Support to study

There may be times when you experience physical or mental health challenges that make it difficult for you to fully participate in student life. The support to study process is there to help you during these times.

The Support to Study policy enables the University to take a coordinated approach to support students facing difficulties.

Support to Study is the first level of the process, meant to understand your difficulties. This is where there is risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of yourself, other students or university activities. A risk to studies will only be grounds for a referral if there is also risk to your own or other’s wellbeing.

 The aim of support to study is to:

  • reduce risk
  • clarify your academic situation
  • discuss support available.

The focus is on you achieving success and satisfaction in your studies and in student life.

There is no potential that you will be required to suspend studies at this stage of the policy. The focus of the meeting will be on improving your situation and supporting your studies.

How a referral is made

If staff are concerned you are having difficulties, you may be referred to a Support to Study meeting. 

The concerned staff will write a referral with the issues that they think you are facing. You will receive a copy of this to help you prepare for the meeting.

What happens next

You will be invited to a panel meeting to discuss your situation and support. This will usually be within three weeks of the initial referral.

On the panel there will usually be:

  • two members of staff from your faculty, one of whom will usually be your senior tutor
  • a member of staff from the Student Wellbeing Service or Residential Life Service who will chair the meeting
  • another member of staff will be there to take notes.

You have the option to bring a friend or family member.

The meeting

You will have the chance to discuss the issues that you have been experiencing. This may include what steps you have taken already and what additional support might be helpful.

The meeting will be friendly and supportive and everybody will treat you with respect.

Staff will ask you questions to understand your situation. This will help decide what support could be useful and make sure you understand your academic position.

You might want to share evidence from your doctor or other professionals. This will help staff to understand what you are experiencing.

Outcomes of the meeting

An action plan will be agreed to address the issues and help improve your situation.

You will receive the plan within a week of the meeting.

You cannot be required to suspend or leave your studies by a Support to Study meeting. It may, however, be discussed as one of your options.

What happens if this intervention does not help

If your situation gets worse, talk about it with any member of staff who is supporting you. They may be able to consider alternative actions. Where appropriate, this may include moving to the next stage of the process, Fitness to Study.

You can also consider suspending your studies. This may be because you need time to recover from a health condition or to address circumstantial issues. You can discuss this option and any implications with the staff on the panel.

Edit this page