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Repeating part of your course, known as re-taking in attendance or re-sitting out of attendance can affect practical issues such as student funding entitlement, tuition fee liability, student visas and immigration options.

Abstract sculpture of two people sitting

If you interrupt your studies part-way though a semester you may be required to re-take (repeat) part of your course when you return.  You may be required to re-sit with attendance or retake without any attendance.  Your School will advise you about your date of interruption, when you can return to study and if attendance will be required.

If you are unable to progress onto the next year of your course because you have outstanding coursework, assignments or exams, you may be required to re-sit a year or part year out of attendance while you complete these. This can occur if you have not passed enough modules to progress into the next academic year of your course. You will normally be required to re-sit modules at the next available opportunity. Your School/Institute will be able to advise you about this. You can read more about this on the Academic Registry site.

Medical and Dental students are usually required to re-take the whole academic year in attendance if they have interrupted their studies or need to re-sit exams. Your School will advise you about your date of interruption and when you can return to study.

The information below has two parts: Re-sitting out of Attendance and Re-taking with Attendance


Re-sitting out of Attendance

Re-sitting out of Attendance

If you have not passed enough modules to progress into the next academic year of your course, you may be required to re-sit failed modules at the next available opportunity in order to progress onto the next academic year.  You may only need to re-sit a project or dissertation or sit exams and there may not be any requirement for you to be in attendance to do this. 

If you are unable to do the re-sits, for example, if you are unwell, you could make an Extenuating Circumstances claim for permission to defer until the next available opportunity. The Wellbeing hub has a guide about making these claims.  This may be the following academic year.  If you cannot progress into the next year of study, you may be required to re-sit out of attendance for the year.

Students who are are re-sitting out of attendance are not normally required to attend their course. Very rarely, if a student has health concerns or other personal issues that prevent them undertaking re-sits the following academic year, Queen Mary may give permission for a second consecutive year of re-sitting out of attendance.  

Please contact your School if you have questions about your academic options and re-sitting out of attendance. If you are worried about how to remain engaged with your studies while you are out of attendance, also check with your academic school whether you can contact your Personal Adviser, Tutor or Student Support Officer for help planning your revision and for feedback about what caused you to fail last time. You could also check whether the QMUL learning development team could help you plan your revision.  

  • If you normally receive Student Finance England Funding for your tuition fees, your maintenance or disability this funding will not be available to you during a period of re-sitting our of attendance and you will need to consider how you will support yourself during this time without this funding. We have information about this in our Student Funding Implications information. Different rules apply to undergraduate and postgraduate funding.
  • If you are in the UK with Student Immigration Permission, you are not normally able to remain in the UK while you are not attending your course and information about this can be found in our Changes to your Studies page for international students. 

Also read our information about Other Practicalities for information about the Queen Mary facilities you can use if you are re-sitting out of attendance. 

Re-taking with Attendance 

Re-taking with Attendance

If you want to re-take a period of study in attendance and repeat part of your course, you need to discuss this with your academic school.

  • For example, if you interrupt studies during a Semester, before the the start of an assessment period, you may be required to re-take the semester.
  • Otherwise re-taking modules in attendance is approved in very limited circumstances only. If you feel you should be given an opportunity to attend your classes again , you should contact your academic school immediately to discuss this. If your school does not approve this, you could make a formal academic appeal to challenge this decision. However, most appeals on this basis are not successful, as students are expected to have arranged an interruption of studies if they are not fit enough to engage with their studies or sit exams. For more information about academic appeals, see the information on the Registry site.    If you would like advice about whether you have grounds to appeal, contact Annie Mitchell, Academic Adviser at the Students’ Union.  

Re-taking in attendance is likely to mean you will have to pay additional tuition fees to cover the re-take period.  It will also take you longer to complete your course than expected:

  • If you receive Student Finance England funding or other type of funding, it is very important that you check if you can continue to receive the same funding for your re-take period to cover any tuition fee that you need to pay and for your own maintenance costs.  The rules differ for Undergraduate and Postgraduate funding.  Our Student Funding Implications page has information about how funding is affected. We also have information about student funding and tuition fees in the section below "What else do I need to consider". 
  • If you are in the UK with Student Immigration Permission you also need to check if you can extend this permission to cover the additional time you will need to be in the UK to complete your course. You can find information in our international Changes to Your Studies page.


What else do I need to consider?

It is important to consider how you will support yourself during a re-sit period either in or out of attendance and if there are any Immigration Implications if you are in the UK with Student Immigration Permission. See the sections below for information relating to Tuition Fees, Working, Student Funding, Welfare Benefits, Immigration and the EU settlement Scheme

Our Other Practicalities page also has information about other practical issues to consider and access to Queen Mary Facilities. 

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees are not usually charged for a re-sit out of attendance period. 

If a re-take in attendance is granted, you will usually have to pay tuition fees for this extra period and will need to ensure you have sufficient funds to cover this as well as for your own maintenance costs. 

Contact the Fees Office for information about the tuition fee charged. You can contact them by email:  or telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7676. They are located on the ground floor of the IQ East Court Building, on Mile End Road.

If you are an undergraduate student and will be re-taking in attendance and normally receive a Student Finance England Tuition Fee Loan to pay your fees, it's important to check if this loan will be available to pay your fees for the re-take period. This loan is limited and may not be automatically available if you have repeated before or you have any previous degree level study on an earlier course. 

Student Finance England Postgraduate loans are also limited and and additional payments are not available for a retake period.

Our Student Funding implications section has information about how student funding is affected and the options available. 


If you are re-sitting out of attendance and your student funding is not available to you, you may need to consider working to support yourself during a period out of attendance. 

However, if you are re-sitting out of attendance and are in the UK with Student Immigration Permission, you will not normally be able to remain in the UK to work as this permission would usually be curtailed and you would need to leave the UK before the curtailment date. See the Visa and fee implications to changes of your programme for more information about curtailment. Other status’ such as Visitor Status, do not permit work in the UK so always check your immigration status conditions before taking up employment in the UK.  

Have a look at our Working during your studies page for information. 

Student Funding

If you are re-taking a period in attendance and normally receive Government Student Finance England Funding, it is important check that you can continue to receive some or all of this funding during a re-take period.  Different rules apply to undergraduate and postgraduate funding. 

However, Student Finance England do not provide funding to students who are re-sitting out of attendance.  If you will be in this situation you will need to support yourself by other means during this time.   

For more information about how your Student Finance England funding is affected and the options available to you, read the information in our Student Funding Implications page.

If you receive funding from anywhere else, e.g. your government or another organisation, check with them how this will be affected and if this funding will continue to be paid while re-sitting out of attendance or a re-taking in attendance. Also find out whether receiving funding for the additional period will reduce the funds available to you for a later year of your course. If funding does not continue you will need to find alternative funds for your own maintenance costs and to pay any tuition fee your are charged.  Alternative funding is very limited especially if you are an international student.  We have separate information for International students about funding options during a course.

Social Security Welfare benefits

If you are an International student in the UK with Student Immigration Permission or as visitor you are not entitled to claim any welfare benefits as it is a breach of your immigration conditions.  Students in the UK with any other type of immigration permission should always seek advice before making any claim.  

The Welfare Benefit Social Security regulations prevent most full-time students from claiming any welfare benefits during their studies.  This includes during any re-take or re-sit periods, including re-sitting out of attendance. However, the benefit rules do allow certain students to claim during their studies: 

  • Students with dependent children are eligible to claim.  Student Funding will reduce the amount of income based benefits payable. For information, visit our page for Students with Children 
  • Students with personal care or mobility needs and who meet the eligibility requirements may be entitled to claim a disability benefit called Personal Independent Payment (PIP).  Students who already receive PIP and who receive other benefits immediately prior to starting their course, such as Universal Credit, may be able to continue claiming during their studies. We have more information about claiming PIP and other benefits as a student in our Extra Money: Disability and Ill Health section.

At Queen Mary there are no part-time undergraduate courses but there are part-time postgraduate courses. There are no specific rules that exclude part-time students from claiming welfare benefits during their part-time course although students must meet the general eligibility rules for each Welfare Benefit.  This may include PhD students who are writing up on a part-time basis.  However some benefits, such as Universal Credit, can require a person to be available for work and to meet job-search activities.  If a part-time student cannot or does not meet these requirements, their benefit claim may not be allowed or an ongoing claim may have sanctions applied to reduce the amount of benefit payable.

Please note that student loans, including the Student Finance England Maintenance Loan for undergraduate study and the Masters Loan or Doctoral Loan all count as income for Income-based Welfare Benefits and this income will reduce the amount of income based benefits payable.  If you are entitled to this funding, it counts as income even if you choose not to take it out. This income should always be declared to avoid overpayments being made.

Postgraduate students can find further information about benefits in the Postgraduate Funding pages.

You can also contact a Welfare Adviser  for advice and to discuss your circumstances. 


If you hold Student Immigration permission for the UK then it is important to check how a change to your studies can affect this.  We have further information about your student immigration permission options on our dedicated page for international students about visa and fee implications and changes to your programme.

Our Other Practicalities page has information about access to Queen Mary Facilities and other practical issues. 

EU Settlement Scheme 

If you intend to spend time outside of the UK and you hold EU Pre-Settled Status check how absences from the UK can affect this in our information about the EU Settlement Scheme.

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