Leave of Absence
A Leave of Absence enables you to take an approved and specified period of time away from your programme.
Before applying for a Leave of Absence
Before you apply for a Leave of Absence, you should make sure that you get as much advice as you can from an appropriate staff member e.g. your College/School Office, your Student Adviser or the Student Desk. You should also make sure to read the UCD Leave of Absence Policy and familiarise yourself with all the implications of this request.
Applying for a Leave of Absence
Apply for your Leave of Absence as early as you can, ideally before the start of the requested Leave of Absence period, but it is possible to apply up to week eight of the relevant trimester (check key dates for the deadline dates). Retrospective applications will only be approved in extenuating circumstances. If you are applying for a retrospective Leave of Absence talk to your College/School Office.
You can apply for a Leave of Absence through SISWeb.
Instructions on completing the Leave of Absence form
- Log into SISWeb, select Programme Services and then select My Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Requests
- Select Apply for a Leave of Absence
- Check your personal information is correct
- Select the button that says Answer these Questions and provide the information requested. If you are not sure of the dates for your Leave of Absence, check the UCD Term Dates
- You will be asked if you have discussed this request with a staff member. If you have not spoken to anyone then you may be contacted by a staff member before your request can be processed
- You will also be asked some questions to make sure you understand what the request will mean for your fees, grant, access to campus facilities etc. If your answer to any of these questions is ‘No’ you should read the information provided on the form or speak to a staff member. If you do need to speak to a staff member about fees etc. then you can leave the form and return to complete it at a later date
- Upload any required supporting documentation. Only staff handling this request will have access to this information. If you prefer, you can bring it to your College/School Office. Your request may not require supporting documentation e.g. if it is made before term starts. If you are unsure then please read the UCD Leave of Absence Policy or speak to a staff member
- Once your application is submitted, you will be able to see the progress of this request in SISWeb under Programme Services and then My Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Requests
- When a decision is made about your request then you will see it in My Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Requests. You will also receive an email or letter on behalf of your Programme/Graduate School Board and your registration record will be updated with this decision within a few days
Further instructions on completing the online Leave of Absence form
During a Leave of Absence
- You are not active in your programme. This includes attending lectures, field and research work, laboratory work, remediating failed modules, payments from grants or meeting the Principal Supervisor (students on graduate research programmes)
- You are not registered to your programme. You can confirm your re-registration when you return to your programme
- If you are taking a Leave of Absence for a trimester you are not registered for that period and so you are not entitled to receive a grant maintenance payment. Talk to the sponsoring/funding agency e.g. SUSI, County Council, hospital, after you have spoken to your College/School Office
- You will not have access to the facilities of the campus. This includes Health Services, the library, UCD Residences and Brightspace. However, UCD Connect access remains available
Undergraduate FeesYour Student Centre Contribution and Student Centre Levy are pro-rated by trimester. If you take a Leave of Absence you only pay for the trimester for which you were registered.
If you paid your fees in full earlier this academic year and are given a Leave of Absence for one trimester, you will normally receive a refund of half Student Centre Contribution and Student Centre Levy once your Leave of Absence has been approved.
Graduate FeesYour tuition and Student Centre Levy are pro-rated by term/trimester. If you take a Leave of Absence you only pay for the trimester(s) for which you are registered.
If you paid your fees in full earlier this academic year, you will receive the appropriate refund amount.
Immigration issuesIf you are an international student with a residence permit from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) consult with the Student Immigration Support Officer prior to applying for a Leave of Absence. The validity of the residence permit may be affected by college registration status.
Returning from a Leave of Absence
- Prior to the start of term, we will send you an email about returning from a Leave of Absence, including information on support services, registration and who to contact if you have any questions
- Tell your College/School Office that you are returning to the programme before the end of the Leave of Absence period. This is particularly important where the programme has a clinical or work placement component
- Pay any outstanding fees before you return from a Leave of Absence
- Confirm registration to your programme in SISWeb
- Read the University's Rules, Regulations, Codes, Policies and Procedures, and the programme requirements and structure in place at the time of your return
If you do not return from a Leave of Absence and do not confirm your reregistration in SISWeb within the first eight weeks of the trimester that you are due to return, or you have not applied for a further Leave of Absence period, your registration will be cancelled.
More information can be found in section 8 of the Guide to the Leave of Absence Academic Policy.
Application forms and Useful linksLeave of Absence Policy
Policy on Theses in Graduate Research Programmes
Policy on Theses in Graduate Taught Programmes
Policy on Extenuating Circumstances
Frequently asked questionsHow long can I take a Leave of Absence for?
- The length of your Leave of Absence is at the discretion of the Programme Board
- All students may apply for a leave of absence for a period of one, two, or three trimesters within an academic year
- In some programmes with a clinical or work placement component, the programme structures may require that a student take more than two trimesters at a time. Clinical or work placement aspects of the programme will be taken into account when your application is considered by the relevant Programme Board
- Graduate research students - in extenuating circumstances, you can apply for a Leave of Absence for a period equivalent to one term if the timing of the absence spans two terms
Why would an application be refused?
- In the first term of a programme, you are not normally eligible for a Leave of Absence unless there are extenuating circumstances
- Depending on the programme requirements and structure (including clinical or work placement components) or research supervisory arrangements, it may not be possible to take a Leave of Absence.
- If you receive payment under a grant you may not be eligible for a Leave of Absence
- Where you have a pending disciplinary action you are not eligible for a Leave of Absence
If your application is refused we will suggest an alternative arrangement to support you in completing your programme.
What happens if I need to take a Leave of Absence after a trimester has started?
- Apply for a Leave of Absence as early as you can, ideally before the start of the requested Leave of Absence period. It is possible, however, to apply for a Leave of Absence up to eight weeks into a trimester (normally you will be refunded any fee payments made)
- After the first eight weeks of a trimester, and where there has been programme activity, you can apply under the Policy on Extenuating Circumstances. A Leave of Absence application is considered retrospective when the period of time applied for has passed e.g. applying after the eight-week mark of the trimester. Retrospective Leave of Absence is not normally permitted. However, it may be granted by a Programme Board where it is satisfied that you have extenuating circumstances, and there is no other available solution for you given your circumstances, and you have not normally engaged in any programme activity
- A retrospective Leave of Absence application is an option where there is no other solution. However, if you have been receiving grant payments for the period of time you are applying for you cannot normally get a retrospective Leave of Absence
What if I want to extend my Leave of Absence period?
- Contact your College/School Office before the end of your approved first period of Leave of Absence to make a formal application for a further Leave of Absence
- The application process is the same as when you made your first application