Important to know: This information contains relevant considerations for all undergraduate students, but if you are studying on a Tier 4 visa you must consider the implications for your visa if you decide to interrupt. For this please read Visa implications for interrupting.
In this article we address the considerations you need to think about when interrupting your studies:
What happens with my fees and funding?
Taking an interruption will likely affect your financial situation and any funding you may be in receipt of.
Please read Fees & funding when interrupting.
What will happen about my housing?
If you are living in King’s accommodation, once you stop studying, you will need to find alternative housing because Halls of Residence are exclusively for enrolled students.
Important to know: There are exceptions we can consider, such as if you estranged from your family. Please contact Advice & Guidance to discuss your housing options during your break if this is your situation.
You’ll need to speak to the Residences team about organising an early release from your contract. They will be able to advise further about moving out dates and how the early-release impacts on the rental charges. You can email or call on 020 3660 2662.
If you live in private halls or at a private rented property, then you should check your contract for terms and conditions. It may be that you are unable to break the lease early, even though you are interrupting from the course.
Please contact us if you need further advice and support with this.
What happens with my Council Tax Exemption?
The good news is you remain classed as a full-time student during an interruption, so the exemption should still be available if you meet all the other conditions. If your Local Authority query this, please contact us for advice and assistance.
Your Confirmation of Study letter unfortunately won't be available to you as an automatic download while you're interrupted. If you need a letter for this purpose, please log a case with us and provide as much detail as possible.
For more information on Council Tax and whether you should be paying it or exempt, please refer to What is Council Tax and am I exempt from paying it?
How are Welfare Benefits affected by my interruption?
While you are on an ‘interrupted’ status, you retain your full-time student status so generally, the rules around accessing welfare benefits continue to be restrictive. Having said that, it is a complicated picture and seeking further advice from Advice & Guidance would be advisable, particularly if you are interrupting due to ill health or caring responsibilities.
Will I lose my Student Oyster card once I interrupt?
You receive this discount because of your enrolment, so once you interrupt, yes, you will eventually lose this concession. The university updates Transport for London (TfL) on interruptions at regular points throughout the year and this will prompt them to cancel your Student Oyster card. When you return to the course, you will have to reapply to TfL for this travel discount.
What services can I still access from King’s whilst interrupted?
Access to Libraries and other learning resources should also be available but may be restricted. We advise checking with your department for full details and how to keep in contact while you are on a break.
You will also be able to access student support services at King’s, which includes Student Services for a wide range of support including documentation, our the specialist Advice & Guidance teams for Money, Housing & Visa advice, , as well as Careers & Employment, Counselling, Disability Support and King’s NHS Health Centre.
For more information on what you're still entitled to while taking a break, refer to Understanding student status: what does my status mean for me?
How could taking a break affect my career?
We always advise considering your longer term career plans when planning to take an interruption of studies. We would recommend booking for a 20-minute Guidance Appointment with a Careers Consultant, to discuss your options.
Careers Consultants offer impartial advice to support you and help you to make the right decision for yourself. This is booked through King's Career Connect.
Important to know: You are likely to find it helpful to speak with your personal tutor/supervisor before your appointment, to develop an understanding of why your current course doesn't suit you or why you’re struggling with it. You can then bring that information to the 1:1 with a Careers Consultant and reflect on it in a confidential and impartial environment.
If I interrupt before the end of the academic year, will I still pay the full years’ tuition fees?
The amount charged is usually determined by the last day you were ‘actively engaged’ on the course (see exceptions below). You should speak to your personal tutor before completing the Change of Registration Form on your student record in order to agree your interruption date and an appropriate date to return to the course. The longer you have attended the course the more fees you will be charged for the year.
Are there any exceptions to this fee rule?
Yes, there are some courses where the charging arrangements differ. This is likely to be the case for King’s Online courses, International Foundation courses and other short courses offered at King’s.
Please speak to your department directly or Registry Services for more specific information about these programmes.
What if I have paid too much? Can I expect a refund?
Once your interruption is finalised, your tuition fee will be recalculated by Registry Services. Credit Control will issue a new invoice and if there is a credit on your account you can request a refund via Student Records. You can also leave the funds on your account until you return.
Important to know: If you have paid a non-refundable deposit, this could cancel out a refund, depending on the figures. Please refer to Student Fee Payments for full details.
I used a Postgraduate Loan to pay my tuition fees, will this money still be refunded back to me?
Postgraduate Loans are paid directly to students and are intended as a contribution towards postgraduate study. You can choose how you spend that loan and therefore, if you used it towards your fees, then yes, any overpaid amount will be refunded back to you.
If I interrupt, do I have to repay the Postgraduate Loan back to my funding body?
If you have accessed a Postgraduate Loan and interrupt mid-course, King’s has a duty to inform your funding body of this change. This is because instalments paid are linked to attendance so, in some cases you may find an overpayment is identified once your last day of attendance is confirmed to them. Your funding body will write to you about this and explain your options for settling this bill.
I thought my Loans were only repayable once I started working and earning over the £21k threshold?
To a large degree, this is true. However, the Postgraduate Loan is usually paid in instalments and their release is dependent upon attendance each term. So on occasion, where an instalment is paid (assuming attendance), but later the funding body learn of an earlier interruption, an overpayment notice may be sent out to cover the instalment paid in error.
You can help avoid this by contacting your funding body as early as possible, to update them on your change of registration.
I have spent all the money. What should I do if they ask for money back?
Once you have received the overpayment notice, your options will be explained. You can usually either:
- Pay back the full amount immediately
- Have future funding reduced to help cancel out the overpayment.
I have been awarded a scholarship/bursary. What happens with that funding upon my interruption?
If you have been awarded a scholarship or bursary, it is important to check whether there are implications when taking a break or leaving early. If you have been given written terms and conditions governing the payment, then refer to those for guidance.
If you are a postgraduate research (PGR) student, you can also speak to the Centre of Doctoral Studies if you have any further queries about how the funding is disbursed.