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Taking a break in studies

If you want or need to, you can suspend your studies for up to two years. This may either be for a period of two years or non-consecutive shorter periods that add up to a total of two years or less, but you cannot apply for a break in studies of less than one term. 

for students completing short courses

  • Students completing short courses, which are modular enrolment modules, do so at their own pace and may choose not to enrol on further modules whenever suits them. 

for programme students

  • Before applying for a break in studies, you will need to speak with your academic school to discuss the impact on your study.
  • If you are studying a degree or certificate of higher education programme and you want to apply for a break in studies, you must do so via your My Birkbeck profile
    • On the home page of My Birkbeck, select the 'Menu' link in the top right corner, then expand the 'My Records' section of the menu and select 'Request a change to study status'.
    • You will receive confirmation by email when your request has been submitted and we will email you again when your request has been completed.
    • If you need to take a break of longer than one year, you should stay in touch with your Programme Director and confirm your re-attendance or apply for a longer break, as appropriate. 

The impact on your student loan

council tax

  • If you were eligible for council tax exemption due to your student status, this eligibility should remain whilst you are on your break.
  • Your council may ask for a more detailed exemption certificate as evidence, so please contact the Student Advice Service to obtain this.

What happens if you don't re-enrol on time

  • If you do not re-enrol after having completed two years of breaks in study, we will assume you have withdrawn from your programme. If you then wish to resume your programme after having been withdrawn, you may be required to reapply for admission. 

Break in studies and annual fee increases