Being Admitted to Hospital

Information for students who are admitted to hospital

Written by Stiliyana – the Student Experience Services Intern, summer 2023

If you are in a life-threatening, critical emergency or injury situation, please dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance and/or the police. If you are in a critical emergency situation and you are able to, you can also go to your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.  


If you are in an urgent, but noncritical emergency situation, please dial 111 to connect with NHS 24. They will provide you with immediate advice about your health. Contact them if you think you are in an emergency situation, but it is not life threatening; if you need advice and help on minor injuries (e.g., minor cuts, burns, sprains or insect bites); if you need urgent mental health support; or your GP or dentist are closed, and you cannot wait for them to open.


If you have minor injuries and/or illness, you can contact your local GP, pharmacies, opticians, and dentists. You can also visit the NHS inform page which has various self-help guides (visit them here 

Usually, your primary contact for any medical treatment is your GP. Please, register with a GP local to your address before you begin your studies. Do not wait until you fall ill to do it! Your GP can refer you to any other medical services, including hospitals, as relevant to your circumstances.

Register with a GP/doctor | The University of Edinburgh


If you are in a hospital, or you expect to go in a hospital in the near future, please let the University know by talking to your Student Adviser or the Student Support Office. They can provide you with guidance on whom to talk to in your School/Deanery and halls of residence to ensure you have the support you need in your academics and at home. 

Your health is a great priority for us. We aim to support you so that your situation improves and you can return to your studies smoothly.  This guide will provide you with information on what to do in terms of your study continuation if you are in/are going to a hospital. 

  While you are in the hospital it is important that you focus on yourself and your health. Take your time to recover and try not to worry about your academic work too much. 

If you wish to talk to someone while you are there, The University Listening Service is available. You can arrange to talk to them by phone, email or video conversation, and, they can also arrange to visit you in hospital. They may also reach out to the hospital to see if you would like a visit. They can also help you out when to contact your School/Deanery. You can contact the Listening Service at , via phone +44(0)131 650 2595.


Contact your School/Deanery 

During your time in hospital, you are likely to miss classes, assignments, and/or exams. It is possible that you would also miss deadlines for some of your classes’ assignments. If you are able to, you should contact your Student Adviser to inform them of your situation. You can find the contacts for your Student Support Teams at:  


Extensions, Authorised Interruption of Studies (AIS), Special Circumstances 

Depending on the seriousness of your illness, you may need to apply for a Coursework Extension, Special Circumstances, or an Authorised Interruption of Studies (AIS) for the rest of the semester or academic year, especially if your absence is at the semester’s beginning or mid-semester. If you are absent for a short period of time and you feel that you can do and submit any assessments you have for that time with a slight extend of the deadline, you can apply for a Coursework Extension, which usually gives you 7 extra to the deadline days to submit assignments. You just need to apply for it via the Assessment Support tool on MyEd, and you do not need evidence to back the application up.  

You should consider applying for Special Circumstances or an Authorised Interruption of Studies (AIS) if you believe that your health problems will significantly and adversely affect your studies. Usually, if you have been absent for more than 7 days, you will probably have to apply for Special Circumstances. In order to apply for Special Circumstances, you should use the Assessment Support tool on MyEd, and you will need to provide evidence for your application. This evidence can be from your GP, a hospital letter, or you can fill in the self-certified documentation.  

To read more about coursework extensions and special circumstances, please visit:  

An AIS is granted to students if you are temporarily unable to engage with your studies. An interruption of study involves taking a complete break from study for an agreed period of time. To read more about Authorised Interruption of Studies (AIS), please visit:  

Your health is a great priority for us, and we are here to support you in getting better! 


Residence Life 

If you are living in University managed accommodation, then you can get support from the Residence Life Team. You can contact the Residence Life team directly at or by contacting your local Resident Assistant (RA) who can connect you to the Support Team in your residence. If needed, you can also call the Community Support Team 24/7 on 0131 667 1971 (option 9). The Residence Life team can assist with bringing belongings to hospital and virtual check-ins during your time there should you like them. They can also; provide advice about your tenancy particularly if you may wish to live elsewhere on release from hospital; provide support for parents or supporters in need of accessing accommodation in Edinburgh if visiting you and; assist with any adjustments and personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) you may need in your accommodation on return.  


When you come back 

Make sure you contact your Student Adviser about when you are planning to return to study. They will already know about your absence and circumstances and thus will help you adjust back to your academic life. They will also prepare options about your continuation of studies for you to consider. You can talk to the Student Support Team member assigned to you or to the Advice Place if you are struggling to make a decision. 

If at any point you require assistance outside of the working hours, please contact the University’s Security Team at 0131 650 2257.