The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Support/Fitness to Study

If you are experiencing any difficulties while at University our advice is to talk to someone! There are various different support services available while you’re at University. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to a member of University staff, the Just Ask advice team are able to listen and give impartial and independent advice, so get in touch with us!  

If your wellbeing or behaviour starts to affect your ability to study and participate fully in student life, the University may get involved by way of the Support to Study Policy and Procedure

However, the University would only get involved if the situation was urgent, if no other University procedure was appropriate and all other avenues have been exhausted. It is always expected that issues concerning wellbeing should be dealt with informally if possible. 

Most decisions relating to Support/Fitness to Study are made by a panel. If you have a panel meeting coming up, or if you’ve been contacted by the University about Support or Fitness to Study, get in touch with Just Ask for advice as soon as possible. We can explain the process, support you at any meetings as well as help you to prepare and get paperwork organised. 

Emergency suspension

In extreme situations, it’s possible for the University to make an immediate suspension of study. This would only happen if there is an immediate high risk. If a student is detained under the Mental Health Act (sectioned) then an immediate suspension of study will always be made. 

If you have had an emergency suspension we would recommend that you get in touch with Just Ask for advice as soon as possible. 

An emergency suspension means not being able to enter University premises or take part in University activities. However, special allowances can be made, such as permission to sit an exam, or to enter a building to attend a meeting. The terms of the suspension will be set out in a letter to you. 

After four weeks, you can ask for the decision about an emergency suspension to be reviewed. You can request an immediate review if you can provide medical evidence that you are fit to study. However, a full Fitness to Study Panel will still have to take place before you’ll be able to return. 

Returning to study

The University needs to be sure that you are well enough to return to your studies. You will need to provide medical evidence. The same panel who decided that you should suspend studies will decide whether or not you can return to study, whether that was a Support to Study Case Panel or a full Fitness to Study Panel. If you do return to study, you will need to keep engaging with support services. 

Appealing against Fitness to Study decisions

It is possible to appeal against a decision that you should suspend studies or be withdrawn from your study. To do this, you need to write a letter to the University Secretary within 15 days of being notified of the decision explaining your reasons for appeal. Just Ask can help you to prepare your appeal, so get in touch with us if you need advice about this.