Information for current postgraduates


Postgraduate students may apply for leave to move away from their normal (semester time) residence to continue their studies for temporary periods at a more remote location.

Please be aware that all concession requests must be made IN ADVANCE, not retrospectively. International students on an Interruption may be required to leave the country for the duration of the interrupted period. 

Interruption of Study

If you know that going to be absent for over two weeks for reasons such as health or work, you must apply for an authorised interruption of study.

Application Process

Before completing the form, please discuss your application with your Personal Tutor/Supervisor and contact the Graduate School Office about your proposed return to study plan. 

You should also consult the further guidance on authorised interruptions of study.

Authorised interruption of study

Taking an authorised interruption of study may have financial and visa implications. You are encouraged to speak with an advisor at the Edinburgh University Students’ Association Advice Place who can provide independent advice about the potential implications of taking an interruption.

The Advice Place

International students may also wish to speak with a member of staff at the Student Immigration Service who can provide advice and guidance in relation to any visa implications which may arise as a consequence of taking an interruption.

Student Immigration Service

Request Form 

You should send the completed form via your University email account, along with any supporting evidence, to the Graduate School Office, The request will be subject to approval of the Director of the Graduate School and you will be notified of the outcome in due course.

PGR students should use the following form:


PGT students should use the following form:


Sharing of Information

Schools/Colleges will only share information regarding your Authorised Interruption of Study request with staff who have a legitimate need to access the information in order to consider your case or to provide you with support in relation to the issues raised. Please consult the Authorised Interruption of Study Privacy Notice for further information.

 Authorised Interruption of Study Privacy Notice


Should you feel that you need to extend your student record (i.e. period of study) you must contact your supervisor to request an extension  concession for you. The request must be accompanied by a timetable showing what work has been done to date and the schedule of work to completion, with interim time lines. All extension requests require approval by the School and College.

Students holding Tier 4 visas should consult Student Immigration Services regarding visa implications. 

Request form

PGR students should use the following form:


PGT students should use the following form: 


Leave of Absence

The University requires all students to inform their school if they are travelling away from Edinburgh. If you need to work away from Edinburgh to conduct research or fieldwork for your thesis, a Leave of Absence must be approved by the School.  A leave of absence means that you are still a student at the University of Edinburgh, you still have access to the University's facilities, and you are still undertaking work in relation to your degree programme, but are not physically in Edinburgh. 

Please note that a Leave of Absence is not required if you are away from Edinburgh for non-programme related reasons (i.e. annual leave). You can find more information about the annual leave process in the PhD Handbook.  

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

We ask you initially to complete the following form:

This must be completed if you are away from Edinburgh carrying out research or attending a conference (either in the UK or abroad). 


If you suffer from illness during term time which may affect your attendance or performance, especially if this means you have to take time off, please ensure that course organisers and your programme director are kept informed about this. You should also let the Graduate School know, at, and provide the office with any medical certificates that are issued.

Vacation/Non-academic leave

Taught students are expected be present during semester time in order to be able to engage with their study. Regulation 46 states that "Research Students are entitled to up to eight weeks’ vacation leave (including public holidays) in a year without applying for an interruption of study. Students must seek approval for vacation leave from their supervisor and the School Postgraduate Office. Visa restrictions may also apply in the case of International students." If you wish to take holiday leave, please ensure that you inform your supervisor and the Graduate School Office If you are a Tier 4 student, you are also responsible for checking any visa restrictions with Student Immigration Services.