Changes to your Studies, Resits and Repeats

Certain changes to your studies, such as changes to the length or level of your programme, resits and repeats, and breaks from study can affect your student visa. 

It is important that you seek full advice and guidance from the Visa and International Support Team if any changes happen. 

Changes to your Programme

If you wish to make changes to your programme of study such as transferring, you may need to go home and apply for a new student visa before you can make the change.

  • You can change your programme in the UK without needing to apply for a new visa if:
  • you are changing to the same level, or a higher level of study at the same institution; AND
  • you can complete your new programme within the validity of your current visa; AND
  • your new programme represents academic progression from your previous programme


Breaks From Study

If you need to take a break from your studies, which is 5 days or more, you MUST ask for permission from your School.  You should contact your School Office. 

The University can continue to sponsor your visa if:

  • the break is no more than 60 days
  • you can resume studies immediately
  • you can complete your programme within the original timeframe

If you need to take a break of more than 60 days the University is normally required to withdraw sponsorship of your student visa, even if you are ill or pregnant.

You will be given 60 days to leave the UK or apply to remain in another visa category.

In some circumstances, such as serious illness or injury, the University may be able to continue sponsorship of your visa if you will still be able to complete your programme within the original timeframe. Please make an appointment to speak to an adviser if you would like to discuss this.

You will normally need to apply for a new student visa to return to studies.

You are strongly advised to contact Visa & International Support to understand all of your options before you take an interruption from your studies.


Change of Location

Normally Tier 4/Student Route visa holders are required to carry out their studies on-campus in Edinburgh.  However, sometimes students will need to study away from the University: for example, if you need to carry out research at another facility, or if you want to do a work placement.  

If you remain a fully enrolled student, and the University is able to continue its sponsorship duties, the change of location will not affect your visa.  

The University will inform UKVI of the change to your location of studies.


Withdrawal or Exclusion

If you withdraw or are excluded from your studies the University will be required to inform UKVI within 10 days.  

Your visa will be curtailed (cancelled). UKVI will write to you, normally by email, and tell you the new expiry date of your visa. This will normally be 60 days from the date of the email.

We cannot tell you exactly when UKVI will write to you, but we advise you to make plans to leave the UK, or apply for alternative immigration permission, within 60 days of withdrawing or being excluded from your studies.

Your student visa work permission is cancelled from the date you withdraw or are excluded from studies. You must not work once you have withdrawn or been excluded. Doing so would be a serious breach of UK immigration law.

Resits and Repeats

All students are entitled to one reassessment opportunity in a module.  If you believe that your ability to complete an assessment of any type has been adversely affected by extenuating circumstances that have had a detrimental effect on you academic studies or progression, you are entitled to apply for a further attempt using the ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ procedure. 

As a student visa holder, you are allowed to take any coursework or exam a maximum of three times (the original coursework/exam plus two resits if allowed under the academic regulations).   In very exceptional circumstances, you may be permitted to take a fourth attempt.

Repeat with attendance

If you are required to attend classes/lectures/etc. during the semester, then your student visa will remain valid.

You should seek full advice from the Visa & International Support team.