Suspension of Studies

A Suspension of Studies is when a student wishes to interrupt their studies for personal reasons. Before making any decision please ensure that you consider in depth the reasons behind your decision and discuss whether there may be any alternatives.

  Did you know?

A suspension of studies is not a student right; it would need to be approved by your Head of Department.

  Extenuating Circumstances or Suspension of Studies?

You may consider suspending your studies rather than completing an Extenuating Circumstances form if the issues are long-term. The University defines long-term as more than 20 working days.

What does it mean?

Full-time Student

For a full-time student, it means suspension from all units associated with the programme of study on which a student is registered, usually for one academic year.

Part-time Student

For a part-time student, submitting a request for suspension of study, a part-time student must make it clear whether they wish to suspend from the programme of studies in full, or from particular units.

Postgraduate Student

For a postgrad student, it means suspension from all incomplete units associated with the programme of study on which a student is registered. Upon returning to your studies you will resume your studies from the point you suspended them.

We are here to provide impartial advice, guidance and support and might be able to help you solve any problems you’ve encountered on your course, advise you on alternatives, or help guide you through the process of suspending to make this as easy as possible. Suspension of Studies can be very supportive when circumstances are challenging, but you may find that with some additional support Suspension is not necessary. This support may also be beneficial to you if your request is found invalid, or upon returning to your studies.

Implications of Suspending


There will be financial implications which you will need to discuss with both the Student Finance Office and Student Finance England, prior to suspending your studies. The financial implications will be different for every student as it depends on a range of factors such as which block of studies or assessment period you are in, when you suspend, monies you have paid or balances that might be owed to you.


If you are considering suspending your studies you will need to discuss accommodation and housing arrangements with Halls of Residence Staff, or the person/s responsible for your tenancy contract.

If you intend to stay living in Portsmouth during your suspension, council tax will be payable (except under some extenuating circumstances), for more information on this and how it may affect you, contact the University’s Student Housing department.

The University’s Student Housing Services are available to offer advice and guidance on how suspending your studies may impact your accommodation, whether it be Halls of Residence or private accommodation.

How the Union Advice Service can help

We can help you...

  • understand suspension of studies and alternatives that might be available for you

  • contact your Personal Tutor and other relevant departments if you would like us to

  • find additional support if you feel you would benefit from it

For support with the Suspension Procedure please submit a support request form and we can arrange an appointment to go through it in more detail.

Still need some advice? Book an appointment!

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