skip to content

On this page


Helping Students

Supervisors have a positive duty towards supporting and helping their students.

Students may experience cultural, health, financial or personal problems during their studies. A troubled student, whatever the cause, cannot perform effectively.

It is particularly important for students on short courses to act immediately if they are experiencing difficulties.

Voicing concern, anticipating potential problems and dealing with difficulties in a timely manner is the best option. An extensive support network is in place: it is important for supervisors to know where to go for help, and the remits of each body.



Illness and Special Circumstances

If a student experiences illness or special circumstances that affect their studies, supervisors should refer to the Board's 'Policy and Guidance' for direction on how students can be supported during these periods.



Students may consider applying to intermit from their studies for the duration. Students should also make themselves familiar with the procedure for exemption of terms as a result of illness.

Where the disruption causes students to lose all or most of a term, they may apply to the Board of Graduate Studies for intermission. The candidate normally remains on the register of graduate students, continue to use the University Library and certain other facilities. However, students who are intermitting are expected not to carry on studying through the period of intermission and will normally be encouraged to go out of residence. No fee is charged for any term of intermission (a student visa will normally remain valid during this period. However, overseas students who entered the UK on a one-year student visa will need to make arrangements in good time for returning to study). A student who is funded by a Research Council or other sponsor must inform the sponsor immediately if it is likely that he/she will need to intermit.


Extensions to Deadlines

In circumstances where students are nearing submission, they may consider applying to defer the submission date of their thesis or dissertation. The procedures and rules vary for Masters and PhD students, which are summarised below.

  • Masters: it is particularly important that candidates on one-year research courses who have been hindered in their progress by illness or other grave cause and who need an extension to the deadline make a case in good time.
  • PhD dissertations: candidates must not submit their dissertation before the first day of their 9th full-time (15th part-time) term for the PhD, or 6th full-time (10th part-time) term for the MSc or MLitt, unless they have been granted exemption from up to 3 full-time (5 part-time) terms of research. Candidates are expected to submit their dissertation before their registration with the University ends; that is the date that is indicated on their CamSIS Self-Service pages. However, students may submit earlier than this date, but no later than the last day of the fourth year if they are a full-time student and the last day of the seventh year if they are a part-time student (30th September if an October starter), unless they have been granted permission by the Board to extend the date they remain registered. It is expected however, that MSc/MLitt candidates should aim to submit around the 7th full-time (12th part-time) term.


Review of Results and Examination Allowances

Following the examination, students may request a review of results. MPhil students may also apply for graduate examination allowances following their examination.

For the full text of the Regulations concerned, see Statutes and Ordinances 2008 p 429-31.