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Leave of Absence

We understand that sometimes, full time students have to take a break from their studies.  This could be because you are unwell, or because you have financial difficulties or for other personal reasons.  Aston students in situations like this can suspend their studies be asking for a Leave of Absence.  This is also called suspending study.  A Leave of Absence can last between 60 days and up to 2 years but it is most commonly given for one academic year. 

You can request a Leave of Absnece (Suspension of Study) from your student home page on MAP.  You will need to give  brief explanation of your reasons for suspending your studies and can upload any supporting evidence you have available.  Your school will repsond to your request through MAP so you need to check your student home page regularly.

You should also include the dates that you want the Leave of Absence to start and end but please remember that there is no guarantee you will be able to suspend your study for the exact dates you have requested. The length of Leave of Absence you can take and the date you can resume your studies will depend on how far into the academic year or term/teaching period you are and whether you will need to return to repeat any modules.

You do not have to pay tuition fees whilst taking a Leave of Absence but you may have to pay tuition fees for the part of the year you have attended.  There are different ways in which the amount of fees you have to pay is calculated as it is depends on whether you are a Home, EU or International student and whether you are studying an Undergraduate or Postgraduate course.  Once your Leave of Absence has been approved, your tuition fees will be reassessed by the University. 

You can access a copy of the University's Tuition Fee Charging Policy in the Regulations and Policies area of the Registry webpages. 

Your Bursary or Placement Allowance will be reassessed for the period that you have attended and the University will use the same deadline dates as they would use to reassesses your tuition fees.  

You can find information about the fee charging deadlines in the Tuition Fee Charging Policy which you can find in the Regulations and Policies section of the registry website.

If you are a new student who started your degree course in 2012 and have been awarded an Aston Scholarship then your scholarship entitlement will also be reassessed.  Your new scholarship entitlement will be based on the number of full terms you will complete that academic year.  You can find more information about this in Aston University's Scholarship policy which applied in the year you began your course at Aston.   

The university will reassess the amount of tuition fees you will need to pay and will confirm your new tuition fees to Student Finance England.  Your tuition fee loan should still be paid to the University but it will only be for the new amount of tuition fees you have been charged.

You must tell SFE as soon as possible if you take a Leave of Absence. You should be able to do this by logging into your on-line SFE account and reporting your Change in Circumstances.  A student adviser in The Hub Advice Zone can you help with this and you can arrange an appointment to see an adviser by calling us on 0121 204 4007.   

Any absence of up to 60 days should be disregarded and you can still receive funding during this time.  This means that if your Leave of Absence will last no more than 60 days, you should be able to continue to receive student funding as normal. 

SFE also has discretion to consider student circumstances and may decide that all or part of the financial support is still payable.  Most students do not receive funding whilst during a Leave of Absence.

Once SFE receives notification that you are taking a Leave of Absence, they will reassess your funding entitlement for the year.  You would not normally be asked to repay any money you receive from student loans until after you have finished your studies.  Your grants will also be reassessed and you may find that you have been overpaid and this overpayment can be taken off any grant payments you are entitled to receive in the future. 

You will normally be able to get student funding for your original course length such as a  4 year sandwich degree) plus one extra year. If taking a Leave of Absence will mean that it is going to take you a year longer to complete your studies, then you will use up this extra year.  If you have already had to repeat some of your studies, have previously studied at another University or if you have to repeat in the future, then you may find that you cannot get help with your tuition fees or the Maintenance grant for a year of your course.  Exceptions can be made to this for students who have compelling personal reasons for repeating their studies. 

You need to be a full time student in attendance at Aston in order to live in Residences. You will need to ask your school to inform Residences that you have been granted a Leave of Absence and you will need to return your keys.  Your accommodation fees will then be reassessed and you can request any refund due to you through MAP.

Most students cannot claim benefits whilst they are taking a Leave of Absence but there are some exceptions.  If you have dependent children or have a disability then you may qualify for Social Security Benefits.  Please book an appointment to see one of our student advisers at The Hub Advice Zone by calling on 0121 204 4007 for further information. 

Yes.  If you are a final year student you are advised to check in case your name has accidentally been added to the list of students who will be finishing their course and can have their accounts deleted.

If you need to take a Leave of Absence and you are in the UK with a student visa, you should seek advice from one of our international student advisers at The Hub Advice Zone.  

Suspending your studies can have very serious implications for your visa and the University will almost certainly have to report you to UK Visas and Immigration for not attending. This would mean that you have to leave the UK and would have to get a new visa to be able to return to your studies after your Leave of Absence. 

You can contact our international student advisers by calling  0121 204 4567, emailing us at issu@aston.a.cuk or by calling in to The Hub Advice Zone.  

Last checked 21/11/2014 GB

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