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What are my responsibilities as a student?

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We want you to have a positive and fulfilling learning experience with us and to graduate with an excellent degree. The relationship between you and the University is a partnership – we have commitments to you, and equally you have responsibilities to us, and to the British government.

When you enrol, you will be given the University of Sunderland’s Oversees Agreement. This document contains the responsibilities that both you and the University have agreed to regarding your studies in the UK.

Completing work

You must complete all assignments and coursework. If you do not submit work that is due, you are at risk of being withdrawn from your course. If you are having problems with your work, you must speak to your academic tutor, or another member of your Faculty, so that the University can help you.


We will monitor your attendance to classes with registers. You must attend all your timetabled classes, such as lectures, seminars, workshops and practical lab or studio work. You must also attend all your exams. You must register for every class you attend. If you forget to register using your student card, the University will record that you were absent, and if you miss lots of classes there is a risk that the University will withdraw you from your course. Sponsored students will be reported to their sponsors for non-attendance, as regular attendance is required as part of their sponsorship arrangement.

You must not let another student sign a register for you, or sign a register for another student. This is a serious offence. If you are withdrawn from your course, you will no longer be a student. Your visa will no longer be valid, and the British government will force you to return home.

Short periods of absence

If you are unable to attend a class, for example because you are ill, you must inform your tutor as soon as possible using the online Report an Absence form.

Long periods of absence

If you need a longer period of time off from classes you may be granted ‘Leave of Absence’. This will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, such as the death of a close family member or a serious long-term illness. Please note that a Leave of Absence may have an impact on your visa.

For more information please see the University’s Leave of Absence Policy.

Absence for religious festivals

We welcome a diverse range of students from many countries and faiths, and we understand that some students may wish to return home to celebrate certain religious festivals or holidays.

If you wish to observe a religious festival during term time, your Faculty may authorise an absence from class if the time away from your studies is likely to be very short. Longer absences will require Leave of Absence permission, and may not be granted.

Alternatively, you may be able to celebrate locally – the University chaplain can help you find people from your faith who will be celebrating your religious festival in the Sunderland region.