Updated April 2015
Interruption allows students to take an authorised break in their studies for one calendar year.
Students can submit a request to interrupt in the Michaelmas, Lent or Summer terms. Due to the restructure of the new academic year, Summer term interruptions will no longer be applicable from 2015/16.
Students who have received full tuition for the year will only be permitted to apply to interrupt from the beginning of the next academic year.
If students have received all of their teaching but are experiencing unexpected circumstances that may affect their exams, they may want to consider applying for a deferral instead. Full information about this process can be found here.
Students should discuss the options with their Academic Adviser or Supervisor before making the decision to interrupt. Requests to interrupt studies will usually only be considered on the basis of extenuating circumstances. If students are experiencing health or personal problems that are causing them to miss classes then requesting an interruption at the earliest opportunity is often the best option. This enables the student to take a break and then return the following year to properly benefit from teaching.
If students are considering interruption in the middle of a term, they should discuss with their Academic Adviser or Supervisor whether it would be beneficial to continue to the end of that term or to interrupt immediately, depending on their situation. It is not possible to back date an interruption so if students are experiencing difficulties it is important to discuss the options and make a decision as early as possible. Students can contact either their department or the Advice Team in Student Services for guidance.
Following the interruption period, students will return to their studies at the beginning of the respective term. For example, an interruption at any point in the Lent term will require a return to studies at the beginning of the Lent term the following year.
Students who wish to interrupt their studies should complete an Interruption of Registration form. Hard copies of the form are available from the Student Services Centre (SSC). The form should be completed and signed by the student, the student's Academic Adviser or Supervisor and the Departmental Tutor or Programme Director, then returned (by the student) to the SSC.
Both departments and students are encouraged to ensure that only wholly complete forms with relevant supporting evidence are submitted to the SSC. This is to avoid any delay in processing the request. Students will be notified, via their LSE email address, once their application is processed successfully. This will usually be within five working days, and any delays will ordinarily be the result of incomplete applications.
Please note that second interruptions are only approved in very exceptional circumstances. Any second interruption requests will be passed to the relevant Dean for consideration.
It is also worth noting that the courses on the programme may change whilst a student is on interruption and so they should be prepared to take alternative courses upon their return, if need be.
If students also wish to apply for repeat teaching it is advisable to do so at the same time as interrupting. Please ensure that the relevant section on the form is completed by your department before submission to the SSC. Further information can be found on the repeat teaching webpages.
For further advice on interrupting a programme please complete a Registry web queries form and a member of the team will get back to you.
MPhil and PhD Students
MPhil / PhD research students should see the page Interrupting an MPhil/PhD programme for advice on interrupting their registration.
Students on an Executive Programme (EP) should submit an EP specific interruption form. The format of an EP does not lend itself to the usual stipulations associated with an interruption of studies, so it is important that the correct form is completed and submitted to your department for approval. It should then be returned to the SSC for processing.
(The form will be available here or from your Department by the end of the 2014/15 academic year. Students wishing to interrupt before then can use the standard interruption form in the meantime).
Students are not required to pay fees during an approved interruption period, but are liable to pay fees up to the Friday of the week the interruption is approved. Once an interruption has been processed, the Fees Office will be notified, who in turn will refund any payments to students, as necessary.
Once students have interrupted their studies, they will not be eligible to apply for financial support from the School. If the reason for interruption is financial difficulty, they may wish to contact the Financial Support Office prior to interrupting to check if their is any support available that may permit them to continue with their studies.
Once a student has interrupted their studies and re-registered in a subsequent academic session, they will not be eligible to apply or re-apply for pre-entry financial support schemes, such as the Graduate Support Scheme, the Undergraduate Support Scheme or other awards and scholarships.
If a student is an LSE or external scholarship holder, they should check the terms of their award before requesting an interruption, since there may be implications for the scholarship. If a student has been given funds by LSE for maintenance, they may be liable to repay these on a pro-rata basis.
While on an approved interruption of studies the following applies:
Students will have access-only rights to the Library; they will not be permitted to withdraw books (unless their department authorises it on their behalf)
Students will keep their LSE email accounts
Students may not stay in LSE accommodation
Students are not entitled to a TfL student-rate Oyster Card
Students are not entitled to council tax exemption
Interrupted students will not be able to select their courses on LSE for You prior to their return, unlike continuing students. Course selection should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that it can be entered manually. Students should note that this may take some time as Registry will have to manually obtain the necessary permissions. Therefore the earlier this information is communicated to Registry the better.
On occasion students will take an unapproved interruption from their studies, in what the School calls an unauthorised break. These are not permitted and students are encouraged to communicate with the School if they intend leaving for any period.
However, in cases when this happens the School’s Break Unauthorised Policy is as follows:
Students who take unauthorised breaks will have their student records amended to reflect this. They will not be considered to be registered students and will have no right to access School facilities or teaching. This status will remain in place for one academic year.
If the student makes contact with the School during this time, they will be encouraged to meet with the relevant Dean to discuss their situation. Whilst there are no guarantees, the School will do what they can to facilitate a return to studies if the circumstances have been extenuating and can be supported with appropriate evidence.
If the student does not contact the School in this time, when that academic year ends they will be formally withdrawn from their programme. If students wish to re-join that programme again they will have to go through the admissions application process.
The School encourages all students to avoid this route if at all possible. Full advice can be given on interruption and formal withdrawal processes, which students should seek in cases where they are unsure. Please speak to your department or a member of the team at the Student Services Centre.
If students are facing difficulties with their studies, whether for academic or personal reasons, there are a number of services in the School that may be able to help.
In particular, they should consider contacting the Teaching and Learning Centre for guidance on learning development, writing, access to counselling and support for disability concerns. Or if they are having difficulties with studying in English they can contact the Language Centre for guidance.