How to intermit

Before you decide to take a break from your studies, there are a number of things to consider before you intermit. Once you decided to intermit you need to submit your request to intermit for approval.

Your request will be considered by your department and, if required, also by the relevant dean. You are strongly advised to discuss your request with your department before completing the online form, and this should speed up the process once the form has been submitted.

Please read the following information before filling out the form:

Tier 4 students

As your Tier 4 sponsor, we will report your intermission to the Home Office and inform you via email. If you are working you must stop doing so immediately. Your Tier 4 leave will be curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office to expire in 60 days (unless it expires earlier) and you must leave the UK by that date and send evidence of your departure, such as a copy of your airline ticket, boarding pass or entry stamp to the International Services team at international@essex.ac.uk.

At least two months before you are due to resume your course you will need to ensure you can meet all the Tier 4 requirements that are in force at the time and request a new CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies). If you are eligible for a CAS you will need to make a Tier 4 Entry Clearance application in a country you are legally resident in. Don’t leave it too late to make your CAS request, it takes at least two weeks to carry out our CAS checks and you need to allow at least three weeks for your application to be processed by UK Visas and Immigration. Please be aware that our Tier 4 sponsorship is not guaranteed.

Our International Services team will email you whilst you are on intermission so please make sure you stay in touch. You can read our immigration information about intermitting as a Tier 4 student and contact us via the ‘ask us a question’ section if you need to.

Undergraduate students

It is possible to take time out from your course - with permission – for remainder of your current academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a period of up to two academic years away from our University may be allowed as long as it does not exceed your maximum period of study.

Depending on the structure of your course, and the point in the year at which you intermit, it may be necessary to repeat a period of study in the year in which you return. For example, if you intermit towards the end of the autumn term, even though you will have studied some modules and completed some coursework, you would normally be required to start the year again, from the beginning of the autumn term. Some courses can be recommenced at the start of the spring term, if the whole of the autumn term has been completed.

It is not permissible, however, for students to elect to repeat a stage of study with the sole purpose of improving grades. Only a Board of Examiners can impose or offer a repeat stage, and it would usually only be offered to students who do not meet the requirements to progress to the next stage of study.

What happens when you intermit

Once approval for intermission has been given, your registration status will be changed from full-time to partial registration, which means that you will no longer be entitled to attend tuition. See the information 'While you are away' for more details.

Please note that if you are partially registered, you cannot do voluntary or paid work for the Students’ Union, stand for election or hold an official position within the Students’ Union.

Deadlines for intermitting

Final-year students will be permitted to intermit from the University only if a request is made before the Monday of the sixth week of the Spring Term (week 21).

The final deadline for first and second years to make an intermission request is 4pm on Friday of week 30 (or the working day two weeks immediately prior to the first day of the examination period).

  • Final year students : 4pm on Monday 18 February 2019
  • First and second years: 4pm on Friday 26 April 2019

Maximum period of study

Our undergraduate students have a maximum period in which to complete their studies. This is set at the point at which you register, and is normally the length of your programme plus two additional years. This is to allow some flexibility in cases where you find you must intermit, or you fail a stage of study and must repeat it, or you want to transfer to a new course and must retake a stage of study. Transfers of programme are still included in the original maximum period unless they involve moving to or from a four year course. However, you must complete your studies within this maximum period.

Each of the following counts as one additional year. You will not be permitted to do any of these actions more than twice, or exceed two of these actions in any combination:

  • repeating a stage (whether by full or part-time attendance)
  • undertaking reassessment the following year without attendance
  • transferring to a new course and repeating a stage
  • intermitting for part or all of a year

If your intermission is due to serious extenuating circumstances, such as a severe medical condition, then the Dean can consider extending your maximum period of study by one year. For some professional courses, however, the regulatory body rules may mean that the maximum period cannot be extended, even in the case of serious extenuating circumstances.

Further details about the length of study for each award can be found in the Framework for University Awards in our Undergraduate Rules of Assessment.

Notes for Law Students

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board will generally require a degree to be completed within six years in order to be recognised as a Qualifying Law Degree for the purposes of professional qualification.

The lack of a Qualifying Law Degree will affect you only if you are hoping to qualify as a barrister or solicitor in England or Wales.

If you need further information, contact your Student Services Hub or visit the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Postgraduate taught students

It is possible to take time out from your course - with permission - for one term, two terms or one academic year (stage). In exceptional circumstances, a period of up to two academic years away from our University may be allowed.

Depending on the structure of your course and the point in the year at which you intermit, it may be necessary to repeat a period of study in the year in which you return. For example, if you intermit towards the end of the autumn term, even though you will have studied some modules and completed some coursework, you would normally be required to start the year again, from the beginning of the autumn term. Some courses can be recommenced at the start of the spring term if the whole of the autumn term has been completed.

What happens when you intermit

Once approval for intermission has been given, your registration status will be changed to partial registration, which means that you will no longer be entitled to attend tuition. See the information below 'While you are away' for more details.

Please note that, if you are partially registered, you cannot do voluntary or paid work for the Students’ Union, stand for election or hold an official position within the Students’ Union.

Deadlines for intermitting

The deadline for intermission requests for postgraduate students is:

  • 4pm on Friday 26 April 2019 (week 30)

If you are experiencing difficulties with completing your studies after this date, then please speak to your Department for advice on extenuating circumstances.

Postgraduate research students

What happens when you intermit

Once approval for intermission has been given, your registration status will be changed to partial registration, which means that you will no longer be entitled to supervision or to attend any modules or training events. See the information below 'While you are away' for more details.

Please note that, if you are partially registered, you cannot do voluntary or paid work for the Students’ Union, stand for election or hold an official position within the Students’ Union.

While you are away

You will continue to have access to your Essex email account, and the University will use this to remain in contact with you. Please make sure you continue to change your password when prompted. If you forget your password or can't login contact our IT Helpdesk.

Keep an eye on your Essex email account as we will e-mail you about aspects of your return to your studies, and there will be opportunities for you to sign up to relevant mailing lists so that you can keep in touch with what is going on at Essex.

There will also be University Facebook groups that you may want to sign up to.

You are also advised to ensure that you keep alternative copies of any essential documents from your M-drive in case you inadvertently allow your account to lapse.

Library access

Taught students

You will continue to have some Library access while you are intermitting on the following basis: you will have online access to a restricted set of e-resources which you can access remotely and you will be able to borrow up to five books at a time.

Research students

You will have some Library access in the term before you are due to return from intermission on the following basis: you will have online access to a restricted set of e-resources which you can access remotely and you will be able to borrow up to ten books at a time.

For more information, please contact the Library.

Getting ready to return

Where necessary, you should ensure that the reasons for your intermission are addressed and resolved prior to your return, making use of University support services where appropriate.

Find out more about returning from intermission.

Visas

You must ensure that you comply with any visa conditions during your period of intermission. If you hold a Tier 4 visa you should contact our International Services Team for information on complying with your visa conditions during your period of intermission.

A CAS needs to be requested up to four months before your intended return date. Please contact the International Services Team to request one.

Student Services Hub
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.