Student movements guidance for supervisors



What causes a change in student registration status?

There are a number of standard changes that a PGR student can request that impacts on their registration status:

  • Change to start date (within 6 months of enrolment)
  • Change of mode i.e. FT to PT (within 2 years of FTE studies)
  • Interruption request (up to 24 months in total duration on course, not in writing up year and not retrospective)
  • Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave
  • Withdrawal
  • Funded Sick Leave


Student registration change request forms - what has changed?

Previously, PGR students were asked to complete a downloadable form and pass this to their supervisor for academic completion before submission to the Doctoral School for processing. PGR students will now be asked to complete the request themselves via an online form, including submission of any supporting documentary evidence, directly to the Doctoral School. The Doctoral School will then seek the relevant support from supervisors separately, and will not process the request until this approval has been received.

The relevant online change request forms and guidance can be found in the Quick links section to the right of this page.

Online registration change request process

PGR students will be required to discuss their request with their supervisor prior to making any application. 

  1. PGR student discusses the change with their supervisor / department.
  2. PGR student completes the relevant online form and uploads evidence as required.
  3. Online form is received in the Doctoral School for processing.
  4. Doctoral School assess application and if all information is present, prepares a supervisor support declaration form for sign off by supervisor in Sharepoint.
  5. Doctoral School will contact supervisor (CC Departmental PGR Lead) with a link to Sharepoint to view the request details and confirm support of the request within Sharepoint.
  6. Doctoral School will regularly check for updated confirmations in Sharepoint, download these and delete the Sharepoint file and supervisor access to the file.
  7. Doctoral School will process the request, email confirmation of changes to PGR student CC supervisor/s, Departmental PGR Lead and School Director of PGR Education, including updated deadlines where appropriate, and liaise with other teams as needed, i.e. the funding team (for funded students) and Student Administrations (for College sponsored visa students).


Interruption of studies

If the request is for an interruption of studies then these need to be approved by the School Director of PGR Education prior to processing by the Doctoral School.

The Doctoral School will follow steps 1-6 as above, and then:

   6a. Doctoral School will prepare a file and memo for consideration by the School Director of PGR Education via Sharepoint;

   6b. Doctoral School will update the supervisor once this has been passed for consideration, along with a   copy of the memo sent;

Once the decision has been received from the School Director of PGR Education, Doctoral School will process and communicate as per step 7 above (excluding the School Director of PGR Education who has approved the request and so is aware of the changes).

Declaration of supervisor support

 The supervisor will be confirming the following when supporting a request for a change in registration status:

  • their support (or not) for the request;
  • if the PGR student is in receipt of external (Research Council) or internal (College Studentships) funding, that the Doctoral School has been consulted and  the student has been made aware of the implications of the change being requested;
  • any further comments as deemed necessary.

There are some further confirmations required for a request for an interruption of studies, and for funded students.

Interruption of studies

When supporting a request for an interruption of studies, the supervisor will also be:

  • confirming that the proposed timetable for completion provided by the PGR student is realistic;
  • asked to provide a supporting statement or rationale for the request, for consideration by the School Director of PGR Education;
  • confirm the dates of the interruption and duration being requested are appropriate.

Funded students

If the PGR is UKRI funded or externally funded, then the supervisor must provide confirmation that the funding provider has given consent for the change. This should be uploaded via Sharepoint when completing the declaration of support.


Suspension of regulations - what has changed?

Where previously PGR students were unable to request a suspension of regulations themselves for a change to their registration status, and the supervisor was required to submit an online suspension of regulations request for consideration, PGR students will now be asked to complete the request themselves via the relevant online form, including submission of any supporting documentary evidence. The Doctoral School will then seek the relevant support from supervisors separately (CC Departmental PGR Lead) and will not process the request until this approval has been received.

These requests include the following, but should ONLY be requested in serious extenuating circumstances and not as standard:

  • change to start date AFTER 6 months of enrolling;
  • change in mode AFTER 2 years FTE of studies;
  • Interruption of studies in the writing up year;
  • Interruption of studies over 24 months in length (over the duration of the course);
  • Retrospective interruption of studies.


These requests will still be recorded as a suspension of regulations request, and the information provided on the online form by the PGR student, and the online declaration statement by the supervisor, must be detailed enough for this purpose, as per the previous process.

For suspension of regulation requests, the supervisor will be asked to provide a supporting statement or rationale for the request at the point they are contacted for their Declaration of supervisor's support.

When should a Suspension of regulations be requested by the supervisor / department?

The existing suspension of regulations process should be followed and an online request completed by the supervisor for all other requests not covered by the changes noted above, i.e.

  • A request for an extension to any deadline (upgrade, submission, viva);
  • Anything else that is not permitted by the research degree regulations, but is being requested due to serious extenuating circumstances.
In any of the above instances, a Suspension of Regulations request will need to be submitted by the supervisor / department rather than the student. Further information around the Suspension of regulations process can be found here. Such requests should only be made in serious extenuating circumstances.

Template: Declaration of supervisor support

You can find examples of the different declaration templates here.

NEW: College Funded Sick Leave

PGR students are now entitled to a maximum 13 weeks of funded sick leave within a 12 month period of studies (January to December) that they are funded for, to mirror that available to UKRI funded students.

  • Any period of illness over 13 weeks must be requested as a separate Interruption Request.
  • A request for funded sick leave must be accompanied by a medical Fit Note and include dates to cover the Sick Leave being requested.
  • Further information around the funded sick leave process can be found here.
  • If the PGR is externally funded then any medical leave needs to be checked and approved with the relevant funding body (except where a UKRI funded DTP/CDT) by the supervisor / department, and a copy of the funder approval forwarded to the Doctoral School with the application.


College funded PGR students who previously required a period of sick leave would request an Interruption of studies on medical grounds. This would allow the student a break from their research, and would extend all outstanding deadlines and funding by the period of interruption granted. Access to College facilities would generally be suspended during this time, and stipend payments would be paused until resumption of studies.

College funded sick leave permits this same interruption from studies for a maximum of 13 weeks (must be evidenced), but allows the PGR student to continue to receive their stipend for the duration of the approved sick leave, and retain access to College facilities throughout. All deadlines will be extended in the same way as for a standard interruption.


  • All requests MUST be submitted with a medical Fit Note in order to be considered, with clear start and end dates specified.
  • Any period above the maximum 13 weeks permitted should be requested as a standard Interruption to studies.
  • Student Route/Tier 4 PGR students should discuss the visa implications of any period of funded sick leave with the International Student Support Office before proceeding with their application.
  • If the medical Fit Note does not cover the full period of funded sick leave being requested, stipends will only be paid for the period covered by the Fit Note, and the remaining period will be treated as a standard interruption.
  • If the PGR student fails to return to their research at the end of their funded sick leave, they will be obliged to repay any stipends overpaid as a result of the funded sick leave period.
  • Where a period of more than 13 weeks is being requested, the standard Interruption to studies request should be completed, and the funded sick leave application and Fit Note attached to the Interruption request, so that both can be processed simultaneously.
  • Where a student was previously College funded but their funding has now expired, the standard Interruption to Studies process should be followed.


  1. The PGR student completes the Funded Sick Leave Request Form and passes this to their supervisor, along with their Fit Note for sign off.
  2. The supervisor signs the form and forwards this via email, along with the fit note and any external funding confirmation to the Doctoral School for processing.
  3. The Doctoral School will seek sign off from the School Director of PGR Education before processing the request and emailing confirmation of changes to the PGR student, CC supervisor/s and Department PGR Lead, including all updated deadlines.


Further information and guidance around the funded sick leave process can be found here.








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Quick links

'Change to Registration status' links for PGRs

A to Z of the Doctoral School microsite

Suspension of PGR regulations request