D5: Interruption (Suspension) of Studies

1. Introduction

Students may, for a variety of reasons, want to interrupt their studies. Students should make their request to ORMS, and it is for ORMS to decide whether or not to recommend the interruption, taking into account the guidance below

2. Effects of Interrupting Study

When a student interrupts their study, their registration with ORMS will be temporarily suspended and all relevant authorities (where known) will be informed.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that any sponsor or legal requirements are complied with when taking an interruption of study. A student whose registration is suspended because of voluntary interruption of study is not entitled to attend any teaching or take any assessments and will not pay tuition fees in accordance with ORMS’ fee schedule.

3. Approval of Interruption of Study

The Head of Administration should be informed as soon as the interruption has been recommended, and will confirm the approval and terms of the interruption in writing to the student. Requests to interrupt should be made in advance of the interruption. Retrospective interruptions of study will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

4. Reasons for Agreeing to Requests to Interrupt Studies

The considerations to be applied by ORMS in making this decision should include:

  • whether interruption is inevitable owing to extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness, or unavoidable family commitments, or
  • the reasons cited by the student indicate that it would genuinely be in their best academic, financial, or personal interest to interrupt their studies, and
  • significant syllabus changes are not likely to occur during the period of interruption such as to make it difficult for the student to resume their studies.

ORMS may consider or request supporting evidence for instance from medical or counselling services before agreeing to an interruption.

5. Funding Issues

ORMS should always remind students of the need to consult their funding body before interrupting their study, and remind them that ORMS  is not able to guarantee the resumption of any external grant or loan. If a student interrupts their study and returns to repeat a stage/semester the student will be charged the appropriate tuition fee for the repeat period of study.

6. Timing of Interruptions

An interruption of study may begin immediately in cases where a student’s absence from ORMS is unavoidable or urgently required. In all other cases, the interruption of study of taught course students must begin from the end of a semester or term (ie after the end of the examinations attached to that semester or term) so that there is a clearly identifiable point at which a return to studies should occur. Interruptions should not be granted just before the start of examinations simply as a means of allowing students to avoid (or postpone) failure in a number of modules, as this would provide these students with an unmerited advantage.

7. Period of Interruption and Maximum Period of Study from Initial Registration

An interruption should, wherever possible, be for a definite period. Where it would seem insensitive to designate a date of return to studies, the student may be informed that the interruption is for an indefinite period but subject to review. In this case, the Head of Administration should be informed by ORMS on an annual basis whether the interruption is continuing. In some cases, it may be appropriate for ORMS to require a student to provide medical certification of fitness to return to study before allowing re-registration to occur.

8. Return to Study

Where an interruption is granted ORMS may require the student on their return to repeat modules already passed where the syllabus for that module has been updated, or to take new modules to replace outdated modules previously passed. In these cases, the marks from the repeated or new modules will replace the marks gained from the outdated modules.  If a student is required to repeat a module, stage, semester or placement the student will be charged the appropriate tuition fee for the repeat period of study.

Where the suspension is greater than 12 months, students will need to retake modules started, but not completed, to ensure that their knowledge and skills is current.

Where a student is on a programme leading to professional registration and their normal period of study has been extended it may be necessary for them to undertake additional assessment in order to prove competency prior to conferral of their award. There may be a charge for this assessment.

A student who has interrupted their study will change cohort on their return to study and the regulations applying to the cohort they have joined will be applicable, which may have implications for their progression or final award for the programme.

You can download a copy of the form here [link]