MLitt Degree, any time during which you have been completing the requirements for the degree or other qualifications awarded by the other university
- You will not be eligible for exemption from fees
- Work away is not granted when taking time away for employment.
Please note that for 2010 PhD cohort onwards, PhD, MSc and MLitt students will be automatically removed from the Register of Graduate Students at the 4 year point, (7 years of part time) unless you make an application to extend the date you remain registered as a graduate student, and this is agreed by the Board in advance of your 4/7 year date being reached. Please see the Board's information on Extending Your 'End of Registration Date'
Please also check the pages below for further information if you are not sure if you should apply for work away or intermission.
Application forms for Work Away From Cambridge are available from your Self-Service pages.
Please ensure that you let your college and sponsor know if you make an application to work away.
If you are a registered graduate student, it is very important that the University has a record of where you are working. For those students sponsored under Tier 4, it is absolutely essential.
'Fee For The Course'
'Fee for the Course' will apply to graduate students who commence a research course on or after the 1st October 2010. This means that the University Composition Fee (UCF) will be charged during terms of 'leave to work away', except if the following apply (please mark on the 'leave to work away' application form if applicable):
- If a student is participating in an approved exchange agreement where there is a period spent at another institution and a fee waiver has been explicitly agreed by the Student Registry. Approved exchange agreements to date, are: A*, NIH OxCam, Faculty of the Future and the Henry Fellowship. This does not include outgoing Erasmus students, as fees should be waived at the European University, rather than at Cambridge.
- If a student is registered at an approved University Partner Institution (UPI).
Students in the above categories cannot apply for the fieldwork funds below.
Please note: whether or not to charge the College Fee is at the discretion of the College.
University Fieldwork Funds
Students admitted from October 2010 who require additional funding to complete fieldwork and who have been granted permission from the Board of Graduate Studies to work away can apply for a grant on the basis of need.
From 2014/2015, applications for Fieldwork Funding are considered by Schools. Contact details are listed below. Students who are funded by the AHRC or ESRC may be able to apply for additional fieldwork funding through these schemes. ESRC funded students should contact the ESRC Coordinator; AHRC funded students should refer to the AHRC webpage.
School of Arts and Humanities
Students in the School of Arts and Humanities and who wish to apply for fieldwork funding should contact the relevant Department administrator.
School of the Biological Sciences
Students in the School of Clinical Medicine who wish to apply for fieldwork funding should contact their Departmental Graduate administrator.
School of Clinical Medicine
Students in the School of Clinical Medicine who wish to apply for fieldwork funding should contact Higher Degrees Office.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Students in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences who wish to apply for fieldwork funding should contact their relevant Department administrator.
School of Physical Sciences
Information for students in the School of Physical Sciences who wish to apply for fieldwork funding can be found at Degree Committee for the Faculty of Earth Sciences and Geography.
School of Technology
Information for students in the School of Technology who wish to apply for fieldwork funding can be found at Graduate School of Technology.
University Travel Insurance
Graduate students may only apply for University Travel Insurance for periods where working away from Cambridge has been agreed by the Board of Graduate Studies.
Although 'work away' is normally only granted if your period away means you will be resident in Cambridge for less than 21 days of a term, should you wish to apply for University Travel Insurance for a shorter trip, you MUST still make an application to 'work away' to the Board in the normal way.
The 'work away' application must include full particulars relating to the circumstances in which you expect to be working; the name of the authority with whom you propose to work during your period of absence from Cambridge; and the exact dates you will be away from Cambridge.
As you will be resident in Cambridge for sufficient nights to keep term, and therefore do not formally require permission to conduct your research elsewhere, the Board of Graduate Studies on receipt of your application to work away, can with the consent of your Supervisor, College and Degree Committee agree for you to be absent between specified dates. You will therefore receive an email from the Board confirming the agreement to work away between specified dates which will enable you, if you wish, to apply for University Travel Insurance to cover those dates.
Please note: if you are an overseas student requiring entry clearance to study in the UK, please ensure you comply with the conditions of your visa during periods where working away has been agreed by the University and recorded on your CamSIS record.
For further information please contact the Student Registry and if applicable the International Student Team with regards to your visa:
Student Registry (email@example.com)
International Student Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)