A student may have their studies at the University terminated, and be required to leave the University, if their academic performance is unsatisfactory over an extended period. Termination of studies is considered a last resort, and is normally only applied in cases where it is no longer possible for a student to complete their programme within that programme’s specified time limits, or where a student’s performance has not improved sufficiently following an earlier intervention.

To complement the Academic Alerts process, which is applied at a module level, the University operates an academic intervention process at an overall degree programme level. The principle is to help students recognise when their academic progress may be at risk, at a sufficiently early stage that they have opportunities to take action to address any underlying problems.

Academic Intervention Process

Academic intervention involves issuing a student at risk with a series of warnings of increasing severity:

  • Performance Warning: Students whose academic performance in a semester is below a threshold defined for their programme, but are not at any immediate risk of failing to meet Senate Regulations, will be contacted to explain the sources of advice and support available.

  • Progression Warning: Students who are at risk of failing to meet Senate Regulations, depending on the outcome of assessments to be taken later in the current academic year, will be contacted to explain this risk and its potential consequences.

  • Probation Warning: Students who have not passed the minimum amount of credit required by Senate Regulations will have their studies placed under probation. Conditions will be attached to the continuation of their studies.

More details on the different thresholds and criteria used for undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes can be found in the Early Academic Intervention policy.

The Final Level of Intervention

The final level of academic intervention, when a student has not succeeded in addressing unsatisfactory performance identified in lower-level interventions, or is unable to complete their programme within specified time limits, is termination of studies. The student will be given clear guidance as to the procedures for appeal against such a decision.


Following the publication of module results after each examination diet, Registry will identify students who should be sent an Early Academic Intervention warning letter from the relevant Pro Dean. Students due to receive performance and progression warning letters will do so by e-mail only, whereas students due to receive probation warning letters will do so by both hard copy and e-mail.

This list will be cross- checked against a list supplied by Student Services of all students currently engaging with Student Services due to personal circumstances, to identify any for whom a standard warning letter would be inappropriate.

Early Academic Intervention warning letters will be sent after the publication of module results following each examination diet. Where a student meets the criteria for more than one category of warning, they will receive a single letter combining all the relevant information. Letters will be copied to relevant Advisers of Studies and Directors of Teaching as outlined in the Early Academic Intervention policy.

Termination of Studies Procedure

Following the publication of module results, Registry will identify students who have failed to meet current probation conditions, and any other students who as a consequence of results are unable to complete their degree programme in compliance with Senate Regulations. The relevant Associate Dean will write to each student notifying them that their studies are to be terminated. Students wishing to appeal against the decision may submit a Stage 1 appeal within five working days, as specified in the University’s Policy on Student Academic Appeals.

If the appeal is successful, the Dean will contact you with conditions for your return to studies. If you do not meet these conditions (e.g. you do not pass the specified amount of credits within the time period given by the Dean) your studies may be terminated again.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may have a further right of appeal to the Senate of the University. Appeals to Senate are admissible only on limited grounds and the process cannot be used to challenge matters of academic judgment. To make a Senate submission, you must submit to the Senate Office a Stage 2 appeal form within 10 working days of the date stated on your termination letter. Late submissions may not be considered further by the University.

For further information, see the University’s Policy on Student Academic Appeals

The record for a student whose studies are terminated will remain open until expiry of the deadline for submission of a final Stage 2 Senate appeal, or until delivery of the result of such an appeal. They may continue to attend classes in the interim.

International students here at St Andrews on a Tier 4 visa should be aware that any terminations will be reported to the UKVI and their visa curtailed.

More Detail

Please find more details on Early Academic Intervention in the University’s Early Academic Intervention policy and on the university intervention documentation.

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Last Published: 20 Jul 2021.