Emergency suspension

You may be placed on emergency suspension if we believe the risk to you or other students is very high. Find out what emergency suspension is and what you can and cannot do while suspended.

The purpose of emergency suspension is to give you time to focus on your health and recovery without the pressure of academic work. It is intended to support your academic position, not to punish you.

When we use emergency suspension

You may be placed on emergency suspension if:

  • we believe the risk to you or other students is very high or,
  • you cannot reasonably be expected to engage with your studies at this time. This may be because you have been hospitalised under the Mental Health Act.

If you are placed on emergency suspension, a senior member of staff will write to you and explain the decision where possible.

Your tuition fees and any charges for university residences are paused while you are suspended.

Find out more about the Support to Study Policy and Procedure (PDF, 69kB)

What you can and cannot do while you are suspended

The conditions of your suspension depend on the circumstances and will be explained in your letter.

If you feel that different conditions would support your recovery better, contact the University Secretary's Office to discuss this. Email: university-secretary@bristol.ac.uk.

Where you can go

Emergency suspension usually means you cannot enter university premises or take part in university activities. We can make special allowances, such as giving you permission to enter a university building if you need to attend a meeting.

Where you should live

The University may give you some advice on where you should live during an emergency suspension, depending on your circumstances. Staying with parents, guardians or family might be the healthiest and safest option for some students, but for others it may not. If you are living in a university residence you may need to discuss your options with the Residential Life Service. 

International students

If you are an international student living in the UK with a visa, your suspension will have an impact on your visa. Get advice from the Student Visa Service.

Support available

You can still get support from Just Ask, one of our wellbeing services, Students' Health, or Student Funding.

When the suspension ends

You can request a review of the suspension when you feel you are well enough to return to your course. Usually, the earliest that you can do this is after four weeks.

If you have medical evidence stating that you are fit to study before that time, you can request an immediate review of your suspension.

What you need to do to end the suspension

When you are ready to return, you will need medical evidence for your health at that time. The University can arrange this for you, or you can get it yourself from any specialists that you are working with.

You will be invited to a Fitness to Study panel to review your situation. You can get advice on any aspect of this from the Bristol Students' Union Just Ask service.

If you have questions

If you have questions, contact the University Secretary's Office email: university-secretary@bristol.ac.uk.

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