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Periods of Study, Holidays and Other Absences

The Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes, regulation 4 outlines the minimum, normal and maximum periods of study for a student completing a RDP.  These periods exclude approved temporary withdrawal periods, in line with regulation 5.

In exceptional circumstances, Schools may request a concession to the regulations to seek an extended period of temporary withdrawal, or an extended registration period and thesis submission date by completing the appropriate Research Degree Programmes Exception Request form as linked below:

  1. RDP Exception Request - Temporary Withdrawal Form (Microsoft Word).
  2. RDP Exception Request - Registration and Thesis Submission Form (Microsoft Word)

Download the current practice for handling RDP Exception Requests (PDF). Completed forms should be submitted by email, by the School, to

Where possible, students/Schools should avail of the Temporary Withdrawal procedure to suspend studies earlier in the student’s RDP, rather than seek to extend a registration period and thesis submission date towards the end of the RDP.

The following information provides guidelines for staff, and students registered on RDPs, regarding holidays and other absences for postgraduate research students.  Funded students should also refer to their funder’s terms and conditions (or contact the Postgraduate Awards Team, for any implications to their funding arrangements. International students should contact International Student Support to determine any implications for their visa.

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