Things in life don’t always go according to plan. We hope that your time at King’s College London will be an enjoyable experience and on the whole, stress-free.
However, we recognise that everyone goes through difficulties at certain times in their lives, and a break from study may be appropriate.
If you are struggling to engage with the course due to ill health, personal, financial or other reasons, your department may allow you to take a break from your studies on a temporary basis. We call this an ‘interruption’. This means that you can return to your course the following academic year once you have had time to deal with your problems.
I want to take a break because of the Coronavirus pandemic
Due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), many have found their lives disrupted. This might be due to financial loss, new caring responsibilities, ill health, or other challenges that have made it feel impossible to continue with studying this year.
If you are feeling like this, do remember that there are many support services within King’s who you can speak to, who may be able to identify strategies or interventions that can be introduced to help you remain on the course. It’s important to talk to your department as early as possible and consider any implications of interrupting.
We advise reading one of these articles:
- I’m an undergraduate thinking of interrupting my studies: what do I need to consider?
- I’m a postgraduate thinking of interrupting my studies: what do I need to consider?
We also recommend reading Who to talk to; this will help you find out where to get help and advice.
However, if you have spoken to relevant staff and continuing is just not possible, formally interrupting your studies may be the best option to help protect your academic record.
To do this please read the rest of this article for details.
How will this affect my student finance?
By completing this process, it allows King’s to update your record to reflect you will no longer attend for a temporary period. And, just as importantly, we will notify any funding body that you rely on for fee loans and/or maintenance loans. They too need to update their records and the information we share with them will help them to reassess your entitlements.
For more information about what happens to fee charges and maintenance support when a student interrupts, please see:
What should I include on my interruption of studies request?
You will be asked for a couple of key details when completing your interruption request:
- The reason for your decision
- Your last date of engagement on the course
- Your expected return date
How to cite Coronavirus as the reason?
You state this on your interruption request by:
- Selecting the ‘COVID-19’ option in the relevant drop down menu
- Go to the free text box below, using this to give more detail about your specific circumstances. Examples of reasons might be:
- You have new caring responsibilities
- You are struggling with your physical or mental health
If you’re not comfortable with that, please make sure you contact your funding providers personally, to make them aware of the detail.
What happens next?
- In accordance with GDPR rules, King's will share these details with your Student Finance provider, such as Student Finance England, so they have an accurate account of your situation.
- Student Finance providers have asked universities to share when COVID-19 has been a key reason for an interruption, as they will use this information to make their decision and help them work out what will happen with any current financial assessment they have sent you for 2020-21.
- It is likely that this information will help when they work out your future entitlements too, when you resume your studies.
Important to know: We are expect them to ensure that in instances like this, you are not penalised by losing fee loan entitlement when you resume.
Things to consider before interrupting
If you live in a hall of residence, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to remain there, continue to receive student funding or be given access to IT facilities during your period of interruption, but there may be flexibility depending on your personal circumstances and the reasons for interruption. You should, however, remain in contact with your department and you can access the university Student Services.
For more details of things to think about, please refer to:
Process for interrupting
In the first instance, we advise that you speak to someone in your department, ideally your personal tutor or supervisor about your concerns and worries, and ascertain how long a break you need and when would be a good time to return to your studies.
There can be practical considerations, especially for students attending clinical placements, which will need to be factored into a suitable return date.
Step 1: Contact your personal tutor or supervisor to discuss your situation.
Step 2: Read either I’m an undergraduate thinking of interrupting my studies: what do I need to consider? or I’m a postgraduate thinking of interrupting my studies: what do I need to consider?
Step 3: We recommend that all students considering a break from studies speak to the Advice & Guidance Team to talk through the practicalities of taking a break; this can include your funding, accommodation arrangements and immigration status.
Step 4: To process your request online form in your student record; select 'Initiate Change of Circumstances'.
Important to know: If you are on a Student visa, you are required to speak with an adviser before your interruption can be finalised as there are significant implications for your student visa and return to study.
What happens next?
If you have read the articles related to this one and you are not concerned by anything you have read, then you don’t have to do anything further. Your department will be asked to finalise your request. Once everything is completed, you will be sent an email your King’s email address, confirming that your record has been updated.
They will also advise you on the final tuition fee charge and ensure your funding body learns of your decision to interrupt. We recommend that you also contact your funding body to update them on your decision to interrupt.
Important to know:
- When you complete your Change of Registration Form via Student Records you will be asked if you have already consulted Advice & Guidance. Tick ‘yes’ if you have received advice or are satisfied that the information in our related articles have answered all your questions. Tick ‘no’ if you have not spoken to us yet but would like to.
- If you are interrupting on health or financial grounds Change of Circumstances form may be referred to Student Advice for approval and recommendations before processing your application with your department. This is to make sure that you have been fully advised on any consequences, which may affect you now or in the future.
- As outline in Step 3 above, we advise all students considering an interruption to contact Student Advice & Guidance to discuss your situation fully. Your adviser will confirm that you have received the appropriate advice on the change of registration form and return it to your Record Centre.
- If you have any questions on the university’s policies on data protection, you should refer to the Student Data Collection Notice and Privacy Statement.
Have concerns about interrupting but already submitted your request?
If you have already submitted a request to interrupt, it is probably best to contact your department or your Record Centre so they can delay finalising your change of registration and give you time to speak to someone.
If you require advice and guidance about the circumstances surrounding your interruption, any of the issues raised above or would just like to review your options please contact Student Advice & Guidance.
Records Centres can be contacted as follows: