Many students consider withdrawing each year for a number of reasons, academic or otherwise. The majority of them do eventually decide to stay on their programme and go on to complete it successfully.

There are lots of aspects to think about and reflect on when considering your choices. Withdrawing from your course entirely is a big decision, which will have an impact on your short-term situation and a potentially longer-term impact as well, such as on your career. There are many reasons why students consider withdrawing – financial difficulties, struggles with your health, a caring responsibility within your family. Some of these difficulties can be addressed with support from your department and Student Services, and it may be that after some discussion and planning, taking a break and interrupting your course for a time may prove to be the better solution.

In this article we’ve brought together a range of issues to consider, as well as details on who you can talk to about your concerns:


Reasons you may be considering withdrawing or interrupting

There may be a number of reasons that you’re considering taking a break from or even leaving your course. These may include:

  • Struggling to adjust to student life
  • Unsure the course you’re on is the right one for you
  • You’re experiencing financial difficulties
  • Personal or family problems may be making it difficult to study

If this is you and you’re facing these or similar challenges which is making you feel unsure about how to move forwards, please refer to our article I’m finding it hard to adjust to university life, what can I do?, which addresses these issues and more, with tips, guidance and where you can go for support.



What if I’m pregnant?


Practical and financial issues to consider


Tuition fees



Living in university accommodation



Council Tax



Student Loans (Home and EU students)


Visa implications

If you are an international student studying in the UK on a student visa, you need to think very carefully before making changes to your registration status, as this will have implications on your immigration status.

You should arrange to talk to the Visa & International Advice Team before taking any action. When considering withdrawing from your course, you may also wish to consult with other support services in the university before making your decision. Take a look at Who to talk to for more guidance.

If you are in the UK with a Tier 4 or student visa, then King’s College London is your sponsor in the UK. Under the terms of our licence with UK Visas & Immigration, we are obliged to inform UK Visas & Immigration if you are absent from the course, change your course of study, suspend or withdraw from your studies. For further information on the requirements you and the College need to meet, see UKCISA.

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss student and you're looking to either interrupt your studies, transfer to another programme of studies or withdraw from your studies, please refer to our online module EU/EEA/Swiss students and Change of Circumstances.



Interrupting, deferring, suspending or withdrawing from your studies


Who to talk to

Changing your registration and deciding to interrupt your studies or withdraw entirely, is big decision and not one to be made without guidance from support from King’s.

First consider your options and talk them through with a personal tutor, the Advice TeamsCareers Consultant, parent or friend.  Ask yourself what you would rather do and if you want to return to the course at a later date.

You may also wish to consider your long-term career plans and the impact your decision may have on your finances. If you are an international student subject to immigration control, it is essential that you contact the Visa & International Advice Team about how withdrawal/interruption affects your visa and right to remain in the UK.

Important to know:

  • If you decide to withdraw permanently, you will have to reapply should you wish to return to the university.
  • You talk should through your reasons for leaving the course with relevant support staff before you leave. This is to ensure that you are making the right decision for you, and that you are aware of any problems you may have as a consequence of withdrawing or taking a break from your studies.

There are people you can talk to discuss your situation with, and help you make a fully informed choice:


Personal tutor



Advice & Guidance Team



Counselling & Mental Health Support Service



King’s Chaplaincy



Careers & Employability