Leaving Leeds early
While we hope everything goes well with your studies, sometimes things don’t quite go to plan. If you’re thinking about leaving university - either temporarily or permanently - before completing your studies, support is available to help you make a decision that’s right for you.
Find out about how to get support, steps to follow, and the implications of leaving temporarily or permanently.
Support if you're considering leaving temporarily or permanently
Talk to the student support officer in your school first. They’ll tell you how your school can support you and suggest any different options you might not have considered. They’ll point you to the right resources and help so you can make an informed decision and understand the processes involved. Also talk to your personal tutor who will be a key source of advice for you.
Leeds University Union Advice, and the Chaplaincy are other support services where you can talk in confidence about your situation and get advice and support. If you are reading this page because you don’t know whether you can get help for the situation you are in, you can browse our list of recommended resources and self help.
The Careers Centre can also help you think through your options and future plans if you're considering leaving your course or the University.
Before you make a decision, we strongly advise you to consider the possible financial implications explained below, alongside other implications.
Leaving temporarily or permanently: Steps to follow
- talk to the student support officer in your parent school about your situation
- consult your personal tutor and university/LUU support services for additional information, support and guidance you may need
- check the financial implications of leaving (see below)
- if you’re an international student, contact the International Student Office immediately for immigration advice before making any decision
- find out whether your parent school will approve you taking temporary leave (if appropriate) and under what conditions for your return (your parent school can discuss this in more detail with you)
- once you know your leave request is supported by your parent school, complete the leavers' form that your school provide and keep a copy of this
- if you’re leaving permanently, save important emails/documents from your University IT account as this will close immediately when your record is updated
- email your completed leavers’ form to the student office in your parent school, stating that you authorise the leave attached
- if you are in University accommodation, email a copy of your leavers’ form to the Accommodation Service
- meet any school-specific requirements e.g. hand in any placement uniform/keys etc. to your parent school
- read the Preparing to leave Leeds information
Temporary / permanent leaving date
The leaving date requested (such as on a taught student leavers' form) is used as an indicative date only. The leaving date finalised on your student record (Banner) by the University’s Operations team reflects when the leave request is fully approved by the University.
Immigration implications (international students)
If you’re an international student, taking temporary leave may affect your immigration status so it’s essential you get advice from the International Student Office. The University will be required to report any change of circumstances to UK Visas and Immigration.
If you leave before the end of your course, your fees are calculated based on your leaving date and not your last date of attendance, unless these dates are the same. If your account is in credit once the fees are recalculated, refunds will be made to the account from which the original payment was made. Find out more about fee payments when leaving the University early.
Student funding implications
There are some situations where you may lose some, or all, of your student financial support. If you’re taking a loan from the Student Loans Company, read how your funding may be affected. For more information and support you can contact Leeds University Union Advice and your funding body, to find out how leaving might affect your future studies and the way you’re funded.
If you’re in University accommodation check the notice period when you will need to continue paying accommodation fees.
If you’re in private-sector accommodation check the terms of your contract with your accommodation provider. Leeds University Union Advice can offer advice on your rights and dealing with your landlord in this situation.
Teaching and assessment implications
If you take temporary leave, you will discuss your academic progress as part of the conditions of return with your school. This will include what level of teaching you should return to, whether you need to resit any assessments and other details to ensure you can continue to progress on your course.
If you leave the University temporarily after the eighth week of teaching in either semester, special rules apply. The reasons for you leaving must be sufficient to excuse you from any exams and assessments you have for that semester’s teaching session. If your reasons are insufficient to excuse you, you’ll be expected to complete these examinations and assessments, or if you don’t complete them, you may be recorded as 'absent’. You must consult your parent school in these circumstances to clarify your situation.
If your circumstances have affected your assessments already or will affect assessments you are required to take, your school might ask you submit a mitigating circumstances request alongside your leave request.
Returning to university after temporary leave
If your school gives you approval for temporary leave it will be for a specified period of absence. (Your school can approve up to a year of temporary leave at any one time). You will need to agree with your school what date you would be expected to return to your studies. If there is a chance you might not be able to return to study at the expected return date, then you should agree dates for reviewing your expected return date and know what the consequences of not returning at that date would be. This should be discussed before you leave so that you are well prepared and supported.
A member of staff in the student office in your school will contact you before your planned return date to ask if you will be returning to the University at the end of the agreed temporary leave period.
If you don’t feel ready to return to the University at the end of the approved period, you must contact the student office in your school to ask whether your school will approve a further period of leave.
If you took leave temporarily for health reasons, you’ll need to provide written evidence from a registered medical professional that you’re fit to return to your studies, before you can re-register and start back at the University. This is so we can be sure you’re well enough to return and we can support you as needed. Students studying courses related to healthcare are likely to require an occupational health clearance before returning (check this with your school).
If you have a long-term health condition contact Disability Services as soon as possible before you return, to discuss your support needs.
It’s important that you keep the University informed of your plans. If you don’t return to the University and you don’t contact the student office in your school to ask for approval to extend your temporary leave, they’ll presume you have decided not to return and have left the University permanently. If you’re a sponsored student, the University will report to your sponsor that you have left.
Keep in touch and you can use the support of your school and relevant campus services while you’re preparing to return or considering future plans.