Biomedical Teaching Organisation

Authorised Interruption of Study (AIS)

Interruptions of study guidance for students on postgraduate programmes within the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.

If you feel at any point that your ability to study is impacted by personal circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to apply for an Authorised Interruption of Study (AIS).

You should contact your Student Adviser at the earliest opportunity if this applies to you.

Things to bear in mind

Applications for Authorised Interruptions of Study cannot be backdated, so it is important to notify your Student Adviser as soon as possible of any difficulties that you’re facing.

The maximum period of interruption cannot exceed 100% of the prescribed period of study for the full time version of the programme. Part-time distance learning students may be able to apply for up to 24 months of interruptions; a maximum of 12 months may be applied for at any one time.

The point at which you are expected to complete your programme of study (your ‘maximum end date’ of study) will be extended accordingly, depending on the length of the period of interruption taken.

While interrupted, your access to University Library facilities should not be affected. However, it is expected that you are not furthering your studies and you will no longer be able to access course materials in Learn.


  • There are no tuition fees due while your studies are interrupted. However, do bear in mind that tuition fees increase every year; if you interrupt and return to study in the next academic session, you may be charged a slightly higher fee on your return to study. Any outstanding tuition fee debts for your studies prior to interruption will still be due.
  • Interrupting your studies may affect any funding that you receive, either for payment of fees or for maintenance, depending on the source of that funding. You should contact your funding body or sponsor for further advice on how your plans will affect your funding or sponsorship.
  • If you’re a campus student living in private rented accommodation in or around Edinburgh, interrupting your studies may affect your eligibility for exemption from Council Tax. Email for advice on how your specific plans will impact on any Council Tax Exemption you, or your flatmates, are relying on.

International students

If you’re a student on a Tier 4 / Student Visa, it is recommended that you seek advice from Edinburgh Global before requesting an AIS. If requesting an AIS of more than 2 months, your visa may be suspended and you may be required to leave the UK during the period that you are not studying.

Edinburgh Global

How to apply

In the first instance, you should contact your Student Adviser to discuss your circumstances, and whether an AIS is appropriate. If it is felt to be appropriate, your Student Adviser will help you to complete the application form.


You may be required to provide evidence of the circumstances that you describe, from a medical or other certified professional as appropriate. These documents should be submitted by email to your Personal Tutor at the time of application, or as soon as possible thereafter.

If you have any queries about the application process or acceptable evidence, contact your Student Adviser, or the BMTO Student Support team.

Biomedical Teaching Organisation (BMTO)

  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Doorway 3
Medical School
Teviot Place

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