Who to tell when you are ill

Being ill when you're away from home can be a difficult time. Make sure you know what to do and how to inform the University if you're not able to attend.

Getting treatment 

Whatever your condition or circumstances, find out who to contact when you’re ill.

Reporting your illness to the University

You’ll need to report your illness to the University. If you’re are too unwell to attend face-to-face teaching sessions then you are encouraged to stay at home and make up for lost teaching when you’re feeling better, or view teaching online.

If you're affected by ill health during your time at Leeds then any absence will need to be certified. We can offer modified exam arrangements and will consider requests to take into account mitigating circumstances.

Contact the Student Support team within your School to find out how to report absences or request exam adjustments.

Short-term illness

It's your responsibility to inform your school when you're absent due to illness.

Up to five days

If you've been ill and haven't been able to make it into University for between one and five days, then you must self-certify your illness through Minerva on your return.

It's up to you to catch up with missed work, lectures and other academic commitments.

More than five days

If your studies are affected because: 

  • you are ill for less than 7 days: complete an absence form online to inform your department. From Minerva, click the ‘Access Student Services” icon in the toolbar in the top right. Once logged in to Student Services, click “Student Services” on the menu and follow links to Absence Notification.
  • you are ill for more than 7 days or you have to miss an exam or assessment: you must request a letter from a doctor in the UK. It must be requested during your illness. Letters issued after the illness will not be accepted.
    For international students, this letter will prove to the University and the immigration authorities that you have health circumstances which should be taken into account when assessing your progress.

If you're ill for more than five days, you must submit a medical certificate (available from your doctor) to your parent school on your return.

Long-term or indefinite illness

If you're not well enough to continue studying, you can apply to either temporarily or permanently withdraw from the University on medical grounds. Your school can also apply for your temporary or permanent withdrawal on medical grounds.

When you're well and can provide a Doctor's medical certificate, you will be able to resume your studies.

Temporary exclusion due to illness

If your parent school considers you to be suffering serious ill health and you've chosen not to seek medical help and advice, your school can request that the University Medical Officer declares you medically unfit to continue studying. If declared medically unfit, you might be asked to withdraw from the University.

If you're required to withdraw, it will be recorded as a temporary withdrawal for reasons of ill health.

You retain the right to be readmitted once you have been declared medically fit.

Ill health and impact on:


If you're absent from your course for 60 days or more in any one academic year, you must inform your Local Education Authority or any other body funding your studies.

Exam arrangements

If you have a short-term health condition or illness during an exam period and require modified exam arrangements, inform your school and the Exams team as soon as possible.

Exam attendance and academic achievement

If you're absent from an exam or believe that your performance in an exam or assessment has been affected by illness, you must provide a written explanation to your parent school within five working days of the exam. In the case of illness, this must be accompanied by a full medical certificate from a doctor. Check your school's individual mitigating circumstances policy, including deadlines for each semester and where to submit the claim.

Immigration status

If you're studying in Leeds on a Student visa and you need to take a break from your course as a result of ill health, this may impact on your right to stay in the UK. If you decide to suspend your study or take temporary leave, you can find more information on how this can affect your student visa status.You can also contact the Student Visa Advice team to enquire about any further visa concerns you have.

Support for ill health

If you are ill and require help, the following University support is available: