MBChB Attendance and Absence Reporting

Attendance is one of the key professional attributes that you are judged on throughout the five years of the MBChB programme.  We know attendance is strongly linked with professionalism in your current role as a medical student and in your future career as a doctor.

We expect you to attend 100% of the sessions on the programme as a mark of respect for your colleagues and particularly your patients. You must sign registers for scheduled teaching sessions where these are provided (N.B. In 2020/21, due to COVID restrictions, attendance at mandatory face to face teaching activities will be recorded by the tutor leading the session). After teaching sessions, ICU Co-ordinators review online reports, registers and emails regarding student absences and these are logged and are regularly reviewed.  You may be contacted from time to time regarding attendance if there is an issue and we need to check your attendance. The Academic Sub-Deans, supported by reports from Year Co-ordinators, carefully monitor absence/attendance in order to support students and will address patterns of non-attendance at an early stage.  

Students in the past have tried to get away with attending only a proportion of teaching or clinical placements, but in doing so they have missed vital teaching, particularly with regards to assessment preparation. This behaviour will not be tolerated and will lead to a fail grade in the professional aspect of related assessments.  Failure to attend or absence without permission can have serious consequences and may ultimately result in you being excluded from the University.  

Link to University Attendance / Unsatisfactory Attendance page

On senior clinical placements you will be working in an assistantship role as part of clinical teams, with a greater degree of self-direction and a higher level of professional responsibility.  You will be expected to undertake evening, weekend and night shifts.  We expect you to manage absence as you will when a Foundation year doctor (i.e. inform placement co-ordinator / supervisor on the day of any unplanned absence and request planned absence 4-6 weeks in advance).  You should also discuss with your placement lead which timetabled sessions you must attend and which sessions may be flexible to allow personalised learning.  

Absence from the course

Reporting Unexpected Absences e.g. Due to Short-Term Illness

You must use Minerva to register any absences from the course.  If you are absent from the University for less than one week, you may self-certify the illness.  If you are unwell for a period of more than one week, you must submit a fit note, available from your Doctor, immediately on your return to University.  

Clinical Placements – If you are absent from clinical placements, you must let your NHS placement Co-ordinator know as soon as practically possible and self-certify your absence on Minerva as above.  

Clinical Skills Teaching Session – If you are absent from a clinical skills session you must let the Clinical Skills Team know either on telephone number 0113 206 7311, or via email at CSETeam@leeds.ac.uk.  Please also remember to self-certify your absence on Minerva as above.  

If is your responsibility to catch up with missed work, lectures and other academic commitments.  If you need additional support, please contact your personal tutor, Academic Sub-Dean or the Student Support Team.  


You may need to be away from the course in relation to your own health or personal matters. We are keen to support you to further your professional careers and development (e.g. attending conferences to present work, or represent the Medical School) or to take part in a major sporting event.  

For religious observation, the University (and NHS) is a secular organisation. We will judge applications for leave for major religious festivals on a case by case basis, but are unable to make special scheduling for routine teaching and assessments. The University policy on religious commitments is set out in the Taught Student Guide.

Except for unexpected sickness, we require you to ask for leave in advance, rather than arranging your time away and presenting this as irreversible.  For example, it is not acceptable professional behaviour to book a family holiday during term time and then ask for permission to be absent.  

There is a simple process to follow.  complete the leave application form here:  Leave Application Request This will automatically be emailed to the Academic Sub Dean for the appropriate year.  Students in years 1 and 2 are generally advised to contact them at least 2-weeks in advance to discuss requests.  Students in years 3 to 5 are advised to contact them 4-6 weeks in advance; as you will be required to do as a Foundation Year Doctor.  Your request will then be reviewed by the Academic Sub Dean, discussed by the School’s Progress Committee if necessary, and permission granted or denied (with reasons) and the decision passed back to you.  

You must enter your absences in the Minerva absence recording system even though you have been granted permission to be absent.  All requests (accepted or denied) will be added to your student file.  Failure to comply with the denial of requests will not be tolerated by the School and will be considered a form of unprofessional behaviour.  

The role of the Academic Sub-Dean

The School of Medicine has a team of Academic Sub-Deans, with each Sub-Dean being allocated to a specific year of the MBChB programme.  Academic Sub-Deans in the MBChB programme provide individual support, advice and direction for students with issues affecting their study and which are likely to impact on their progress.  Academic Sub-Deans may be considered the ‘officers’ of the medical school.  They have an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations of the University and School of Medicine and can assist you in managing issues that may impact directly on your studies and ability to progress e.g. having a significant health issues, bereavement, serious personal difficulties, needing time out from the programme, academic under-performance or getting a police caution or criminal record.  The Academic Sub-Dean can refer you to Occupational Health should it be considered that you require such support.  Academic Sub-Deans are members of the School’s Progress Committee which meets throughout the year to discuss students in academic difficulty, make decisions about progression issues and liaise with the Student Cases team in the university.  

If a member of staff expresses concern about your performance, your attendance or your professional behaviour, it will be the Academic Sub-Dean who will be in touch with you to discuss this in more detail.  Alternatively, Academic Sub-Deans are also very happy to discuss ways of accommodating other achievements outside medicine.  

Year Academic Sub Dean Year head
1 Dr Christy Ralph Dr Richard Bishop & Dr Shenaz Ahmed
2 Dr Liz Garthwaite Dr Richard Bishop & Dr Lisa Enright
3 Mr Dermot Burke Dr Paul Lord and Dr Paul Harwood
4 Dr Alison Sheppard Dr Etienne Ciantar and Dr Clare Rayment
5 Dr Louise Gazeley Dr Ian Clifton, Dr Michelle EldridgeDr Chris Mannion