Break in Studies

Gap Year/ Deferral

A gap year offers you the opportunity to gain skills and experiences before you continue with your studies. This may be pre-planned or you might change your mind during the application process.

If you have planned to take a gap year, you may have decided not to apply to UCAS this year. If this is the case, you will be entitled to a mandatory grant for up to a period of two years after completing your level 3 qualifications.

If you applied to UCAS with a ‘deferred’ start date, the conditions of your offer will not change. You will need to apply for the Scholarship award next year.

If you have applied to UCAS to begin your studies this year, but you would now like to defer, you must contact the University who will advise you if this is possible. Some universities may only accept deferrals for some courses. Some universities will ask you to reapply through UCAS for the following year.

You have right up until your start date to decide whether to defer or not, but accepting your decision is completely at the discretion of your university.

You will need to inform the Department of Education, in writing, of your intention to defer.

You may want to defer your studies after you have started your course. Some universities may allow you to do this. You will need to inform the Department of Education of this decision and return any money that you have received from HMGoG for that year.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence allows you to temporarily suspend your studies, if you encounter any difficulties which are affecting your ability to continue with your studies, for example illness or serious personal problems. Once you return to university, they will reinstate your registration. You must seek permission from your university to take a leave of absence and they may agree to suspend your registration.

You must inform the Department of Education as soon as any difficulties arise. The DoE will contact you to discuss your contractual obligations.

Remember that although these decisions are ultimately yours, you need to think very carefully and seek advice at all stages of making this decision. Do what you feel is right for you.