University of Bath

Supporting students returning to study from medical suspension

Steps staff should take to support undergraduate or postgraduate taught students who are returning from a period of suspension due to mental or physical health

Return to Study process

Students who suspend due to mental or physical health reasons may need additional support or reasonable adjustments to ensure that their return to study is successful. In order to ensure this, the following steps should be taken.

When the Director of Study approves the period of suspension, they should:

  • agree a return date with the student
  • advise them that they will be required to demonstrate that they are fit to return to studies and to expect a letter from Student Services about two months prior to their return date
  • complete Academic Registry paperwork

Student Services will

  • monitor the return date and approximately three months prior to return, contact the Director of Study to agree to start the Return to Study Process
  • write to the student two months prior to their return date requesting contact details of their medical practitioner/health professional and asking permission to request medical reports for Return to Study purposes
  • send the Return to Study medical questionnaire to the medical practitioner/health professional
  • review the report and make recommendation to the Department for their decision
  • work with the Director of Study to support the student’s return to study

The Return to Study process is designed to be supportive of students' return. Student Services are able to administer the process on behalf of the departments and provide specialist advice to Directors of Studies on the content and implications of medical statements.

If a student does not engage with the Return to Study process then the Director of Study, in discussion with the Head of Student Services, may decide to instigate the more formal Fitness to Study policy.