Authorised Interruption of Studies

Applying for an authorised interruption of study (AIS)

If you are temporarily unable to engage with your studies, you can apply for an authorised interruption of study (AIS). An interruption of study involves taking a complete break from study for an agreed period of time. This is usually for a single semester or the whole academic year.

Students take Authorised Interruptions of Studies for many reasons. Some common reasons include:

  • Health reasons (mental or physical health problems)
  • Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Family Leave
  • Extra-curricular opportunities e.g. elite sport, art/music related opportunities
  • Employment opportunities/internships
  • Financial circumstances
  • Military Service

Please note that you cannot apply for an Authorised Interruption of Studies after teaching has finished in the relevant semester.

Before you apply – things to consider

If you are a PPLS Undergraduate, and considering requesting an interruption of study, you should discuss this with the PPLS Student Support Office (contact information below). You can also discuss this with your Personal Tutor.

  • Taking an authorised interruption of study may have financial implications. Advice about this can be sought from the Fees and Student Support Team and your funding body, as appropriate. Independent and confidential advice can also be sought from the Students' Association Advice Place.
  • There can also be visa implications. International students should also speak with a member of staff at the Student Immigration Service about this.
  • You should be aware that courses and programmes may change while you are interrupted, which may mean, for example, returning to a different set of course options from those available before you took an interruption.
  • Any assessments that you have completed before interrupting are normally carried forward and you will not redo these. Depending on your circumstances, we would advise that you also apply for Special Circumstances so that the relevant Board of Examiners can take your situation into account.

Students belonging to other Schools should speak to their School’s Student Support Team or Personal Tutor for advice on how to apply.


Complete the authorised interruption of study application form below. Please email your completed form, along with supporting evidence such as a medical letter, to the Student Support Office contact below. The Student Support Office will help you complete the return to study plan

Once you have emailed your form, it will be sent to the School’s Senior Tutor for review. Applications will be considered sympathetically and decision makers will consider whether the interruption would support successful completion of your programme. You will be informed of the outcome of your application via email. Please note that it's not possible to apply for an interruption once teaching has finished for the relevant semester.

If you require a PDF document in an alternative format, such as large print or a coloured background, please email or contact the PPLS Student Support Office.

While you are interrupted

While you are interrupted, you will not attend classes or complete assessments, but are still regarded as a student of the University. You can still access campus facilities and student support services including:

  •  Advice from your School regarding return to study
  • The Students’ Association (including the Advice Place)
  • Chaplaincy
  • Student Counselling Service
  • Student Disability Service

During an interruption you will still be subject to University policies, rules and regulations, including the Code of Student Conduct.

Return to study

Ahead of your return to study, we will make contact with you to make sure that any necessary arrangements can be made to support your return.

If you do not feel able to return to your studies, it may be possible to request an additional interruption.

Further information and the full Authorised Interruption of Study policy can be read at:

Authorised Interruption of Study policy

If you have any questions about the Authorised Interruption of Study process, please contact the Student Support Office.

Contact Us

Student Support team

  • School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

Contact details



The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Student Support Officers are Colin Arthur, Stephanie Fong, Michael Gray, Sarah Larios, and Anna West. We are here all year round to offer you support and guidance. The Student Support Assistant is Jamie Sutherland. From the start of the 2020-21 academic year in September 2020, as a response to COVID-19, our Student Support team is available digitally.


  • We are working Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm BST.

    We hope you’ll understand why we aren’t able to offer routine in-person appointments at the moment. However, if you get in contact, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can; we cannot answer phone calls at this time.