Suspensions and Extensions

It is vital that prior to requesting a suspension or extension to your registration, you read Appendix 6 of the PGR Code of Practice carefully to ensure that the reasons for your request align with those outlined in Appendix 6, otherwise you risk having the request refused or returned to you for amendment. The University has a strict policy in respect of extensions of registration in particular.

Students on Tier 4 visas should also note that requesting a suspension requires them to leave the UK immediately and therefore a new visa will have to be acquired prior to your return.

Academic suspension of study

There may be circumstances which lead to you needing a break from your studies. It is important that you communicate any issues to your supervisor and/or the university as soon as you can. In some circumstances an academic suspension of study may be appropriate but this is subject to the approval of your Primary Supervisor, School/Institute/Department Director of PGR and Faculty Director of PGR. An academic suspension freezes your registration period for the time you are away from your study and gives you the equivalent amount of time added onto the end of your degree, effectively extending your end date (although this is different to an extension of study, see below). During the period of academic suspension you do not accrue tuition or bench fees.

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If you academically suspend your studies you are not entitled to receive supervision, access university resources or facilities but you will still have access to your University email account.

Suspensions should be applied for in whole months up to a maximum of one year. Common reasons for suspending study include: 

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  • Ill health
  • Maternity/ paternity leave
  • Personal issues
  • Financial issues (this is different to Financial Suspension, see below)

International students are advised to seek advice from the International Support Team before applying for an academic suspension of study. Tier 4 visa holders should note that following the approval of an academic suspension the university is legally obliged to notify the Home Office of your suspension and withdraw sponsorship of you.  Your current Tier 4 visa will then be curtailed (cancelled) and you will be required to leave the  UK for the duration of your suspension. Failure to leave the country following the approval of an academic suspension could jeopardise your immigration status and your studies with the university.  Before resuming your studies you will need to request a new CAS from the University and make a new Tier 4 visa application, you will only be able to make this application from outside of the UK.

If you are externally sponsored you must ensure that you liaise with your sponsor to seek their approval before requesting an academic suspension of studies as this is not done as part of the University’s consideration and approval of your request.

An academic suspension on financial grounds differs to Financial Suspension which is a sanction imposed by the university following non-payment of fees. More information on Financial Suspension can be found in the Student Fees Policy.

It is sometimes more appropriate for your School/ Institute/ Department to grant a period of approved leave. You should speak to your supervisor if you need to apply for a period of approved leave. International students should seek advice from the International Support Team before taking leave.

Academic suspensions should be applied for through the Suspensions and Extensions workflow in Liverpool Life. Approval will be sought from your Primary Supervisor, School/ Institute/ Department Director of PGR, Faculty Director of PGR and the PGR Student Team. You will be notified by email of the outcome of your request. 

Returning from a period of academic suspension

You will need to email pgrs@liverpool.ac.uk to confirm your return to study, copying in your supervisor. The PGR Team will then amend your record accordingly. You will need to complete any outstanding Annual progress Reports before you are re-registered as an active student.

Home/ EU students should note that your Primary Supervisor must email the PGR Student Team to confirm you have resumed your studies before your registration will be amended.

International students will be expected to produce an original, valid visa at the Student Administration Centre which demonstrates the right to study in the United Kingdom and with the University of Liverpool. You will be given details of how to do this when you are contacted prior to resuming study.

You will also need to settle any outstanding debt with the university before you will be permitted to resume. Unless you are granted a further period of suspension, you will start to accrue fees from the date you are due back from your suspension. If you fail to resume your studies following a period of suspension you may be deemed withdrawn.

Extension of study

An extension gives you extra time at the end of your research degree, extending your end date. Extension of study will be considered where there are severe mitigating circumstances. Extensions can be applied for through the Suspensions and Extensions workflow in Liverpool Life. Approval will be sought from your Primary Supervisor, School/ Institute/ Department Director of PGR, Faculty Director of PGR and the PGR Student Team. You will be notified by email of the outcome of your request. 

International students should seek advice from the International Support Team as to whether they would need to extend their visa to accommodate any extension to their studies.