Suspending Your Studies

Sometimes, life and study at Oxford can become overwhelming. Often this can happen because of the workload and short terms, and for a lot of people they are able to work through this using a combination of taking regular breaks, speaking to their friends, and possibly meeting with college’s welfare support staff. But for some students, especially those with difficult personal or family circumstances, students with mental or physical health conditions, disabled students, and transgender and non-binary students, you may find that the undue pressure you are experiencing means that suspending your studies may be the best option.

This can seem like quite a daunting process, but the university and student organisations have a lot of resources they have produced to make this more manageable. You can find a link to the Oxford SU Suspended Students Campaign (SusCam) website here. The campaign also has a Facebook page where they will post details about their work and any events they are holding, which you can find here.

You should try to access as many support networks that are available to you as possible before continuing with suspending your studies. This would include speaking to the Junior Deans in the first instance, who are a lovely team of people who can provide you with advice on making this decision. They can help set up meetings with other people in college who will talk through the options that would be best for you. If you feel comfortable talking to your tutor(s) also, they are in a similar position to help you from the academic side of things. In some cases, the college and/or your department is able to grant you extensions to important deadlines which may solve the issues you are facing.

If, however, the outcomes of these meetings are that you decide suspending your studies would be the best option, then you can find more detailed information in SusCam’s guide for suspending students here. You can also use the SU’s Student Advice service to talk through your options, the contact details for which you can find here. You may also find it useful to know that, constitutionally, the JCR President can accompany you to any meetings you have with college regarding your suspension.