Leave of absence

Leave of absence from your studies and annual leave.

Leave of Absence (LoA)

Definition of a Leave of Absence (LoA)- this is when students are actively engaged in, and progressing with, their studies but are away from the Edinburgh campus e.g. attending a conference within the UK or abroad.  PGR students are required to be resident in Edinburgh, and fully engaged in on campus study, during their Prescribed Period of Study. However, it is possible to request Leaves of Absences (as detailed below). 

Please note that any student without an approved LoA recorded in their EUCLID record will be assumed to be present on campus and contactable/residing at their local term time address.  As such, PGR students are asked to make sure their EUCLID personal contact information and term time address is up to date and correct at all times. 

Category 1 - if the LoA request is for an absence up to 30 days

Students may be absent from Edinburgh for short periods to allow for attendance at conferences, workshops, etc. This does not require formal School or College approval but should be agreed with the Principal Supervisor in advance.  Students and supervisors should discuss the absence and agree a start and end date.

Although no formal request needs to be made, the student should notify the IGS of the absence by completing the online notification form with the details (the supervisor will be unable to complete this). The form will then be automatically submitted to the Informatics Graduate School who will record the category 1 absence in EUCLID. 

Short LoA Webmark Form

Note for CDT students: If you have completed a travel request form for travel of less than 30 days and this has been approved, the IGS will refer to this form and therefore the above form does not need to be completed as well.

Category 2 - if the LoA request is between 31 days and 12 months

Where students will be absent from Edinburgh for between 31 days and 12 months (for example, research visits and internships), the student and supervisor must apply for a formal Leave of Absence, which must be approved by the School.  During this time, the student is expected to continue working on their thesis and supervision is expected to continue. Therefore, the period(s) of absence:

  • should be to allow for fieldwork, academic research, work experience, etc. at another institution or location
  • must not delay the completion of a student's thesis

The approval and recording of Category 2 LoAs is devolved to Schools.  As such, all Category 2 LoA requests are subject to the approval of the Deputy Director of IGS (who is the authorised delegated signatory for College).

  • Students should complete the Leave of Absence Request Form, which must be signed by both the student and the principal or lead supervisor.
  • If the absence is between 3 months and 12 months then the LoA checklist must also be completed and approved by the principal or lead supervisor.  Please ensure that details of how contact points will be arranged to maintain engagement during the period of leave. 
  • Signatures can be provided electronically but the form/checklist must be sent from your University email address
  • The LoA request form (and LoA checklist, if applicable) should be submitted to igs@inf.ed.ac.uk (cc'd to principal or lead supervisor).  IGS will then seek the approval of the Deputy Director of IGS.
  • If approved, the IGS admin team will inform the student and supervsor and record the LoA on EUCLID.  

Category 3 - if the LoA request is for more than 12 months

  • An LoA request from any PGR student (Tier 4 and non-tier 4) which is for more than 12 months requires both School and College approval. 

  • Students should complete the Leave of Absence Request Form, which must be signed by both the student and the principal or lead supervisor.
  • The LoA checklist must also be completed and approved by the principal or lead supervisor.  Please ensure that details of how contact points will be arranged to maintain engagement during the period of leave. 
  • Signatures can be provided electronically but the form/checklist must be sent from your University email address
  • The request form and checklist should be submitted to igs@inf.ed.ac.uk (cc'd to principal or lead supervisor).  IGS will then seek the approval of the Deputy Director of IGS.
  • If approved by the DD-IGS, IGS will forward the request to College (pgrcse@ed.ac.uk).
  • If approved by College, they will confirm this with the IGS and will record the LoA on EUCLID.   The outcome will be communicated to the student and supervisor by the IGS. 

Tier 4 visa restrictions

  • Visa restrictions may also apply in the case of international / visa sponsored students; such students should contact the Student Immigration Service must for advice and guidance before any LoA request is submitted to the School.
  • Any change to a student's 'location of study' must be notified to the UKVI within 10 days.
  • The student must be working on their research full-time and the principal or lead supervisor must continue to record engagement monitoring points in EUCLID for the duration of the approved LoA. 
  • LoA requests for Tier 4 students no longer require College approval, unless they fall into Category 3. 

Annual leave / Holiday

Annual leave is the phrase used for holiday periods.  This is when students take a short break from their studies to rest and recuperate, are not engaging in study and may be away from the Edinburgh campus during this time. 

All PGR students are permitted and encouraged to take up to 8 weeks annual leave / holiday per academic year.  The student is still a fully-matriculated student at the University of Edinburgh during this time.  Annual Leave of up to 30 days must be agreed by the Principal Supervisor and recorded by the student using the Annual Leave Webmark Form. For annual leave of more than 30 days, approval of the Deputy Director of IGS is also required. For holiday periods of greater than 30 days, follow the request guidlines for Category 2 LoA requests and state on the form that this is for annual leave/holiday. 

Note for CDT students - CDT students who are enrolled on taught courses and are required to attend lectures, tutorials etc as part of their programme of study, should not be taking holidays during the teaching semesters.   CDT students enrolled on taught courses are expected to take their annual leave/holidays during the formal University holiday periods (e.g. Christmas, Easter and summer period). 

Travel Insurance

All PGR students should make sure they have travel insurance in place before going on a trip. Please note that travel insurance provided by The University of Edinburgh will not cover you for personal travel. For more information and where to apply please click here: Travel Insurance