Full-time student holidays/absences

Holiday and Absence Guidelines for Full-time Research Students

University regulations require full-time research students to gain permission from their Director of Studies for annual leave and other absences from their programme of study.


Full-time research students are entitled to the same number of holidays as academic staff. For students starting in October (start of the academic year) this is normally 35 days annual leave + 11 public holidays. The additional PhD student start dates have pro-rata holidays - those starting in February will have 23 days annual leave, and those starting in May will have 15 days annual leave. The public holidays for each academic year are listed in the ‘Holiday and Absence Record for FT Research Students’, from 1 October to the following 30 September.

Research students can collect this card from their School Research Administrator:

 Students use the same holiday/absence card throughout the academic year. For each new entry, students should obtain their card from the School Research Administrator and complete all relevant details. They should sign the entry, and also obtain a signature* from their Director of Studies prior to each expected holiday. Once the entry is complete, the card should be returned to the School Research Administrator. An example of a completed card from 2012/13 is provided below for guidance:

*Email permission can be obtained from the Director of Studies if a signature is not possible. Copies of emails must be attached to the card when returning to the Research Administrator.

Other absences (including work placements, fieldwork, conferences, illness)

As with holidays, permission is required for each new entry* from the Director of Studies, and the signed card returned to the School Research Administrator. Full-time students must obtain agreement, in advance, from their Director of Studies for any work to be carried out away from the university such as fieldwork and placements. Students should maintain contact (usually by telephone or email) with their supervisor when working away from the University campus.

 *For students who have multiple single days off-campus, eg. in clinical practice, this could be entered as 1 entry for the series of related days eg. ‘Every Monday in January’ (with signatures).

Illness: students should contact their Director of Studies as soon as possible to notify them of any absence due to illness. Students should refer to the Research Student Handbook, section 3.6 – maintaining contact during periods of absence. After returning from illness, students should update their card and obtain a signature from their Director of Studies, attaching any medical certificates to the card.

Time out from your doctoral studies

Taking time out from your doctoral studies requires agreement with your Director of Studies, and then application through your School Head of Research to the Higher Degrees Committee using the form RDC3: ‘Extension/Suspension of Registration’.