undergraduate student status
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Changes in student status

Changes in student status may include suspension of status and withdrawal, or transfer to a different course. This page explains what each of these means for you as an undergraduate student at Oxford.

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.

Applications for suspension of status should be discussed with your college and should take account of the time limits provided within the regulations which state that an undergraduate student on a three-year course must normally be examined within four years; a student on a four-year course must normally be examined within five years.

During suspension you will not have formal teaching from the University or your college, including tutorials, lectures, seminars, classes and labs. Some college tutors may offer ad hoc advice on substantive academic matters at their own discretion.

If you are beginning a period of suspension, you are not required to complete University registration. When you return from a period of suspension, you will need to complete registration again. 

Access to facilities and services

If you suspend status you can retain your University card and Single Sign On (SSO) access to online resources, including email, and to University libraries, during the period of suspension. If your University card expires while you are on a period of suspension, you should contact your college to request a new card, which will be issued to last until your new expected completion date.

If you are suspended due to non-payment of fees your access to University facilities and services will be withdrawn.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 University card directly to your college. The University reserves the right to withdraw access to facilities and services in certain other appropriate circumstances for students suspending status.

Disability Advisory Service

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 make plans to reinstate and will be able to recommended support on your return to study.

Counselling Service 

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

If you are already engaged with the Counselling Service when you suspend you can continue with their counselling until a mutually agreed end date. If you are living away from Oxford you can arrange to have on-line counselling support with the Service.

The Counselling Service can advise you at the time you are thinking about suspending to work out how you can be supported over the period of suspension. This can help you address such issues as finding appropriate therapeutic or medical support back in your home location. It may also be helpful for you to access or contact the service before you return to your studies to help you re-engage with your academic work and college life.

The Careers Service

You are eligible to use the Careers Service during the period of your suspension and have full access to all the resources and services available from 1:1 discussions with a Careers Adviser, attending Fairs and events,  to searching for opportunities including internships and job vacancies. Having time away from your ‘studies’ can be an opportunity for reflection and assessing what you might want to do long term. There are lots of resources available through the Careers Service website but  arranging a discussion with a Careers Adviser can help you to look at ways that you can use your ‘time-out’ from studies that meet your particular circumstances and needs, combined with how to present this in applications.

Council Tax exemption

You will not be eligible for Council Tax exemption from Oxford City Council during the period of your suspension, and other Councils may adopt similar practice. You should notify your Council that your status at the University has changed. If while suspended you find yourself in financial hardship you may be able to apply for a discretionary discount. Further advice for students living in Oxford can be found in the Oxford City Council policy. If you need further advice please contact [email protected].

Your student visa 

A change in student status can have an impact on your visa and may also affect the visas of any dependants you have in the UK and consequently their eligibility to work here. The Student Visa Compliance team will contact you to discuss the potential impact on your visa. You can also seek their advice before suspending if you wish.

If you transferred course this can have an impact on your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if you had to obtain one for your original course. If you suspended studies and your visa has been cancelled you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate before making a new visa application. You should seek the advice of Student Visa Compliance team if you are unsure. 


Transfer into an Oxford taught course (undergraduate (UG) or postgraduate taught (PGT)) from another institution is not permitted. Students currently studying at another institution who wish to study at Oxford should follow the normal applications process for the course. Postgraduate research (PGR) students will normally only be considered for transfer to  Oxford from another institution as a result of their main supervisor relocating to Oxford to take up an academic position. For further details see Arrangements for student transfers.


Withdrawal after your first examination paper/assessment submission requires the agreement of your college and the approval of the Proctors.

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