Changes in student status | University of Oxford
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Changes in student status

Changes in student status may include suspension, withdrawal, change of programme, lapsing and reinstatement, and early course completion. This page explains what each of these means for you as a graduate student at Oxford.

The information below applies to full-time students, part-time students are advised to refer to their Graduate Studies contact for further advice.

Suspension of status

Suspension of status within the University ‘stops the clock’ for all elements of your degree, including residence, fees and terms for which a particular status may be held.

If as a graduate student you cannot work for a particular reason then you can apply for suspension of status for not less than one and not more than three terms at any one time. Overall, you cannot suspend status for any more than six terms as a full-time graduate research student, or the equivalent length of your course (for example, three terms if you are on a one year course) as a graduate taught student. See student parents for details of the University's parental leave policy.

Applications for suspension of status should be made via your Graduate Studies Assistant (GSA) using the GSO.17 progression form completed by yourself, your supervisor and your college. Medical Sciences should ensure your form is completed by the Director of Graduate Studies before submitting it to the GSA.

If you are funded by a research council or charity you may need to make a separate application to the funding body in parallel to that being made within the University. Your funding body’s regulations for suspension of status will not necessarily be the same as those of the University. Your supervisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or Graduate Studies Assistant should be able to advise you on this.

Access to facilities and services

A student with suspended status will retain their University card and Single Sign On (SSO) access to online resources, including email, and to University libraries, during periods of suspension. If your University card expires while you are on a period of suspension, you should contact your college or (or department for non-matriculated students) to request a new card, which will be issued to last until your new expected completion date.

If you have a disability advisor at the Disability Advisory Service, you are welcome to remain in contact with them, however, the services accessed through the Disabled Students Allowance will not be available to you until you return to formal studies. This includes services such as specialist SpLD tuition, specialist mentoring, assistive technology training, proof-reading and library assistance. Disability advisors will be very happy to help you to make plans to reinstate recommended support as quickly as possible on your return to study.

You are eligible to refer yourself to, and use, the Counselling Service during your period of suspension. If you are already engaged with the Counselling Service at a time when you suspend you can continue with your counselling until an appropriately agreed ending. If you are living away from Oxford you can arrange to have on-line counselling support with the Service.

It can be most useful to have contact with the Counselling Service at the point when you are suspending to work out how you can be best supported over the period of suspension. This can help you address such issues as finding appropriate therapeutic or medical support back at your home. It may also be helpful to access the Service before you return to your studies to help you re-engage with your academic work and college life.

If you access the Service during your period of suspension you will be offered the same level of therapeutic support as all other students. The Counselling Service offers brief and focussed therapeutic interventions. This can be negotiated with the clinician you are working with to decide how the Service can best support you. If you need longer or more specialised therapeutic treatments to help you address psychological difficulties then you will need to be referred to the appropriate NHS medical, psychological or psychiatric services.

A student may be suspended by the University because of non-payment of fees. If you are suspended due to non-payment of fees your access to University facilities and services will be withdrawn. You are required to return your card directly to Student Information at the Examination Schools. Visit payments and refunds for more information.

The University reserves the right to withdraw access to facilities and services in certain other appropriate circumstances.

Impact on your visa

A change to your student status can have an impact on your visa and may also affect the visas of any dependants you have in the UK and their permission to work here.

Impact on your accommodation

If you are staying in accommodation provided by the Graduate Accommodation Office you should contact the office about remaining in your current accommodation and the implications your suspension may have on entering into a new tenancy agreement.

Programme Transfer

Programme transfer can have an impact on your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if you had to obtain one for your original course.

Withdrawal, lapsing and reinstatement for research students

If you decide to withdraw from your research degree before being given leave to supplicate, you will need to inform your the University using the GSO.29 form.

Withdrawal: DPhil students

If you withdraw before 12 terms have elapsed

If you decide to withdraw from your research course before twelve terms have elapsed, and have not submitted your thesis, you should submit a withdrawal GSO.29 form.

You may apply for reinstatement at a later date, with the support of your former supervisor and college. The application must be made to your department/faculty/division using the GSO.23 form including a work plan and timetable for completion. If you are reinstated, you will be liable for any remaining fees upon reinstatement.

If your DPhil status lapsed after 12 to 18 terms

If you have not submitted after twelve terms, and have not used or been permitted the maximum six terms of extension of time, your status as a research student of the University will lapse. Once your status has lapsed, you will lose access to University facilities.

You may apply for reinstatement when ready to submit your thesis, providing that you have the support of your former supervisor and college. The application must be made to your department/faculty/division using the GSO.23 form. Your reinstatement will give you one more term in which to submit. If you do not submit within that term, you must apply for an extension of time.

If your DPhil status lapsed after 18 terms

If you have held DPhil status for the maximum 18 terms (12 terms plus six terms for extensions), your status as a research student of the University will lapse. You may apply for reinstatement at a later date providing that you have the support of your former supervisor and college. This application must be made to your faculty/department/division and to the Education Committee via your Graduate Studies Assistant.

Withdrawal: MLitt and MSc by Research students

If you withdrew before nine terms had elapsed

If you decide to withdraw from your research course before nine terms have elapsed, and have not submitted your thesis, you should submit a withdrawal form using the GSO.29 form. You may apply for reinstatement at a later date with the support of your former supervisor and college. The application must be made to your department/faculty/division using the GSO.23 form including a work plan and timetable for completion. If you are reinstated, you will be liable for any remaining fees upon reinstatement.

If your status lapsed after nine to 12 terms

If you have not submitted after nine terms, and have not used or been permitted the maximum three terms of extension of time, your status as a research student of the University will lapse. Once your status has lapsed, you will not have access to University facilities during this period.

At a later date, you may apply for reinstatement when ready to submit your thesis, providing that you have the support of your former supervisor and college. The application must be made to your department/faculty/division using the GSO.23 form including a work plan and timetable for completion. Your reinstatement will give you one more term in which to submit. If you do not submit within that one term, you must apply for an extension of time.

If your status lapsed after 12 terms

If you have held status for the maximum 12 terms (nine terms plus three terms for extensions), your status as a research student of the University will lapse. You may apply for reinstatement at a later date providing that you have the support of your former supervisor and college. This application must be made to your department/faculty/division and to the Education Committee via your Graduate Studies Assistant.