Before applying for a suspension please first discuss the matter with your supervisors.

If you wish to suspend your PhD study then please download and complete the Suspension of doctoral study form.

Your application for a suspension will be considered by the Dean of Postgraduate Research in consultation with your supervisors. In granting a suspension the viability of your project and availability of ongoing resources, including supervision, is taken into consideration. If the project is not going to be viable after the requested period, then period of suspension may be declined or reduced in length and you may be requested to continue to study or withdraw completely from your studies. You will be notified on the outcome of your request by the Postgraduate Office as soon as possible.

Please note that a suspension to study means a complete withdrawal from study for a period. During the period of suspension you should not be working on your thesis and will not have access to any UC resources (including supervision) during that time. Payment of UC Scholarship stipends will stop for the duration of a suspension of studies. Any scholarship stipend payments received while on suspension, including for a back-dated suspension, will need to be re-paid to the University. Students who are suspended should fully expect to return to their studies after the suspension period. Suspensions can only be awarded for whole months, can only start from the first day of the month, and are for a minimum period of one month and will be granted for whole months.

If a suspension is applied for in advance, tuition fees will be refunded for any months paid. If a back dated suspension is granted, a refund is not automatic. A separate application must be made for refund of tuition fees. 

International students should contact the Enrolments Office (Level 1, Matariki) to discuss their visa situation before applying for a suspension of their studies.

  • An international student may suspend their studies for up to 3 months in any 12 month period while remaining on their student visa
  • The allowed 3 month suspension period does not need to be taken over a single period or consecutively and can be staggered through the 12 month period
  • The suspension must be given for a genuine reason determined by the University (e.g. these shouldn't be issued to allow a student to use the suspension period to work)
  • However if the suspension is for more than 3 months then Immigration New Zealand will cancel the student’s student visa and will require the student to apply for a Visitor permit pending expiry of the suspension period.