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Attendance and leave entitlements for doctoral students

Find out more about the attendance requirements and leave entitlements as a doctoral student.


Attendance expectations

Your supervisory team will explain to you their expectations of the time commitment required in order to make progress within your field of study. If circumstances are such that you are not able to engage regularly with your degree, then please contact your Director of Studies to discuss your situation and agree on an appropriate course of action.

According to UKRI recommendations, there is an expectation that full-time doctoral students spend approximately 37 hours per week on their studies (pro-rata for part-time students), and that this should form the core around which other non-doctorate-related activities need to sit.

International student attendance: Tier 4 and Student visa holders

Full-time international students holding a Tier 4 or Student visa allowing them to study in the UK should be aware of the University’s Academic Engagement Monitoring Policy detailing how the University monitors your engagement and when and how to request an authorised absence.

If you are a Tier 4 or Student visa holder, you will need to make a request for authorised absence if you are going to be away from the University for 8 or more days, for any reason. You must also request a period of authorised absence if you will be completing fieldwork away from the University and if you are requesting a period of annual leave. This is to ensure the University holds a central up-to-date record of where you are. For information on how to request an authorised absence please see the Student Immigration Service's Frequently Asked Questions.

Leave entitlement

As a doctoral student, you are entitled to take up to 25 working days' holiday leave (for full-time students; pro rata for part-time students) from your programme in any 12-month period, in addition to days on which the University is closed (e.g. bank holidays and discretionary closure days). The timing of your leave should be negotiated with your lead supervisor. If your programme includes a formally assessed taught element, you should not normally take leave during the taught element.

Leave and sickness guidance

If you are ill there is information on who to inform, where to get medical advice and to check if you are entitled to any sick pay. Please review our sickness guidance.

Maternity, paternity and adoption leave policy

There is a specific policy for doctoral students wishing to take a period of maternity, paternity and adoption leave.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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