Postgraduate - Extend maximum period of study

Form and guidance notes

To apply for an extension, download and complete the application to extend your maximum period of study (Postgraduate Taught students) (PDF - 469KB).


Please read the Code of Practice on Procedures for Extensions to Study (PDF - 80KB) Periods before completing the form.


Ensure that you consult the guidance notes (PDF - 195KB) when completing the form. 

Reasons for requesting an extension

Reasons that are likely to be approved include:

  • Accidents
  • Bereavement of an immediate family member
  • Serious ill health
  • Illness affecting an immediate family member
  • Serious unforeseen events, e.g. theft, major disruption to facilities
  • Significant personal difficulties
  • Unexpected financial hardship
  • Disability


Reasons that are unlikely to be approved include:

  • Work commitments/pressure of work (except for programmes developed for a range of professionals/practitioners, particularly in social work or educational settings)
  • Unrealistic time plan
  • Holidays
  • Improvement of language skills
  • Requests in excess of 12 months

Supporting evidence

All applications for extensions must be accompanied by appropriate supporting evidence. If your evidence is in a language other than English you must provide a certified translation.

Work plan

All applications must be accompanied by a work plan to demonstrate how the requested period will be used effectively in order to complete the outstanding work for the Award. The work plan should provide a schedule of the outstanding work and the time frame for completing each section.


Extension requests without work plans, with incomplete work plans and with work plans that do not provide sufficient detail or are considered unrealistic will not be approved.

When to apply

Extension applications should be submitted at least two months before the expiry of the maximum period of study.


The maximum period of registration for taught programmes will be the period of normal registration as set out in the programme requirements plus two years. These revised maximum periods of registration will apply to new entrants from 2015/16 and any periods of leave of absence will not count towards the maximum period of registration.


For students who commenced their studies before 2015/16, the previous regulations regarding minimum and maximum periods of study will apply and any periods of leave of absence will be included when calculating the maximum period of registration:


Programme of study

Maximum period of study

Taught Postgraduate Degrees (e.g. MA, MSc, MEd)

6 years

Postgraduate Diploma

4 years

Postgraduate Certificate

2 years

Graduate Diploma

4 years 6 months

Graduate Certificate

3 years

Retrospective requests for extensions must include an explanation as to why the request was not submitted at the appropriate time.

What happens next?

Once the form has been received, together with the support evidence and work plan, the request will be submitted to the Progress and Awards Board for approval. You will be notified of the outcome of the application by e-mail.

Rejected applications

If your application is not approved by the Progress and Awards Board and you have not completed your programme of study within the maximum period of registration, you will be deemed to have voluntarily withdrawn. You may be eligible for the award of an alternative qualification based on the marks for modules that you have already completed and the recommendation of any alternative qualification will be approved at the next meeting of the Board of Examiners.

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Download the form

Application to extend maximum period of study (Postgraduate students) (PDF - 469KB)