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               Updated: FEBRUARY 2011

This information is intended to help you if you are considering changing your course of study, intermitting or
permanently withdrawing from the University.

If you are considering any of the above you should ask yourself the following questions:

Am I unhappy with my current course?

What was your original reason for choosing your course?

Some of the most common reasons for studying are:

      to gain a qualification for a future career, for example Law or Engineering, which require specific
      enjoyment of a particular subject (this is a very important consideration, as it can be very difficult to
       maintain motivation if you do not enjoy what you are studying);
      pressure to study a particular course from relatives/friends (in these cases many students
       subsequently decide to change courses).

Is the reason why you chose your course still important to you, or is it actually the University - or even full-
time education - which you are not satisfied with?

If you are unhappy in full-time education, it is important to note that although a degree can give you an
advantage, it is not mandatory for many jobs. For most employers it is more important that you are
numerate, flexible, computer literate, can work in a team, communicate effectively and so on. Often what you
learn is not as important as the way you have learnt it, the experience you have gained, and the skills you
have acquired.

Am I having other, more personal, problems?

Have you been affected by circumstances which you need to tackle before continuing with your course?

Who can I discuss my situation with?

There are plenty of people at the University who can offer information and advice:

          Qualified Counsellors (Enquiries to Greenwood House, x 3133)
          Student Support (Enquiries to 4N.6.2)
          Students' Union Advice Centre (phone x 2021)
          Careers Centre on Square 2
          Your Adviser, Senior Adviser or a member of the Advising Team in your department
          Your Course Tutors
          A member of staff in the Registry (6.116)

It may also be helpful to discuss your feelings with friends and/or relatives.

If you are an international student and have a UK visa, it is very important that you are aware of the
immigration rules and requirements that apply to you. Please ensure that you check what action you need to
take and if you are able to remain in the UK. Depending on your immigration permission the University may
have to report changes in your planned study to the UK Border Agency. Immigration information is available
on the University's website:

What are my options?

If you are unhappy with your present study conditions, there are a number of possible courses of action for
you to take (for the first four options, permission/support from the appropriate University authorities is

      Repeating all or part of the year
      Intermitting (taking some time out)
      Transferring to a different course in this University
      Transferring to a course at another institution
      Getting a job and studying part-time at another institution*
      Getting a job with built-in training*
      Getting involved with voluntary work, which could gain you valuable experience for a future career*

*These options are only available to Home & EU students

Any of the people listed on page 3 will be able to help you decide which option is best for you.
Whatever you decide to do, there are likely to be financial implications, whether immediate or for
future study. You should therefore read the guidance notes in the ‘Financial Information’ section at
the end of this booklet very carefully.


It is possible to take time out from your course - with the permission of the Dean for your Department - for
one term, two terms or one year. In exceptional circumstances, a period of up to two years away from the
University may be allowed as long as it does not exceed your maximum period of study – see the section on
Max Period below.

Intermitting may be the answer for you if:
     You feel you need a period out of education
     You want some work experience
     You need time to cope with/recover from poor health, emotional stress, personal or family problems.

You should not, however, take time out with no constructive plans to use it, and while you are away from the
University you should consider the best ways to re-equip yourself for your return to full-time education.

Once approval for intermission has been given, your registration status will be changed from full-time to
partial registration, which means that you will no longer be entitled to attend tuition or have access to Library
facilities. When requested via the intermission form, the Dean may allow you to use the Library. You will be
permitted to continue to use Computing facilities while you are intermitting, and it is essential that you change
your password regularly and keep your account active. We would also advise you to ensure that you keep
alternative copies of any essential documents from your M-drive in case you inadvertently allow your account
to lapse.

If you are an international student and have a UK visa, it is very important that you are aware of the
immigration rules and requirements that apply to you. Please ensure that you check what action you need to
take and if you are able to remain in the UK. Depending on your immigration permission the University may
have to report changes in your planned study to the UK Border Agency. Immigration information is available
on the University's website:

Please note that partially registered students cannot do voluntary or paid work for the Students’ Union, stand
for election or hold an official position within the Students’ Union.

                                    DEADLINES FOR INTERMITTING

Final year students will be permitted to intermit from the University only if permission has been given by the
Dean before the Monday of the sixth week of the Spring term.

The final deadline for permission to intermit in the first and second years is 4pm on Friday of Week 30 (or the
working day two weeks immediately prior to the first day of the examination period).

Deadline for intermission requests for final year students is 4pm on MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2011

Deadline for intermission requests for first and second years is 4pm on TUESDAY 3 MAY 2011
(Date changed due to Bank Holiday)

A member of staff in the Registry (Room 6.116), Student Support staff or the Students' Union Advice Centre
staff would be happy to discuss any of the above issues with you in more detail.

                                      MAXIMUM PERIOD OF STUDY

Undergraduate students have a maximum period in which to complete their studies. This is set at the point
they register and is normally the length of their programme plus two additional years. This is to allow some
flexibility in cases where students find they must intermit, or they fail a stage of study and must repeat it, or
they want to transfer to a new course and must retake a stage of study. However, students must complete
their studies within this maximum period.

Each of the following counts as one additional year. You will not be permitted to do any of these actions
more than twice, or exceed two of these actions in any combination.

      Repeating a stage (whether by full or part-time attendance);
      Undertaking reassessment the following year without attendance;
      Transferring to a new course and repeating a stage;
      Intermitting for part or all of a year.

If your intermission is due to serious extenuating circumstances, such as a severe medical condition, then the
Dean can consider extending your maximum period of study by one year.

Further details about the length of study for each award can be found in the Framework for University of
Essex Undergraduate courses in the Rules of Assessment at:

                                        LEAVING PERMANENTLY

Future study

You should note that although you have not completed your current course, you may have accumulated some
academic qualification credits, which might help you when applying for future courses. Transcripts of the
course and modules you have taken while at the University are available from the Registry (Room 6.116).

If you would like more specialist advice, you may also consider contacting “Back on Course” which is an
organisation set up to help students who left university early, by giving support and advice to those who are
unsure about what to do next. The service is FREE and you can look at their web site at:


Since 1993 all students in higher education have been given a unique numerical identifier by the Higher
Education Statistics Agency (HESA ID number). The HESA ID number is used for statistical purposes to

keep an accurate record of students' educational careers. Students wishing to continue their studies at
another UK higher education institution will be required to provide this HESA ID number.

International Students

If you are an international student and have a UK visa, it is very important that you are aware of the
immigration rules and requirements that apply to you. Please ensure that you check what action you need to
take and if you are able to remain in the UK. Depending on your immigration permission the University may
have to report changes in your planned study to the UK Border Agency. Immigration information is available
on the University's website:

Fee Refunds

All information regarding refunds can be found via the following weblink:

                                       CHANGING YOUR COURSE

Things to consider when changing course

If you decide to change your degree course, either within this University or through a transfer to another
institution, you must make sure that the difficulties which you had during your first course do not arise again.
The following are areas which can be the cause of problems/dissatisfaction if not considered carefully:

        Choice of course of study -
        is your current course too difficult, or less interesting than you thought it would be?

        Vocational or non-vocational study –
        have you made/changed career plans?

        Level of study -
        do you feel out of depth on a degree, and think you may prefer to study for a lower level qualification,
        for example a Higher National Diploma?

        Full-time or part-time study -
        does a full-time course involve too much commitment?

        Method of study -
        for example, do you prefer continuous assessment or examinations?

        Length of study -
        would you prefer a two-year diploma to a three or four-year degree?

        Location -
        where would you prefer to study - for example, on a campus or in a city?

        Cost –
        some areas are cheaper to live/study in than others.

For personal reasons you may need a complete change of course and/or institution.

You may have been asked to leave your course. In this case, you should consider the reasons for this -
wrong balance of work and play, homesickness, loneliness, bad accommodation, poor health etc. Make a
list, and be honest - this may prevent the same thing from happening again.

International Students

If you are an international student and have a UK visa, it is very important that you are aware of the
immigration rules and requirements that apply to you. Please ensure that you check what action you need to
take and if you are able to remain in the UK. Depending on your immigration permission the University may
have to report changes in your planned study to the UK Border Agency. Immigration information is available
on the University's website:

Take advice

Discuss your options with your adviser and tutors, and any or all of the following: a Careers Adviser, a
Student Counsellor, a Chaplain, a Doctor, Student Support, a member of staff in the Registry, your friends
and your family.

Investigate your potential new course – for example; read relevant books, talk to current students on the
course, discuss the courses with the tutors, and so on.

NB: If you are changing institutions, you may be able to apply direct, or you may have to fill out another UCAS
form. If you have to complete a UCAS form, make sure that you carefully consider how to make your
application convincing.

Also remember that the earlier you transfer to a different course the better, as it will be easier to

                              GETTING A JOB (Home/EU students only)

Successfully finding a job that you want is always a challenge. It demands hard work and persistence and can
be made less stressful by seeking expert advice and support.

Before you leave the university you can make use of the services offered by the Careers Centre, located on
Square 2, and its comprehensive website on Although its main focus is on
graduate employment you will find plenty of help with practicalities such as making the most of your CV, job-
seeking strategies, interview techniques etc.

Remember; focus on the positive outcomes of your time here and how your experience and skills can meet
the requirements of employers.

Whether you have ideas for a career and just need more information, or have no idea what to do next, there
are several sources of information, advice and guidance:

      Local libraries
      Enterprise Centres, which offer advice and support if you are thinking about self-employment
      NextStep is a free and friendly service for all adults over 20 which offers face-to-face information and
       support in career planning. Find out more:
      JobCentrePlus is another good starting point, visit the website to find
       out more and your nearest local one

While you are job-seeking make the most of the time you have and perhaps do some unpaid work or
voluntary work. This sort of activity gives you experience adds to the skills you can demonstrate to an
employer and also could give you an insight into the type of work you'd be happiest doing in the future.



You should note the following points in relation to tuition fees:

   1. If you are an overseas student transferring from a classroom-based course to a laboratory-based
      course, the tuition fee will be considerably higher that you currently pay as these courses involve
      much higher costs. For UK and EU students all courses have the same tuition fee amount.

   2. If for any reason you withdraw from your course before 31 October 2009, no tuition fees are payable.
      A refund will be made if the fees have already been paid. After 31 October, you are liable for the
      tuition fee for any term (whole or part) for which you have been registered.


These notes are for general guidance only and the information, which is based on the Student Support
Regulations, is subject to amendment from time to time. It is therefore essential that you contact your own
Local Authority (LA) to discuss your individual case.


You may be transferring to a different course in the same institution (internal transfer) or to a different course
at another institution (external transfer).

Your LA will require written confirmation from the University that an internal transfer has been approved on
academic grounds the day before the start of the second year of the original course. It will not normally be
possible for an academic transfer to be approved if you have been required to withdraw from the University,
or if both courses have the same JACS code. Please note that some LAs may be unwilling to transfer your
award if you have been required to withdraw from your original course of study.

If you are transferring to another institution, your new institution is responsible for giving your LA confirmation
that your transfer has been approved on academic grounds. We simply inform your LA that you have
withdrawn. You will need to give your new institution full information about the title of your old course and its
JACS code so they can complete the necessary paperwork.


If it has been agreed by the University that you can intermit, the LA will normally suspend your award for up to
one year and reinstate it when you return. Please refer to the section below, however, if you will be repeating
a period of study when you return after the intermission.

If you have to make a contribution towards your tuition fees, you will be liable for your contribution for the
whole term if you were registered after the third week of the Autumn term or for any of the Spring or Summer


Students are entitled to LA funding for the full duration of their course plus one additional repeat year, minus
any previous full or part years of study.

i.e. If you have to repeat any year of study, this will be counted as your ‘plus one year’ even if you are only
repeating part of the year.


You cannot apply for a loan while you are intermitting. If you already have a Student Loan, you are not
required to make any repayments while you are intermitting. However, if you decide to leave the University
permanently after your period of intermission, rather than returning to study, you might fall into arrears with
the Student Loans Company as you are required to begin repaying your student loan the April after you finish
your course if you are earning over £15,000 per annum.

If you are repeating a period of study, you may apply for a student loan for this period if you wish .

                                       NOTES FOR LAW STUDENTS

The Law Society and Bar Vocational Council

The Law Society and Bar Vocational Council will not recognise a degree as a Qualifying Law Degree where a
student has taken more than four years to complete a degree that normally takes three years or more than
five years to complete a degree that normally take four years.

The lack of a Qualifying Law Degree will affect you only if you are hoping to qualify as a barrister or solicitor in
England or Wales.

If you need further information, you should make an appointment to see the Academic Officer for the School
of Law or visit:

                                         OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


Students who are partially registered are not entitled to apply for welfare benefits such as Job Seekers
Allowance or Income Support except in certain circumstances, e.g. where a student cannot work due to ill
health. Further advice should be sought from staff in Student Support or the Students’ Union Advice Centre if
you are concerned about how you will manage financially.

For information on Council Tax Benefit see below.


If you currently live in University owned accommodation you will be required to vacate your room from the
beginning of your period of intermission. Any accommodation charges that you have paid in advance will be
refunded to you from the date on which you return your key.

If you live in Private Sector Accommodation there are likely to be more things to take into account:

      Tenancy agreement.
      If you are considering moving out of your rented property when you intermit or withdraw we strongly
      recommend that you take advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre before making your final
      decision. A tenancy agreement is legally binding and it is rarely possible to leave the property without
      the agreement of the landlord. This can be a particular problem for International Students who may
      need to leave the UK.

      Council Tax
      Once you are no longer a fully registered student you will become liable to pay Council Tax. If you are
      the only non-student in the household the full Council Tax bill for the property will be discounted by
      25%. We advise that any students considering intermission or withdrawal make their housemates
      aware of such issues well in advance although it will be the responsibility of any non-students in the
      household to pay the charges. If you are on a low income you could apply for Council Tax Benefit
      which is means tested. Please consult staff in Student Support or the Students’ Union Advice Centre
      for more details.

 We recommend that you give consideration to how your lifestyle is likely to alter once you are no longer a full
 time student. For instance, you may need to adjust your current lifestyle to fit around a 36 hour working
 week, probably involving early starts, which may not fit in with the hours that your student housemates and
 friends are keeping. Such issues can cause tensions within a household and it is best to keep all your
 housemates informed of any changes to your student status that may affect them.


 Once you have spoken to your Department and taken other relevant advice, you can initiate your request
 using an online Registry form.

 Please see:


         Change of course / special syllabus requests
         Intermission
         Withdrawal


Z:\Master Documents REGISTRY TAUGHT\MASTER DOCS Registry Current\change-intermit-wd booklet Sep 10.doc

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