What is an Authorised Absence? 

If you are a Student visa holder, you must engage fully with your course, in accordance with the Student visa conditions. If you are unable to attend, you must inform the University by requesting an absence. An absence is an exceptional, temporary period when you may be unable to attend scheduled teaching and/or may be away from the University (both in the UK and abroad) for more than 3 days (excluding weekends) due to exceptional circumstances.

What is an exceptional circumstance?

An exceptional circumstance is something you could not have anticipated at the beginning of the academic year because:
I. Something has occurred, or been diagnosed, suddenly and unexpectedly during the academic year, or
II. Pre-existing difficult and complex life circumstances have intensified during the academic year.
For examples of what does and does not count as an exceptional circumstance, please see the Extensions and Exceptional Circumstances Policy and Procedure
Maternity-related absence

In line with the Student Pregnancy and Maternity Policy and Procedure we can allow up to 60 days of approved leave from your studies for maternity related reasons. If you wish to take longer than 60 days maternity leave you will need to take a break in study and return to your home country. Please speak to a Student Support Adviser to discuss pregnancy and maternity support and the options available to you. For further information please see our Pregnancy and Maternity Support Guidance
How do I request an Authorised Absence? 
    You will need to complete an Authorised Absence Form  and send it to . We will consider if the circumstances you are reporting mean you are eligible for an Authorised Absence and respond via email to let you know if your absence is approved or not. 
    What should I do when I return from my Authorised Absence? 
    When you have returned to study, you are required to bring your SHU Card to a Hallam Helpdesk or your Research Institute Helpdesk (Research students only) to confirm your absence has ended.

    If you are on placement please email Student Immigration Compliance at to confirm your absence has ended.

    Important information to note
    • Any absences from the UK of 2 weeks or over need to be declared on all future in-country visa applications. Please also be aware that an absence of 4 weeks or over is likely to break your continuous residence period in the UK
    • An authorised absence is not grounds for an extension to study. This means if you take an absence you will not be eligible for a CAS extension if you fail any of the modules you have missed teaching for during this time (you can repeat if the modules can be completed within your current visa dates)
    • You are required to submit all assessments and attend all exams during the period of your authorised absence


    Further Guidance: 

    Please ensure you read the Authorised Absence Guidance before completing the Authorised Absence form.

    If you are on a Research Course please read Authorised Absence Guidance for Research Students


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