Jump to suspending/interrupting studies

Before you decide to withdraw its worth exploring every source of support available to you. Withdrawing after you have enrolled on to your course, or mid-way through a course, could have implications on your future student funding entitlement. Therefore it’s important you seek advice. 

Below is some advice on managing common issues students bring to us when they express a wish to leave uni.

My course isn’t what I expected  

We advise that you have a chat with your Programme Leader and find out whether the course is going to continue the way it's going or if there are any changes ahead. For instance, you may be able to choose your modules and focus your degree on an area you find more interesting. Or, you may be able to swap degrees within BU. We have a separate information sheet on Changing Course.


I’m struggling to complete the work and understand the content

Ensure you ask questions in lectures and seminars and get in touch with your lecturers if you are struggling with the content and keeping up. Some students find independent learning a struggle compared to learning at college or school. The focus on independent learning can highlight an additional learning need that wasn’t visible before and lecturers can sometimes pick up on this when marking your work. If you think you may have an additional learning need, such as dyslexia ensure you contact the Additional Learning Support for guidance. With their support, you may be able to improve how you approach your study and your grades. Tel: (0)1202 965663. Email:


My loan installment is late - what can I do?  

Speak to your funding provider, e.g.. Student Finance England, and double-check that they've got everything they need from you.  If they have but there's still a delay, speak to SUBU Advice or askBU - they may be able to help you access other sources of funding to reduce your money stresses and move your student finance application along more quickly.


I'm in debt. I just can't afford to be a student

Unfortunately some students are unable to afford to continue on their course. Contact us for an appointment if you are thinking of leaving BU due to money worries. There could be some additional funding you could apply for and/or we can work with you to maximise your income.


I don’t get on with my housemates?  

Before you withdraw, consider the idea of moving accommodation instead. You would need to check you housing contract to see if you can move out early, we can help you understand your contract. Simply email it to us or book an appointment to see an Advice Worker.


If you have fallen out with your housemates and would like to work on re-building your relationship then mediation may be an option for you. Chaplaincy offer mediation and a listening ear for those experiencing personal issues.


If your housemate's behavior is unlawful then you always have the option of reporting it to the Police or to the University (students can be held liable for their behavior, even outside of BU premises).  We can listen to your situation and inform you of what options you have available.


My house is mouldy and it's really getting me down.  I just can’t stay here anymore. 

Don’t give up your academic career due to disrepair. In the first instance you should take photos and send these to your landlord or letting agent, making it clear you are reporting repairs. If they fail to take action you can contact us for advice, or with your consent, we can give them a call on your behalf.


You need to ensure you do not dry clothes inside the house and that you have the heating on and ventilate the property. Failure to do this means there is very little we can do to help as it is difficult to evidence you are not causing the problem. It may be necessary for you to contact Environmental Health if the landlord or letting agent fails to make good any repairs for which you are not liable for (you haven’t caused the damp). Here's the links for Bournemouth and Poole Environmental Health. If you have explored all options and a resolution isn’t forthcoming then SUBU Advice can help explain what options you may have for taking legal action.


SUBU Advice can support you to find a tenant to replace you in your accommodation and advise you of your contractual liabilities. E.g. having to pay rent for the full fixed term of your contract.


I'm not getting the most out of my time, or I'm struggling to meet friends - what should I do?  

There are many opportunities with SUBU to meet new people, spend time doing hobbies and enhancing your CV. You could join a club or society, get into volunteering, join the gym or going along to some events at the Old Fire Station.


Check out for more information.


If you can't find what you're looking for within BU or SUBU then maybe you can find it within the wider local community instead! Poole has a climbing wall, ice rink and bowling alley, and water sports activities whilst Bournemouth has surf schools, rock climbing, and Oceanarium and mini- golf. There is so much on offer inside and outside of BU.


You could consider taking on part-time work to meet other people and increase your income at the same time. Avoid being alone where possible and talk to your friends and family about how you feel.



Homesickness is completely normal and many other students around you may feel the same way. Most students miss their home comforts at some time – you’re not alone. If you're struggling, then there's plenty of support at BU. Talk to your housemates and classmates to see how they feel, a problem shared is often a problem halved. Keeping busy and being with others is a great way to beat those homesickness blues. You could also arrange for friends from home to visit or go home for a weekend.


Or you may want to access more formal support via Chaplaincy or the Wellbeing Service


Careers guidance

BU’s Career and Employability Service can help you map out what it is you would really like to do and help you to determine the best way to get there. The Careers and Employability service is based in The Edge next to the library on the Talbot Campus. You can just pop in or call to book an appointment. They are very friendly and understanding.


I definitely want to leave  - what do I need to know?

Housing: Can you get out of your contract? Ensure you speak to your accommodation provided and contact us for help if you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities.


Undergraduate Student Funding: If you are worried about the ramifications of withdrawing from university on your student finance, it may be helpful to know that SFE are willing to allocate funding to a student for the length of one whole course, and a “gift” year. If you decide to drop out this will be classed as your “gift” year, so should you return to university you should still receive a full student loan, if you haven’t repeated or started another HE course before. We advise you speak to a SUBU Advice Worker so you can get specific advice related to your circumstances.


BU Tuition Fees Liability: If you are thinking of leaving BU you may be liable for withdrawal fees. You can find full details of the dates and fees here.


Suspending or Interrupting Studies


A student may take a break from their studies if they are having personal or health issues, or they may wish to travel. Whatever your reason is, if you are thinking about interrupting/suspending then you need to give consideration to your student finance, housing contract and academic progression.

Funding: undergrduates

If you are suspending or interrupting your studies it is important to consider your funding options as Student Finance England will not release any maintenance loan payments whilst you are taking a break from your course.


Discretionary Payments

However, if you are interrupting your studies for health reasons (or to care for another if they are unwell), you may be eligible to receive a further 60 days of funding from Student Finance England under Discretionary Payments, in some cases you may be eligible to receive funding for the duration of your break.


To apply for Discretionary Funding you will need to write to Student Finance England to outline the reasons for interrupting your studies and explain how your studies have been affected by your circumstances. Any points raised should ideally be supported with independent evidence, such as a letter from your GP or Health Care Professional.


It is also recommended to explain why you would be unable to support yourself financially during the time your studies are interrupted, for example if you were unable to work due to focussing on your health or if you have lived independently for a length of time (or you are estranged) and did not have a family home to return to.


All correspondence should be sent to:  

The Discretionary Payments Team

Student Finance England

PO Box 210

Darlington DL1 9HJ


Compelling Personal Reasons

Students are eligible to receive tuition fee funding from Student Finance England for the duration of their course plus an additional gift year, the additional year of funding is in place in case any study needs to be repeated or if you changed course in your first year to ensure you could receive funding for the duration of your new course.


Interrupting your studies will count towards one year of your eligibility for funding and it will affect your overall entitlement, but there is the option to request the academic year (that your studies are interrupted) is not included in your entitlement by applying for your Compelling Personal Reasons to be taken into consideration, students can apply for Compelling Personal Reasons if their studies have been affected by circumstances beyond their control.


Applying for CPR is very similar to requesting Discretionary Payments in that you would need to write to Student Finance England and explain how your studies were affected by circumstances beyond your control, any points raised should be supported with evidence.


If you apply for Discretionary Payments, we would strongly recommend including a request for the academic year to also be considered under Compelling Personal Reasons.


Universal Credit

If you are interrupting your studies for health or caring reasons, but Student Finance have declined the request for Discretionary Payments, you may be eligible to receive Universal Credit whilst you are taking a break.


Full time students are not generally seen as eligible to receive welfare benefits, but interrupting your studies for health or caring reasons is one of the exceptions to this general rule. You would need to evidence that you are not eligible to receive Discretionary Payments: You can apply for Universal Credit via the .gov website.


Tuition fees

BU offers a 14 day cooling off period from the date you accepted your offer, you may also withdraw with no tuition fee liability after this 14 day period has ended, but before you’re the official start date of your programme. 

Hence, where possible, we advise that if you are thinking of withdrawing from BU you do so before you are liable to pay the next fee instalment. It’s important to know that even though you may not use a full years funding from Student Finance, Student Finance will consider you to have used a year’s funding entitlement. This rule is applied from the moment you enrol.

Further information about the BU Fees Policy can be found in the Finance section on the BU website.



If you have signed a housing contract then you are legally bound to the conditions within it. This may mean that you will be required to pay your rent, despite not actively studying at BU or living in the house. We advise you look for a breakclauseand/or ask your landlord if you can find someone to take over your contract (fees may apply). Contact us for advice if necessary - we're here to help!


How do I request to interrupt/suspend?

We advise you discuss your situation with your Academic Adviser before submitting the BU Interruption of Studies Form. This form can be found at the end of the BU Fees Policy.