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Advice and Counselling Service

Switching to a part-time study on a full-time course due to compelling personal reasons

Queen Mary may, under exceedingly rare circumstances, allow a student to study part-time on their full-time course based on their compelling personal circumstances. 

This is mainly an option for undergraduate students when a student is not able to engage with full-time study due to their health or other personal issues.  A academic school may allow them to switch to a part-time mode of study for an academic year of their course. This would allow a student to progress through their course and finish their degree at a pace they can more easily manage. This option is only offered to an extremely small number of students where the usual procedures such as interrupting, re-sitting out of attendance, or retaking in attendance are deemed unsuitable. 

This option is not normally available to full-time international students who are in the UK (United Kingdom) on Student Immigration Permission as this permission requires them to study their course on a full-time basis. 

Undergraduate students receiving Student Finance England Funding 

If you have permission from your School to study one year part-time on a full-time course, you remain registered on the full-time course; it is only your mode of study which changes to part-time.  Therefore, you continue to apply for your Student Finance England funding for a full-time course as usual.  However, there is a limit to the standard number of academic years that a Tuition Fee Loan is available.  See the section below for more information about this. The Maintenance Loan and any additional grants such as the Disabled Students Allowance should remain available for each year of study providing course attendance is required throughout each academic year.

Can I continue to get a Tuition Fee Loan for every year of my course? 

For undergraduate study, Student Finance England provide a Tuition Fee Loan for the standard length of a course plus one additional year, often referred to as a gift year or plus one year.  This extra year should be sufficient if you will be able to complete your course by adding just one extra year to the normal length of your course. However this additional year of Tuition Fee Loan may have already been used up if you have previously studied on an earlier degree level course or have already repeated a year or part year of your current course: 

Previous Study: If you have previous study on an earlier degree level course or, you have already re-taken a year of your course before, you may have used up this gift year/plus one year of funding. In these circumstances, if you study one year over two years, you would not automatically be entitled to a tuition fee loan for the additional year of study. However, if you have compelling personal circumstances you can ask Student Finance England to consider awarding you an extra year of discretionary Tuition Fee Loan based on these. If this is not approved, you would be required to pay the tuition fee yourself for any the additional year of study. 

We explain about applying for this discretionary extra year of funding in our Undergraduate Funding Implications page My studies have been affected by compelling personal reasons.

You may also want to Contact a Welfare Adviser before you decide to switch to study part-time to discuss your Student Finance entitlement, how this may be affected, the options available to you and how to apply for the discretionary year year of funding if this is required.   

If you are receiving Student Finance from Student Finance Wales, the Scottish Awards Agency or from Student Finance Northern Ireland  please contact them directly to check how your funding will be affected as the rules differ. If you remain unsure contact a Welfare Adviser. for advice. 

If you are finding it difficult to engage with your studies, consider discussing this with your Personal Tutor, Academic Adviser, or Student Support Officer for your academic school as soon as you can. They can explain your academic options and what academic support can be put in place to assist you. If your difficulties are due to a disability or health, you can also contact the Queen Mary Disability and Dyslexia Service.  Advice and Counselling also offer Wellbeing support too.

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