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Section 2: Support to Study Policy

Published for 2019-20


1.UCL is committed to maintaining high standards of performance for its students in terms of teaching, learning and assessment and to ensuring that the quality of its awards is not undermined or compromised.
2.UCL is also committed to supporting its students’ academic abilities as well as their wellbeing, recognising a positive approach to the management of physical and mental health issues that may affect student learning, academic achievement and the wider student experience.
3.UCL is mindful of its duty of care and its obligations to students under the Equality Act 2010, to make reasonable adjustments, where possible and where appropriate. It is also aware that there may be occasions where a student’s physical or mental health may give rise to concerns about the student’s fitness to study and capacity to engage with his/her studies and/or the appropriateness of their behaviour in relation to the UCL community as a whole.
4.UCL is aware of its responsibility to maintain a safe and positive environment for all students and staff but expects students to study, work and live co-operatively and in close proximity with each other as well as conduct themselves in a manner which does not impact negatively on those around them. However, UCL also has to balance the needs and rights of an individual student against the need to protect the wellbeing of fellow students and staff.
5.In order to assist students to meet their academic obligations and maintain the quality of its degrees, whilst at the same time supporting the students’ welfare needs, UCL has a range of procedures in place including:
  • Examination Adjustments, such as additional writing time, rest breaks and/or ergonomic aids
  • Extensions to deadlines for assessed coursework
  • Suspensions of regulations to facilitate a student’s studies, although such suspensions would be considered carefully on a case by case basis, but would not automatically be approved
  • Variation of a programme of study or a module, although such variations would be considered carefully on a case by case basis, but would not automatically be approved
  • Advice and guidance from UCL professionals, including the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW), Student Psychological and Counselling Services, the UCL Student Mediator, UCL Hall Wardens, and other resources such as the Gower Place Practice and the chaplains appointed to UCL
  • Support from academic staff, such as Faculty Tutors, Faculty Graduate Tutors, Departmental Tutors, Personal Tutors, Supervisors
  • Student Learning Agreements
  • Defined periods of interruption from studies or delaying the start of studies or a change of degree programme
  • Student Cause for Concern referrals
  • Student Support and Wellbeing welfare appointments.
6.Students with physical and/or mental health concerns should be encouraged to make contact with the available support services as early as possible in order to facilitate reasonable adjustments and to sustain their academic obligations and their wellbeing. Students should maintain regular engagement with the support services as recommended.
7.When studying away from UCL, including students on a period of study abroad, electives, placements, postgraduate research activities, students have an obligation to ensure their health and wellbeing. They should plan for their time away from UCL, seeking advice from their academic advisers and other UCL professionals, as appropriate. There may be occasions where a student may be deemed fit to study at UCL but not more remotely. In these cases, consideration would be given for a variation of the programme of study or a given module, or to a transfer from one degree programme to another.
8.Students, who are returning from a period of interruption or where permission has been given to delay the start of studies, may be required to provide medical information to indicate that their studies will not be detrimental to their health and their health to their studies, as well as have a welfare appointment with the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing. Students may also be required to sign up to a Student Learning Agreement.
9.Where a student has been unable to maintain the levels of academic engagement required and/or where UCL considers that the needs, rights, safety and security of the UCL community outweigh those of an individual student, UCL may take action in a number of ways:
10.There may be instances where a student has exhibited behaviour which would normally be handled under Section 8: Student Disciplinary Code and Procedures, but this may be (or is suspected to be) the result of an underlying physical and/or mental health difficulty. Depending on the individual circumstances, this may be considered under Section 3: Fitness to Study Procedure.
11.The Support to Study Policy will be regularly reviewed by the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing.
12Cases considered under Section 3: Fitness to Study Procedure will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis to identify where any improvements are required in the Policy, or in the procedures of the support services offered within UCL or on which UCL draws significantly.