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Supporting students returning to study from suspension

Steps staff should take to support undergraduate or postgraduate taught students who are returning from a period of suspension.

Return to Study process

Students who suspend 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 an appropriate expected return date with the student
  • advise them to expect a letter from Student Support about two to three months prior to their return date
  • advise the student that the process will work collaboratively with them to assess their support needs and determine whether return is advisable
  • complete Academic Registry paperwork
  • respond to Student Support’ request for information on the student to aid with the Return to Study process

Student Support will:

  • monitor the return date and approximately two to three months prior to return start the Return to Study Process
  • write to the student approximately three months prior to their return date to ask the student to complete a self-assessment and asking permission to request medical reports for Return to Study purposes
  • when required send the Return to Study medical questionnaire to the medical practitioner/health professional
  • review the self-assessment and/or medical reports to assess whether return is advisable and, if the student will return, to assess support needs and determine an appropriate support offer
  • contact the student (and in most cases the Director of Studies) to detail the outcome of the Return to Study review, any conditions for return and to offer appropriate support relevant to the needs of the student
  • discuss any recommendations with the Director of Studies as necessary.

The Return to Study process is designed to be supportive of students' return. Student Support 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. Directors of Studies are encouraged to reassure students that they can contact their department relating to queries or concerns about preparing academically and resuming their course.

Where it is determined that the level of risk is high, and there are significant concerns about a student’s health, wellbeing or behavior, the decision will be referred by the Director of Student Support for consideration under the University’s Health Wellbeing and Support for Study Policy.

The Director of Studies and the Director of Student Support may decide that there should be regular review meetings with the student, following their return to study that can be used to monitor and support a return to study plan. If so, the student will be expected to participate in review meetings which may continue for part or all of their remaining time at University.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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