Authorised break in study

Taking time out from your online course

We hope that when you start a programme with us you will want to carry on uninterrupted until you complete your award. However, we do recognise that situations and circumstances change, and that external factors can influence your decision to continue with your studies as planned.

An authorised break from study (ABS), if approved by your Academic Lead, can give you time out of your programme until the next trimester or for a maximum of three trimesters.

It's a big decision. Please take advice.

We understand that making the decision to request an ABS is not easy, and we want to give you the support and advice you might need to help you make the decision. We also want to inform you of the people here at the University who can help you before you think that an ABS is the only option.

It is very important that you seek support and advice early from the Online Learner Advisor team. There may be alternatives that can be put in place to help you carry on with your course, and there may be financial implications that you need to be aware of and to plan for.

Please note: students can only commence a break in study no later than one calendar month before the end of teaching on the modules involved. Thereafter the extenuating circumstances process applies, where appropriate.

What will happen?

When a break from study has been authorised, the relevant modules will be dropped from your enrolment record and any money already paid in excess of the cancellation charge will be "stored" for use when you return to your studies - either for a trimester in the same academic year or credited in a "future academic year" account. Future year modules will require you to pay the difference if module price has increased.

Requesting an ABS

If you wish to request an authorised break in study, please follow the online ABS process which can be found in the help centre on the student portal under 'I want to take a break from study'. Prior to completing this process, please ensure you refer to the appropriate cancellation charges information and academic regulations.

If your tuition fees are paid by a professional body or your employer, it is important that you discuss your intentions with them. They may have policies regarding repayment of fees in this situation. If you have chosen to defer your tuition fee payment by taking out a student loan and you break from studies between certain dates, you may not meet the Student Loans Company criteria and therefore would be liable to pay a percentage of your fees for the year upfront. Please contact Student Finance England for further advice.