Skip to main content

Attendance policy

Attendance is a key contributor to successful studies, and we would like to ensure you get the most out of your time at UAL. This policy explains the University’s approach to monitoring the attendance of students on face-to-face, online and low residency courses.  It covers students studying at Undergraduate level and on Postgraduate Taught courses.

For students on Pre-degree (PD) courses, your attendance policy is published in your course handbook.

If you have applied for or received your student visa, then as your sponsor we are required by UKVI to monitor your engagement with your course. This Course Engagement Monitoring Guidance explains to you what course engagement is required and how this will be monitored. Do please read this, as if you do not meet the requirements, you may be withdrawn and your student visa sponsorship invalidated.

The policy aims to ensure the student experience is:

  • Consistent – each student has a similar experience, options and outcomes.
  • Responsive and supportive – the quick identification of students with issues to ensure they are contacted and offered support.
  • Transparent – the potential outcomes and consequences should be clear.  Student choices should be clear.

Attendance Requirements

As a student you are required to attend scheduled taught activities:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Technical workshops
  • Briefings and demonstrations
  • Supervised studios
  • Any other staff-led course activity (on-site if the delivery mode is face-to-face)
  • Assessment submissions

If a course is online only, an online version of the above sessions would be used. For low residency delivery the session may be online or face-to-face.

Course teams will identify attendance requirements for you at the start of the year, with clearly identified points in a week where attendance is required.

Your attendance will be captured a minimum of once per week.  See Attendance Monitoring – registering your attendance for information on how to check-in to sessions.

Missing sessions

If you have not attended the course-required sessions for a week, this will be recorded as absence.  The University will get in touch by email to remind you and to signpost you to support services.  You can get confidential advice on difficulties that may be affecting your attendance such as funding, immigration and visas, health and mental health advice, and disability and dyslexia support from the Student Services team.

If attendance is missed for more than a week, we will get in touch with you after the second and third weeks reminding you of missed attendance, how to access support services and how to apply for Authorised Absence if this applies to you.  If you have circumstances where you cannot attend for longer than this, then you should get in touch to discuss your options.

After four consecutive weeks of missed attendance (excluding Authorised Absence) you will be suspended, and your case reviewed to confirm if you should be withdrawn.

If we get in touch about your attendance, please do not ignore these emails.  There may be reasons for poor attendance that the University can help with or give you options on what to do next.

Authorised Absence, Time Out and Extenuating Circumstances

If there's an event that's going to disrupt your attendance, talk to your course team and apply for an Authorised Absence or Time Out.

You can request Authorised Absences for up to four weeks during term time via the Authorised Absence Form, for the following reasons:

  • Illness. Extended periods of illness (more than 5 working days) must be accompanied by evidence e.g., a medical certificate or doctors’ note.
  • Attendance at appointments/commitments considered inflexible e.g., hospital appointments, religious requirements, court attendance.  Any of these absences over 10 days must be accompanied by evidence.
  • Mitigating circumstances e.g., bereavements, serious illness of a close family member, childcare and other caring responsibilities, technical issues related to online study.  Any of these absences over 10 days must be accompanied by evidence.

Requests for Authorised Absence will require approval. If it is approved, you will receive confirmation and you will not be required to attend the session(s) affected.

For students on Pre-degree (PD) courses, your attendance policy will be published in your course handbook.  Your course team will confirm the process for requesting Authorised Absence.

If you’re absent for longer than 4 weeks, you may need to consider taking Time Out (for part of a year, or a full year).

If your absence will have an impact on your assessments, you must also submit a separate claim for extenuating circumstances.


You can withdraw from a course at any time by putting a request in writing to the University. The date you are withdrawn will be the date the request is received by the University.

If a student is suspended from study for financial, visa compliance or attendance reasons for more than four weeks then the student may be withdrawn or, if possible, given an option to take time out.

If the University considers it needs to withdraw a student, then the student can expect that we will have - considered whether there are compassionate and compelling circumstances for absence; consulted academics and key stakeholders to establish a full picture of engagement; clearly communicated with the student with an agreed amount of time to respond; and documented the process.

You can appeal a decision to be withdrawn no later than a week after receiving the notification of withdrawal, by responding to the notification of withdrawal email stating the reasons why you should not be withdrawn. The Head of Academic Registry will review the decision to withdraw and respond to you within seven days.