Pausing your studies

Unfinished railroad towards a mountainSome students may decide (for personal, medical or financial reasons) to take a temporary break in their studies.

At Imperial, this is called an Interruption of Studies. To take a break in your studies, you need to get clearance from a personal tutor, course organiser or course director.

Before you decide to take an interruption, it is vital that you discuss your circumstances with a member of your course team, so that they can provide you with the best possible guidance. If they are fully aware of your situation, they can support you and make sure that you are informed of any impact on your future plans, including when you can re-join the course. It is not always possible to interrupt and pick your studies back up in the same academic year, so it is important to discuss your options fully, before you make any decisions.

If you have a serious problem affecting your study, coursework, or examinations, you must ensure that you inform your personal tutor, course organiser or course director as soon as possible.

If you experience difficult circumstances which affect your ability to be your best in examinations, major pieces of coursework and projects, you may have the option to apply under Mitigating Circumstances if you have been impacted for a significant part of the academic year.

International students

If you are an international student and you are in the UK on a Student visa, you need to be aware that any change to your circumstances might impact on your visa and your ability to remain in the UK.

If you interrupt your studies for any reason, the College is legally obliged to inform the UK Home Office that you are no longer studying and they may take action to cancel your visa. You should make sure you seek advice from the International Student Support Office before making any changes to your circumstances. You can contact the team by email on