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Intermission is the term used at Cambridge to refer to a period in which you have been permitted to interrupt your studies because of serious, unforeseen circumstances. If you find you are unable to continue your studies because a chronic or acute illness (physical or mental), serious disability-related issues, bereavement or other grave cause, you may apply for permission to take time out (normally an academic or calendar year) by intermitting in order to get back on track.

The purpose of intermission is to allow you the necessary time and distance away from your studies to seek any necessary support, recuperate (in the case of ill health), or overcome any difficulties resulting from grave circumstances, and to alleviate any academic disadvantage caused to you as a result of these circumstances.

Application process for undergraduate courses

You must contact your Tutor to discuss your situation and the implications of intermitting, as they will need to apply on your behalf to the University for permission to take time out (or to 'disregard terms' in University language).  You may also wish to consult the Students' Unions' Advice Service.

Please read the College Guidance on Intermission for Undergraduates carefully. These provide important information about what is involved in applying for an allowance to intermit, and the procedure which must be followed on your return to College after any period away.

Application process for postgraduate courses

If you are registered as a postgraduate student you should refer to the University Graduate Study Guidance on applying for a change in circumstances. This includes applications for intermission, working away from Cambridge, changing your course registration, withdrawing from the University and other changes to your student status. You should discuss your situation with your Supervisor or Course Director, and your College Tutor will also be able to provide guidance.