Last Updated: 12th October 2020
If you are going to be away from your studies for any period of time then you need to inform the CAL Student Attendance Team. However, there are different types of absence, and it is important that you know the differences between them. It is a good idea to bookmark this page so that if you need to submit an absence, you have easy access to the correct forms and the most up to date guidance.
Important information for students who are taking an absence for Covid-19 related reasons
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 and are self-isolating, you must visit the University of Birmingham's Test, Trace and Protect page and complete the online form. You will have to log in to do so.
If you are awaiting a test result, or are self-isolating due to potential contact with Covid-19, please submit a Declaration of Absence form. Guidance on how to complete the form and a link to the form itself can be found below. If you later receive a positive test result, you must visit the Test, Trace and Protect page and complete the online form.
Important information for students who need to take an absence for reasons not relating to Covid-19
The three main types of absence you may need to report are:
You may also need to update your intended study location throughout your time studying, which can be done via a form in the following situation:
- If you are a Home Student or International Student studying under the student route who is going to study wholly remotely (off campus) for a period of fifteen (15) days or more, you will need to complete the Intended Study Location Form online.
- If you are a Home Student or International Student studying under the student route who is returning to campus from a period of wholly remote studying of fifteen (15) days or longer, you will need to complete the Intended Study Location Form again to declare your return to campus.
If you encounter any problems with any of the forms linked to on this page or if you have any suggestions as to how we can improve their functionality and ease of use, please contact the CAL Student Attendance Team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Declaration of Absence
A Declaration of Absence is required for anyone who is planning on or has been absent from their studies for a short period of time. It is not enough to only email your tutor ahead of a session to let them know that you will be absent, although this is good practice and is strongly recommended. You must also submit a Declaration of Absence to the CAL Student Attendance Team.
It is your responsibility to inform your tutors of any absences, and it is your responsibility while absent to catch up with any and all work you might miss using resources such as Canvas and Academic Office Hours.
We encourage you to discuss your absence with your Personal Tutor, Supervisor, or a Wellbeing Oficer, particularly if you are likely to have further absences in the future.
What is a "Declaration of Absence?"
If you are absent for a short period of time and are not planning on travelling, then you will need to declare your absence.
Appropriate reasons for declaring an absence are defined according to the University's Codes of Practice. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Reasons related to your university progression, such as conferences or trips
- Emergency or last-minute medical appointments (where no alternative was available)
- Absence due to poor health
- A family emergency
- To attendance a job interview (where no alternative date was available)
- Jury service
- Self-isolating as a precaution
- RAP Related
You are not required to submit evidence for your absence if you are declaring it, though if your attendance is affected significantly over the course of your studies, you may be asked for more information. It is recommended therefore that you keep copies of any evidence you may have for your absence.
Once you have submitted a Declaration of Absence, you will receive an e-mail confirmation.
Please be aware that your absence will not be authorised but may be used in mitigation should your level of attendance fall below the expected standards.
Who can see my Declaration of Absence?
Your Declaration of Absence will only be visible to those for whom it is necessary to see it, including the Student Attendance Team and, unless you opt-out, the Wellbeing Team, your Personal Academic Tutor and the Student Experience Team.
The Student Attendance Team may forward your information on to members of the Wellbeing Team for them to contact you to offer further support. You can find a list of Wellbeing contacts in the College and a hub of Wellbeing resources on the CAL Wellbeing Canvas pages.
If you need guidance on how to complete the Declaration of Absence form, please refer to our Declaration of Absence Submission Guidance (PDF, 394KB)
If you are submitting a Declaration of Absence due to self-isolation, we encourage you not to let us know of a positive test result in the Details of Absence section of the form. If you are self-isolating due to a positive test result, please complete the Test, Trace and Protect form instead.
Submit a Declaration of Absence
Authorised Absence for International Students
An Authorised Absence is required for International Students who are planning on being away from their studies for less than eight (8) weeks and travelling outside of campus. An Authorised Absence is not to be submitted for Covid-19 related reasons. For further information on what to do in such a situation, please refer to the alert at the top of this page.
Before submitting an Authorised Absence, please make sure you read the following information in order to ensure that your form is filled out correctly, which will greatly speed up the processing of your application.
Please note that if you are studying on a twenty-four (24) month full-time Masters programme, you do not need to submit an Authorised Absence application in the vacation period between your first and second year.
What is an "Authorised Absence"?
An Authorised Absence is only applicable for international students. If you are planning on being away from your studies for a short period of time during term and will be travelling away from campus then you must submit an Authorised Absence request.
You may be required to submit evidence alongside your application, particularly if you will be leaving the country. You can take a maximum of eight (8) weeks under an Authorised Absence, but all absences will need to be approved.
You must submit your request for absence in advance to the Authorised Signatory for your School. If you are unsure of whose name to enter as your authorised signatory, please contact your programme/PGR administrator or check the section below, 'Where should I send my Authorised Absence form?' before submitting your authorised absence request.
Please bear in mind that it can take up to ten (10) working days to process an Authorised Absence. If you haven't had a response after this time, you should first contact the CAL Student Attendance Team Administrator for your School and not the Authorised Signatory.
For the Schools of EDACS and Law, the Administrator is Dan Hughes (email@example.com).
For the Schools of LCAHM, PTR, and SHaC, the Administrator is Marcus Paragpuri (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please be advised that Authorised Absences are not reflected in your attendance record and any absences during this time will be recorded as unauthorised. This is because the College expects that all absences will have an impact on academic performance and will use this information to ensure that you receive any necessary support.
For more information on Authorised Absences please visit the Authorised Absence Intranet Page.
What's the process of an Authorised Absence?
Firstly, please complete the Authorised Absence form, taking care to choose the most relevant reason for your absence. You may not always be required to provide evidence when submitting an Authorised Absence, however, if you are unsure, please consult the Authorised Absence Reasons for Absence Guidance (PDF, 188KB).
Please note that evidence should support the reason for absence. Evidence that is not in English must be translated into English by a certified translator. When providing translated evidence, please provide both the original and the translated copy.
Once submitted, the Administrator for your School and the Authorised Signatory will check the application to ensure it is correctly completed, and then will either approve or reject it. When an application is rejected at this stage, the Administrator will likely provide reasons why, usually due to incorrect completion of the form. Please double check the form before you submit to ensure that all your details are correct.
Should the application be approved, Registry will then issue a letter (attached to an e-mail in the form of a PDF) to your student university e-mail address, along with further instructions relating to your Authorised Absence. Please keep these details safe and accessible throughout the entirety of your absence.
Submit an Authorised Absence
Leave of Absence
A Leave of Absence will be agreed between students and members of the Wellbeing Team when an extended period of absence away from studies may be necessary.
What is a "Leave of Absence"?
During your studies you may encounter challenges or difficulties that may compromise your ability to fully engage academically. During these periods an authorised break from studying may be suitable, known as a "Leave of Absence".
A Leave of Absence will be agreed upon as part of a wider discussion with yourself, Wellbeing, and your Personal Tutor. If you feel a Leave of Absence is something you require, then it is important that you initiate that conversation and contact Wellbeing as soon as possible.
You can find Wellbeing's contact information and further resources on the CAL Wellbeing Canvas pages.
A Leave of Absence differs from a Declared Absence or Authorised Absence in that it will last for significantly longer, usually several months, and will likely result in deferring your studies until the next academic year.
For more information on Leave of Absence, please visit the Leave of Absence Intranet Page.