Academic Services

Leave of absence

When students need to conduct research away from Edinburgh. Considerations for student visa holders.

Students studying on campus in Edinburgh sometimes need to conduct part of their research away from Edinburgh. This is referred to as a leave of absence. Students who want a leave of absence should talk to their Principal Supervisor, who will be able to advise on obtaining permission.

A leave of absence should:

  • Be related to the research programme.
  • Not be detrimental to the research and the student’s development and participation in the University’s academic community.
  • Not conflict with any other requirement of the student’s programme of study.
  • Not conflict with any obligations for the student to be available for on-campus activity.
  • Have a working timetable agreed by supervisors and student.
  • Be accompanied by an agreed method for submitting written work and receiving feedback, and for supervisory meetings, established by the supervisors and student.
  • Be consistent with any funder requirements.

Further information on how leave of absence is approved, and student support arrangements during leave, is available from the College Office. Leave of absence does not apply to students on recognised distance learning programmes.

Leave of absence for international students

Tier 4/Student visa holders are normally expected to carry out all of their study on campus in Edinburgh. However, in some cases they may need to study at another location for compulsory and optional activities related to their programme. In these cases, students should apply for a leave of absence. The University will continue to sponsor student visas during the leave of absence, providing it can maintain sponsor licence duties, and student Tier 4/Student visas will remain valid. Leave of absence for reasons that are not directly related to studies are not permitted under the conditions of Tier 4/Student visas. Advice is available from the Student Immigration Service.

Student Immigration Service