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Absence reporting and related information

Absence Reporting

Absence from Classes

Attendance is a basic assessment requirement for credit award, and failure to attend classes or meetings with academic staff may result in your losing the right to be assessed in that module. Please ensure that you are familiar with the 'Academic Alert' policy as stated elsewhere in this handbook.  If you have missed timetabled classes/events or any other compulsory elements of the module due to illness or an unavoidable pre-arranged event or appointment, you must complete a Self Certificate of Absence form as soon as possible. Please go to MySaint, the relevant section can be found under 'My Details'.

Under certain circumstances, Schools may request further documentation in addition to the Self Certificate. In this case, students should contact Student Services in order to organise the appropriate documentation.  If you submit more than three Self Certificates in a single semester, or if the period of absence extends to more than two weeks, you may be contacted by Student Services, the relevant Associate Dean, or by an appropriate member of staff in your School.

Completion of a Self Certificate is not an acceptable substitute for contacting your tutors well in advance if you have to be absent. Advance notice of absence is acceptable only for good reason (for example, a hospital appointment or job interview). It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate member of staff to complete any remedial work necessary.

If you are an international student (non-EEA nationals only), you will be affected by recent changes introduced by the UK in relation to immigration rules and visas. The University is now legally bound to report to the UKVI any student who fails to enrol on a module or programme of study, or who fails to attend, or who discontinues their studies.

Absence from Examination

See also the separate page relating to Examinations.

Absence from Examinations due to illness or any other unavoidable reason should be reported by submitting a Self Certificate of Absence form (as above) as soon as you are able to do so, preferably before the examination is due to take place and in any case no later than three days after the examination. You must also contact the School responsible for the module being examined in order to request alternative arrangements, which are at the discretion of the School.  You are only required to notify the University Examinations Officer if there is a problem submiting the self-certificate.

Contact: Examinations Officer, The Old Burgh School, Abbey Walk. Telephone: 01334 464100. Email:

Leave of Absence

The term "Leave of Absence" is used to denote a period of time where the University permits a student to disengage with their studies and return at a later date.  Information can be found in the University Policy on Leave of Absence, Re-engagement, and Withdrawal (PDF, 403 KB).

Withdrawal from Studies

If you are considering withdrawing from your studies at the University you should discuss the matter with Student Services in the first instance. You should arrange to do this as early as possible as there are often alternative options open to you that would not require the final step of permanent withdrawal from the University. If you do decide you wish to withdraw from your studies you must contact your Registry Support Officer who will be able to offer guidance on your options and who will ensure that the process is completed correctly. You should be aware that there are fee implications, as well as implications to your leave to remain in the UK if you are an overseas student, when you withdraw from your studies part of the way through an academic year. You should therefore ensure you contact the Money Adviser and the International Adviser in Student Services to obtain early advice on the final implications of your decision before you complete your withdrawal. Further information available here: Glossary - Withdrawal

Termination of Studies on Academic Grounds - Undergraduates

If your academic performance is unsatisfactory, i.e. you have gained insufficient credits to progress to the next stage of your degree programme or breached conditions of your probation, your studies may be terminated.  You will then be notified by the Associate Dean (Students) that your studies are terminated and you will have five working days to appeal this decision using the appropriate form. This should be supported by documentary evidence specifying the reasons for your unsatisfactory performance.

If you do not submit an appeal, you will have your studies automatically terminated in accordance with Senate Regulations. Your full student record is taken into account in any review, including any instances of non-academic misconduct. However, in first instance, only your credits attained in a relevant number of semesters are taken into account. For more information, please see: Undergraduate Senate Regulations - termination of studies is covered by items 44 and 45 and: Termination of studies

If the appeal is successful, the Dean will contact you with conditions for your return to studies. If you do not meet these conditions (e.g. you do not pass the specified amount of credits within the time period given by the Dean) your studies may be terminated again. 

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may have a further right of appeal to the Senate of the University. Appeals to Senate are admissible only on limited grounds and the process cannot be used to challenge matters of academic judgment. To make a Senate submission, you must complete and submit to the Senate Office a Stage 2 appeal form within 10 working days of the date stated on your termination letter. Late submissions may not be considered further by the University. For further information, see the University’s Policy on Student Academic Appeals: Policy on Student Academic Appeals

International students here at St Andrews on a Tier 4 visa should be aware that any terminations will be reported to the UKVI and their visa curtailed.

Contact: Student Services, The ASC, 79 North Street, KY16 9AL. Telephone: 01334 462020. Email: