Attendance and Engagement
As a student within School, you are responsible for attending and engaging with your programme of study.
A key standard of university-level education is student independence and initiative: public authorities and employers expect graduates to possess the skills and confidence they need to find things out for themselves, rather than requiring large amounts of direction. The way to succeed at university is to be active in the pursuit of answers, rather than passively wait for them to be given, whether in your courses or in general areas of student life.
The School seeks to prepare students to cope with this transition in their education. Courses in the first and second years of study seek to accustom you to becoming proactive in directing your own learning, especially in tutorial sessions. Honours courses (especially the dissertation) challenge you to make practical use of the independence, confidence and initiative you have developed in your first two years. Staff also provide guidance in various ways, including:
- preparing detailed course materials
- in-class instruction and direction
- formal feedback on tasks and written assignments
- face-to-face personal meetings (online and in person)
- email communications
- the Personal Tutor system (for continuing students in Years 2, 3 and 4)
- Academic Cohort Leads (for new students in Year 1)
In accordance with the University general degree regulations you are expected to attend all teaching and assessment events associated with all courses that you are enrolled on.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences undertakes routine monitoring of attendance at tutorials and seminars for all students enrolled on courses delivered by Schools within our College. We undertake monitoring of attendance and engagement to enable us to identify where individual students may be experiencing difficulties and to ensure that timely and appropriate intervention can be delivered to provide support and guidance.
We also undertake monitoring for sponsored students specifically to meet our obligations to the UKVI. If your engagement drops you may be contacted by our Student Support Team and be asked to provide an explanation.
All data is gathered and stored in line with the University policies and guidance on data handling and you can view the privacy statement.
All students are expected to be actively engaged with their studies. That means going to classes - whether on campus or online, engaging with Learn, answering emails from staff, attending meetings with your Personal Tutor (continuing students) or your Academic Cohort Lead (new students), handing in coursework, attending examinations, and so on. Missed engagement points will be recorded and monitored.
As always, if you are having problems please do contact your Personal Tutor (continuing students) and/or Student Support (all students) as soon as you are able as the sooner we know the more we will be able to do to help.
As a Sponsored Student, the University of Edinburgh is the sponsor of your UK visa. The University has a number of legal duties to manage our sponsorship of your visa. These include:
- Monitoring your attendance on your programme
- Reporting to the Home Office where you suspend or withdraw from your studies, complete them early, fail to register or are repeatedly absent to the point of being excluded from studies
As a student with a Tier 4/Student Route visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh, the terms of your visa require you to, (amongst others):
- Ensure you have a correct and valid visa for studying at the University of Edinburgh, which, if a Tier 4/Student Route visa, requires that it is a visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh
- Attend all of your University classes, lectures, tutorials, etc. where required. This includes participating in the requirements of your course including submitting assignments, attending meetings with tutors and attending examinations. We will be monitoring this and will follow up with you on any concerns. If you cannot attend due to illness, for example, you must inform your School.
Please note that any email relating to your Sponsored Students sponsorship will be sent to your University email address - you must therefore check this regularly.
Further details on the terms and conditions of your Tier 4/Student Route visa can be found on the Student Immigration Service website,
Tier 4/Student Route visa rights, responsibilities and restrictions
Information or advice about your Sponsored Students immigration status can be obtained by contacting the Student Immigration Service, please see details of how to contact them at
If you know that you are going to be absent for over two weeks, you must apply for an authorised interruption of study.
Before completing the form, please discuss your application with your Personal Tutor (continuing students) or Academic Cohort Lead (new students) and contact the Student Support Team 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.
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.
You should send the completed form via your University email account, along with any supporting evidence, to Student Support, email@example.com.
Authorised Interruption of Study Request
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.
The School of History, Classics and Archaeology will follow these escalation stages if a student’s attendance and engagement is deemed to be unsatisfactory.
If a student’s attendance and engagement is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the School will address this concern with the student.
A student will enter the escalation procedure if their attendance and engagement level falls below expected levels, if their last positive engagement was more than 30 days ago and if the student fails to respond to communication regarding non-engagement.
The School will make the student aware of the concerns via email and ask the student to explain the lack of engagement. If the student does not reply within ten working days then the School will move to the second stage of escalation. Students will be directed to the various support that the University offers.
Where a student fails to respond to a stage one escalation further investigation will be necessary to determine whether the student is engaging and progressing with the degree programme.
The student will be contacted again and given a further ten working days to respond.
Where a student fails to respond to a stage two escalation, they will be considered to be at stage three. At this stage, the student will be invited to attend a meeting with the Senior Tutor, which will provide an opportunity for the student to discuss their circumstances and receive guidance on academic and wellbeing support. Failure to attend the meeting with the Senior Tutor will result in escalation to stage four.
The student will be referred to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and will be invited to a meeting at the College. One possible outcome is exclusion based on non-engagement.
At each of the four escalation stages the student record (engagement tab) is updated to show that this communication has taken place.
Where there is repeated instances of escalation due to non-engagement, students will be required to meet with the relevant Director of Studies.