PGR Annual Leave

Information about the annual leave entitlements for PGR students

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 (40 working days) annual leave per academic year (this includes the allowance for four bank holidays recognised by the University - 25/26 Dec and 1/2 Jan).  The student is still a fully-matriculated student at the University of Edinburgh during this time. 

Annual Leave (holiday) of up to 30 days duration 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 in duration, approval of the Deputy Director of IGS is also required, and this approval will be given after completion and submission the Annual Leave Webmark Form.

We expect both students and supervisors to be reasonable in the agreement of vacation time.  

From the students' side, we consider the following to be "reasonable" (note that "days" means working days rather than calendar days):

  • we expect that they aim to give advance notice of leave to the supervisor, with greater notice for longer periods away: for example, 1 week notice for 1-2 days AL, 2 weeks notice of 3-4 days AL, 4 weeks notice of 5-10 days AL, and at least 6 weeks notice for any period of more than 10 days.
  • We also expect that students take into account conference deadlines, conference attendance, teaching support work, and Annual Review deadlines, in arranging their Annual Leave (if a trip is likely to cause scheduling difficulties for an Annual review, they should ask to have the Review panel earlier).  
  • The AL calendar runs on a 12 month basis from the start date of the student's program (with formal Interruptions pushing forward this clock date),  Students should avoid backloading all AL to the very end of those 12 months, unless this plan has been agreed well in advance with the supervisor (around 6 months into the year).

From the supervisor's side, we consider the following to be reasonable:

  • To agree to requests from students which are consistent with the guidance above.
  • To make sure that planning for conference submissions leaves sufficient gaps in the research/writing schedule that will allow for the taking of AL, and to discuss this issue with the student when drawing up research plans.
  • PhD supervisors have pastoral oversight for their research students, in addition to the research supervision.  We ask that supervisors raise the issue of AL with students at the 6 month point of each year of their program, and to encourage students to prioritise the taking of some AL throughout the year.
  • In cases where a student has failed to take any AL for over 6 months, we ask that supervisors be especially accommodating with requests, even if less advance notice is given.

Students should contact the IGS if they feel reasonable requests for AL are not being accommodated.  Also, if a supervisor feels a student has frequent absences from work without formal approval, they should contact the IGS to discuss this.

Things to note

There is nowhere formally to record periods of annual leave in EUCLID and IGS has been advised that it is inappropriate to use the LoA function.  Therefore, approved annual leave (dates/duration and approval date) will be documented as a formal "comment" in the Comment/Engagement section of a student's EUCLID record.

The PGR annual leave is an annual allowance e.g. if your programme started on 01 Sept 2023, you have an allowance of 40 working days (full time) to use between 01 Sept 2023 and 31 Aug 2024.  Annual leave which is not taken does not carry forward, and the balance resets each year. 

CDT students who are enrolled on taught courses and who 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 non-teaching periods / formal University holiday periods (e.g. Christmas, Easter and summer period). 

Annual leave cannot be claimed after thesis submission.