You can apply for permission to take some time out of your studies in order to recover or in order to get your finances back on track. First you should contact your Tutor to discuss your situation, as they will need to apply on your behalf to the University for permission to ‘disregard terms’ in University language.
To intermit for health reasons you will need a letter from an appropriate professional such as your GP or Counselling Service contact, and you will need another letter when you are ready to return, confirming that you are recovered and fit to resume study. While you are taking time out, you will not have access to any University or College facilities.
You should always take time to talk through your situation carefully with your Tutor as there are several issues to bear in mind when considering this step.
- What are the implications for your studies when you return? Are there planned changes for courses (set texts or topics for instance)? Will the courses you would like to take be available in the year you return?
- If you are considering intermitting in the Easter term, it is more likely that the University will grant you an examination allowance based on good supervision reports, if your work up to this point in the year has been unaffected. This would be appropriate for someone who falls ill or has an accident shortly before exams, for instance, and might allow you to proceed to the next year of study without having to repeat the year.
- Have you explored other sources of support that might help you, particularly if it is financial difficulties that are causing you to consider this step? Intermitting does involve some loss of momentum which might be an important issue to take into account as a mature student.
- You will not be able to claim Council Tax exemption as a student while intermitting.
- If you are in Cambridge on a student visa, you will need to check the implications of intermitting with the Cambridge International Office.
The Counselling Service runs workshops specifically for students returning from intermitting. There are often similar feelings about coming back. Hearing how it is for others and talking about your experience can be reassuring. The workshops, at the start of Michaelmas and Lent Terms, are designed to address the most common issues and can help you ease back in more smoothly. You can find more details on the University Counselling website.