Student Systems

Students returning to complete an MSc after a period of absence

Guidance on how to process records for students returning to complete an MSc after a period of absence.

This process differs depending on how long the student has been absent from their studies for. Details of each process can be found below.

  • If the student has been absent for less than one year then any awards can be removed and they can be reinstated on their programme. This can be done by the Student Records Team.
  • If the student has been absent for over one year then they will keep any previously conferred awards and they should apply for a new instance of the programme to complete their MSc. This can be done through Admissions.

Reinstatement Process - absent less than one year

Reinstating the Student Record

If the student has withdrawn within the last year then it is possible to reinstate their record. This can be done by contacting the Student Records Team via email on

The team will remove any awards on the student’s record and reset their matriculation status as appropriate.

Returning previous award (if applicable)

If the student has been issued with an award their certificate will have to be returned to the Graduations manager before this can be processed.

Award certificates should be returned by the student to the address below, marked for the attention of Fiona Potts.

Student Information Point

Old College

South Bridge



Once it is confirmed the certificate has been returned Student Records Team will be able to reinstate them.

New Application Process - absent more than one year

Submit a New Application

If the student is returning to complete their MSc after an absence of more than a year than a new application for the programme will have to be submitted.

The relevant Admissions Team will be able to advise you on how to proceed with this.

University of Edinburgh Admissions Offices

Adding Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) to the Application

Where the student is returning to study on a new programme instance Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) should be applied by Admissions as part of their application to take account of their previous qualification.

  • RPL in credits should be applied using the course codes for what the student has completed before their absence to be included in the MSc progression and award calculations.
  • RPL in months should be applied to reflect the time taken to complete their credits which will then give them the correct prescribed period of study and end date.