If a student cannot work for a particular reason, e.g. illness, family circumstances, financial hardship, application for suspension of status can be sought, for not less than one and not more than three terms (or equivalent number of months where appropriate) at any one time, using the relevant form. Students should be encouraged to contact the relevant University service (Counselling Service, Disability Advisory Service, etc) for help and advice if they have not already done so, before applying for suspension. Such applications will also be considered in connection with election to a student sabbatical office within the University. The general regulations governing postgraduate taught courses set out the maximum number of terms of suspension in total a responsible body may permit. Requests for any further period of suspension must be addressed to Education Committee.
Students who give birth during their period of registration for a postgraduate taught course may choose to suspend their status, normally for not less than one year, before recommencing their studies. Where possible the leave period should be timed to take account of the academic requirements of the course (e.g. project work), and should commence at the end of, rather than part-way through, a term. Maternity leave will be taken under current college arrangements for suspension of study (where applicable). Students should also submit an application for suspension of status (GSO.17b). The full policy on parental leave (including paternity and adoption leave) is available from http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/shw/childcare/?path=shw/childcare.