Supplementary year

Under certain conditions, you may be offered an extra year of study within a programme. This is to enable you to meet the criteria for progression, where otherwise you would not be able to progress.

The supplementary year can either be:

  • with attendance for teaching and assessment. This means you are required to attend all teaching and complete assessments during the relevant assessment period.
  • without attendance, i.e. assessment only. This means you are not required to engage in teaching; the only requirement is to take the assessment in the relevant assessment period.

The academic decision about what kind of supplementary year you are required to take is made by the Board of Examiners. In deciding this, Boards can consider a number of factors related to your academic study, such as the volume of credits outstanding, why units have been failed (e.g. non-submission), your level of engagement with taught elements, the types of assessment involved, and whether the required units are available to study in the subsequent year.

It is expected that you will engage with your supplementary year as decided by the Board of Examiners. However, if you wish to discuss the requirement for you to undertake your supplementary year with or without attendance, contact your Faculty Office.

In your assessment details in eVision, any assessments or units that you need to retake will be flagged as requiring a resit or supplementary assessment. It will also show whether your marks will be capped or uncapped for each reassessment.

If you successfully complete your reassessment in the supplementary year, you will progress to the next stage of your programme the following year. If you are unable to achieve the credit points for your re-taken units, you will be required to withdraw from the University, with an exit award if applicable.

This outcome is an appealable decision. The outcome is available in:

  • modular undergraduate programmes;
  • taught postgraduate programmes where there are exceptional circumstances, but only exceptionally because of academic failure.

It is not available in non-modular professional undergraduate programmes.

Full details are in Section 9 of the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.

Access to University services

While on the supplementary year, you will continue to have full access to University resources, including online learning materials. Your student UCard remains valid, and you can use this to access the library and borrow items. Your email will continue to operate as it does now; please check it regularly for any programme or unit-related updates.

Assessments and curriculum content

The assessment will be the same as the one for students in the cohort you join, rather than as in your original year group. You will prepare for the assessment using the materials provided during teaching sessions in your supplementary year.

Check the unit and programme handbooks, available online from your school. It is your responsibility to make sure you are aware of any changes in curriculum content for the unit in your supplementary year.

Tuition fees and funding

If your supplementary year is with attendance for teaching and assessment:

  • there will be a tuition fee for the supplementary year
  • the fee will be a proportion of a standard fee, based on the credit point value of the units you study, in line with SLC guidance
  • you are eligible for a full-time maintenance loan because you remain registered on a full-time programme, even though you are temporarily studying on a part-time basis
  • you may not be eligible for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance if you have already used your 'plus one' year of funding. However, you could apply for additional funding if compelling personal reasons affected your studies. Contact the Money Advice and Funding team if you need assistance.

If your supplementary year is without attendance, i.e. assessment only:

  • there will not be a tuition fee for the supplementary year;
  • you are not eligible for a tuition fee loan or maintenance loan for living costs, because you are not in attendance. 

Contact a Money Adviser for further advice.

Notifying the Student Loans Company

It can take the University up to eight weeks to notify the Student Loans Company of a change in your circumstances. It can then take more time for these changes to be processed by the Student Loans Company. This process may affect your funding.


Students on a Student visa should read our guidance about extending your period of study as soon as possible after being offered a supplementary year.

If your supplementary year is with attendance for teaching and assessment:

  • the change to your end date is likely to affect your visa. Please read the Student Visas information about extending your period of study. Be aware that Student visas are not automatically extended. If you require a visa extension because your course end date has changed, seek advice from Student Visas.
  • you must apply for a new ATAS certificate within 28 days of receiving your programme outcome, if you require ATAS clearance
  • you must be taking at least one module that is a required part of your course in each teaching block. If there is a teaching block where you are not taking a required module, the University is required to notify the UKVI as you will not be studying for more than 60 days. This means that the UKVI will cancel your visa and you will have to leave the UK. Please read the Student Visas information about Supplementary Year
  • you will be subject to attendance monitoring as usual during your supplementary year.

If your supplementary year is without attendance, i.e. assessment only:

  • you are not required to be in the UK to study, only for exams
  • the University is required to notify the UKVI of this change in your status. This means that the UKVI will cancel your visa and you will have to leave the UK. Please read the Student Visas information about Supplementary Year.

If you are taking one teaching block with attendance and another on an assessment-only basis:

  • your visa will still be interrupted, and it is likely you will need to leave the UK for part of the academic year. 
  • It is important that you contact Student Visa Advisers in a timely manner to discuss your case. 

Council tax

You may become liable to pay council tax if you are in attendance on a part-time basis, or not in attendance. If you have concerns about how this might impact your finances, please contact a student funding adviser for advice.

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