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. 


UPDATE 24 MAY 2021 - The current University guidance is that all students studying on campus based programmes are expected to be resident in Edinburgh from Sept 2021.  Students wishing to extend their current, short term LoAs should submit a new request via the usual process, with a new end date of 31 August 2021 - this is to reduce the administrative burden of multiple LoAs being submitted for month by month extensions.  If arrival on campus is then earlier than 31 August 2021, students should let the IGS know and the LoA will be amended accordingly.  

UPDATE 03 JUNE 2021 - Whilst the Univeristy has been very flexible with approving extended LoAs during the COVID period, as restrictions ease, there are many positive reasons for students to return to campus for the remaining duration of their studies.  Any PGR student wishing to study off campus / at a distance for the long term duration of their PGR programme, will need to provide a strong case and evidence their exceptional reasons for this request.  Students wishing to make such a request should submit a Category 2 LoA request as normal, which will be considered on a case by case basis. Please bear in mind that there may be reasons related to your programme of study, which means a long term LoA cannot be approved. For example (but not limited to) restrictions of scholarship funding provision, supervisor requiring on campus attendance to deliver high quality supervision and support, a requirement to participate in cohort based programme activities, and/or access to specialist research equipment/resources that can only be provided from campus etc. 

Student route 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 sponsored 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 (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 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. For holiday periods of greater than 30 days duration, 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