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Time-out From Study

The University allows people to take time out in certain circumstances for either a full year or a partial year. We can help you understand what it is, when you could take it, how to apply, and what the implications could be.

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Useful resources

Student guide to requesting time out (PDF 213KB) (

Quick facts about applying for Time Out at UAL

Full year or partial year

A full year out must be requested before the academic year begins. If you have outstanding assessments to complete then a year out may not be granted unless you have extenuating circumstances.

A partial year out can be taken once the year has started if you intend to return at the same point in the next academic year. You would ordinarily have to complete the year if you are more than half way through the year.

In either case, you will be expected to complete all units currently underway before your time out or before returning to University if you need to retrieve. You will be able to carry any units which you have fully passed forward. If you are granted permission to leave whilst still completing a unit then you’ll have to pay for any repeat tuition.

If you have had to repeat units in the past or had time out previously it may affect your ability to take time out now. You can take a maximum of two years out but can only apply for one year at a time. After 2 years you must return or you will be deemed to have withdrawn from your course. You must complete your course within the maximum registration period, which is the normal course length plus 2 years.

The process

To apply for time out you need to make an appointment with your Year/ Pathway Leader, Course Leader or Programme Director and go through the form. They will chat you through your options. If you decide to proceed you need to fill the form out, have the relevant member of course staff fill out the rest, sign it and return it to your College Administration Office.

Your request will be considered by the Chair of the Exam Board and you’ll be informed of the outcome within 3 weeks. Until you hear you should continue to attend class and submit any necessary assignments. If you have just taken an assessment or have an assessment due you may wish to apply to have your extenuating circumstances considered in case your application for time out is not accepted.

Withdrawing / Leaving UAL

If you're considering leaving UAL / withdrawing permanently from your course you should speak to your Year/ Pathway Leader, Course Leader or Programme Director as soon as you can.

Advice for International Students

If you’re an international student you need to be conscious of how this will affect your visa. Bear in mind that the UK Borders Agency allows students a maximum of 5 years to undertake university study. If you’ve taken time out before you may be ineligible. It may also affect your ability to take on higher–level study.


You can appeal using the UAL appeals process. Get in touch and we can talk you through this.

What can the Arts SU Advice Service do to help me apply for Time Out

  1. Advise you on the process
  2. Help you structure your form and the reasons for your time out
  3. Read over your form and suggest any changes

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