Frequently Asked Questions on Student Guidance

We have detailed most of our frequently asked questions here to try to answer some of the queries that we received on a regular basis.

If you are still unsure of the answer to your query please contact your Student Guidance Advisor via email

If your query is specifically relating to immigration or visa advice, please contact one of our International Student Advisors by emailing or calling Stoke 01782 294711.

What can I do if I fail a module?

If you have not passed the module on the first attempt you may be granted a referral (resit).  This may depend on your level of engagement on this module.  The maximum mark you are able to achieve for any referral assessment is 4R, unless a extenuating circumstances claim has been upheld against the assessment.

If you have failed the module at the final attempt and this is a Core module, you will have failed the award.   However, you may be able to continue on your current modules to achieve as many credits as possible during the year, please speak to a Guidance Advisor to see if this applies.  You may be able to transfer to a different award, if you wish to do this; you should seek advice from your award leader and/or Student Guidance Advisor.

If you have failed the module at the final attempt and this is an Award Specific or General Option you may be able to ‘replace’ the module during the next academic year (with attendance) but the maximum mark you are able to achieve for this module would be capped at a grade point 4R.

How many credits do I need to achieve to progress to the next level?

Please follow the link to page 28 Academic Award Regulations (PDF, file size: 464.02KB) : 

If the placement is a mandatory part of your award, you must normally have passed the placement before progressing to the next level of your award.

If you have failed to meet these requirements for progression, you may be allowed to enroll as a part-time student on your award and attempt retrieval of the failed modules during the following year.

Some awards accredited by professional bodies may have more stringent progression regulations, which will be detailed in the relevant award handbook.

Progression for Part-time Students

If you are a part-time student you may need to study modules at a mix of Levels depending on the structure of your award and on the availability of modules. In such cases, progression between levels may not always be in line with the above table. However, the Award Board will determine your eligibility to enrol on further modules, taking into account any credits you may be trailing to ensure that your workload does not become unmanageable.

Can I get help with referencing my work?

Please follow the link to RefZone this will help you with all your referencing needs throughout your studies at Staffordshire University... 

Can I extend the time I take to complete a part-time award?

Can I extend the time I take to complete a part-time award?

For information about the amount of time you can spend completing a part-time award please see page 14 of the Academic Award Regulations (PDF, file size: 464.02KB) .

Can I get any extra help with my studies?

Can I get any extra help with my studies?
Extra help is available through the Study Skills Centres:

If you require extra help with English Language this may be provided by the English Language Centre and Paul Toft, Senior Lecturer, email would be able to provide information about the help available.

Your module tutors, award leaders and personal tutors should also be able to provide extra help and you should email them explaining your concern and about asking for an appointment.

How do I go about getting relevant work experience for my course?

This would depend which Award you were enrolled on.  Some of the Awards are delivered on a sandwich basis which means you could undertake a work placement on completion of Level 5

The Careers Centres may also be able to help you find a suitable part-time job in line with your studies and you can access information about them through their webpage.

Is it possible to transfer to another award if I think I have made the wrong choice?

Yes, this may be possible; all you need to do is to talk to the Award Leader of the new Award that you wish to transfer to and to get approval from them. You would then need to complete an Internal Award Transfer form to allow the transfer to go ahead. Please email a Student Guidance Advisor at

What do I need to do to transfer out to another institution?

You need to talk to the new university of your choice first of all. It is then most likely that they will ask you to re-apply through UCAS. Once you are accepted at the new university you will need to discuss your transfer with your Award Leader or Student Guidance Advisor to complete a transfer form.

Why do we have to complete attendance registration forms?

If you are an overseas student on a Student Visa, then this is to comply with the Home Office and UKBA regulations to confirm that you are fully engaged with your studies. If you are a Home / EU student, then this is to confirm that you are fully engaged with your studies and therefore eligible for your student funding.

I cannot get in for the attendance sign in deadline – what do I do?

Please inform the Information Points as soon as possible.  If you are unwell and unable to get in touch yourself, please ask someone to contact us on your behalf. 

Please can you explain the appeals process if I missed my sign in deadline?

Should you wish to appeal against being withdrawn from your award through non-completion of the attendance sign in process, you should complete the appeal form attached to your withdrawal notification email (copies of the appeal form can also be collected from the Information Points). This should be submitted, in accordance with the appeal submission instructions detailed in your email, before the stated submission deadline. You can ask your Award Leader/Tutor to add any comments to your form in support of your appeal. If you have any supplementary supporting evidence, you can submit this along with your appeal form. If you missed the sign in deadline because of illness, a self-certification form is required for the first five working days and a doctor’s note will be required for any periods of illness longer than this.

What do I do if I am not well and miss my lectures?

Please inform the relevant Tutor of your absence as soon as possible. If you are not well enough to get in touch yourself, please ask someone to contact us on your behalf. Contact details are in your Faculty Student Handbook.

Do I need a Doctor’s note if I am not well?

If you are ill for a period of 5 working days or less (not including weekends), and absent from University then you should complete and hand in a self-certification form upon your return to University. If illness prevents you from attending University for more than 5 working days, then a relevant Doctor’s note should be provided.

Where do I go to speak to someone about some personal issues that are affecting my studies?

Unfortunately there is no ‘pause button’ to put life on hold whilst you are studying, and personal circumstances which can interfere with your studies may crop up from time to time. If this is the case then we have a wide range of support services here at the University to help you (for example, Counselling, Specialist Student Advice and more). A full list and further details of each of our services can be found at University Services. If you are not sure which service you need, then contact your Student Guidance Advisor who will be happy to spend some time talking things through with you and can signpost you to the most relevant service(s) to assist you. You may also wish to consider submitting an Extenuating Circumstances claim if you feel your assessments are being adversely affected by circumstances outside of your influence.

I need help with the Extenuating Circumstances form

If you are making an application for Extenuating Circumstances and need help with completing the application then you can contact either a Student Guidance Advisor or our Students’ Union Advice Centre on 01782 294469 (Stoke) or 01785 353425 (Stafford). Staff will be happy to assist you with any queries that you have in relation to completing the online form. If you are studying either on campus, by distance learning or at one of our UK partnership organisations you can access the extenuating circumstances application via the My Modules and Assessment tab in e:VisionStaffs Portal.

How do I complete an Extenuating Circumstance form?

If you are studying either on campus, by distance learning or at one of our UK partnership organisations you can access the Extenuating Circumstances application via the My Modules and Assessment tab in e:VisionStaffs Portal where you will be guided through the on-line process. If you have any queries about completing the form or don’t know what evidence you need to provide to support your claim, please email a Student Guidance Advisor for assistance at

Will applying for Extenuating Circumstances for mitigation mean that I will be awarded a higher mark for my work?

If your claim for mitigation is upheld and you have already passed your assessments, you will be given a ‘Further Assessment Opportunity’, known as an ’FAO’. This gives you the opportunity to resubmit the piece of work or resit an exam as if for the first time and without penalty, so that your mark is not capped at GP4 as it would be if it was a normal referral.

You do not have to take up the offer of an FAO if you are satisfied with the mark you have already achieved. If you choose to take up the FAO and achieve a higher mark than the original, the higher mark will be accepted as your final mark. If the mark is lower than the original mark, then your original mark will be accepted as the final mark.

Will applying for Extenuating Circumstances for late submission mean that I can submit the work when I want to?

Students are not automatically allowed extra working days from the original deadline to submit their work. This will very much depend upon the nature and longevity of their extenuating circumstances.

If you are claiming for “Late Submission” you should hand in your work as soon as you can but within 5 working days of the original deadline as a maximum.

The Extenuating Circumstances Panel will make a decision based on when your extenuating circumstances happened and the date that you submitted your work.

For example, if a student provided evidence showing that their Extenuating Circumstances had only applied for a 2 day period, then it would be unfair to uphold a claim when the student has submitted their work 5 working days after the original deadline.  The student would be expected to submit their work very shortly after the 2 day period had elapsed.

However, if a student provides evidence of the impact of a recent death of a close family relative on their studies, it would be reasonable to uphold a claim for late Extenuating Circumstances if the student has submitted their work 5 working days late as the impact would have been for at least a comparable amount of time.

What does “intermitting” mean?

Intermitting means that students take a break from their studies because of illness, financial or personal reasons for example.  A student can intermit at any point during the academic year.  During the intermission period you remain as a student at the University and can continue using the University facilities such as the library, Students Union, Careers etc but you cannot attend any classes or submit work whilst intermitting.  You do not have to re-apply for your course when you are due to return and your period of intermission ends.  Your faculty will contact you with regards to returning to study when your expected return date is due.

If you would like to intermit, follow the steps below...

  • Before you do anything else, seek advice, guidance and information on available options from a Student Guidance Advisor.

  • Log onto the e:VisionStaffs Portal, go to the 'My Course' section and under the 'Thinking about leaving, changing your course or study mode or having a break from your course', click on the contact form and complete the details requested.

I have been excluded for tuition fee debts. What should I do?

If you have been excluded for tuition fee debts you should have received an email from the University Finance Department informing you of this.

Consideration to cancel your exclusion can only be taken once the full amount outstanding has been paid.

Students who can pay should do so straight away and let the person taking the payment know so that the exclusion should be lifted allowing you to be reinstated.

If you feel that this course of action is not justified you should write to the Head of Accounts Payable and Receivable, Ms. Keziah Dewing, outlining the grounds for your appeal.  Ms. Dewing will consider your appeal as quickly as possible.

If you wish to contact Ms. Dewing by email, you can do so at  Any posted correspondence should be addressed to Ms. K Dewing, Financial Services, PO Box 361, Stafford, ST16 9EF

When will I receive my University bursary?

We offer a range of bursaries to help support your studies. Whatever your background we are confident that our new fee and access policy is fair and makes university an affordable option. You apply for the University Bursary when you apply for your Loans and Grants. This data is passed to the University and we assess your entitlement. Letters confirming your bursary will be sent out by November each year. If you are expecting a bursary but do not receive a letter by the end of November, please call into the Information Points at Stoke, Stafford or Shrewsbury. Bursary payments are made at the end of March and the end of May

Visit our Fees and Funding pages for more information regarding our University Bursaries.

All payments will be subject to satisfactory engagement and/or attendance and progress by the student.

It is important to note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not mean an automatic entitlement to a scholarship and/or other University financial support.

How can I check on the progress of an appeal/complaint I submitted recently?

Please refer to the regulations here (PDF, file size: 464.02KB) . You will receive a decision letter within 25 working days for an appeal or within 20 working days for a complaint” (from the date you submitted the completed appeal or complaint including evidence, if you are unable to provide evidence requested this may cause a delay in the processing of your appeal or complaint). If this date has passed you can email to enquire about the delay.

Nursing Specific - I’ve been given a 3rd retake but I’ve been made part-time/ intermitted. Why do I have to be intermitted/part-time and how does this affect my NHS funding?

This is due to NMC regulations which stipulate that you cannot continue into the next level of your award for longer than 12 weeks carrying a referral. Similarly, if you have over 30 CAT points of referrals you cannot progress to the next level. As there is no requirement to attend other than for tutorial support, your NHS bursary would stop from the time you are made part-time until you are able to return full-time. Therefore, it is advisable to seek finance guidance from the Students' Union Advice Centre

Nursing Specific - I’m studying a degree at staffs, but I want to transfer to social work or a health professions award. What is the process?

If you are already a student at Staffs, due to professional regulations for these awards you would still need to apply via UCAS and undertake the full application process. Due to professional regulations, these awards do not accept internal transfers. In addition, the funding for these awards is also different, therefore if you would like further information on the process  please contact a Student Guidance Advisor via


Nursing Specific - I’m currently intermitting from Health professions award (nursing / midwifery / odp) but I’m thinking of returning – what do I need to do?

If you are currently intermitting but wishing to return to study you will need to contact your award leader. The award leader will be able to let you know an appropriate time to rejoin. In addition, all health professional awards need CRB and Occupational Health clearance prior to return if more than 3 months has elapsed since you intermitted. Therefore you should also aim to contact your award leader at least 3 months prior to your intention to return in order for arrangements to be made for you to complete a CRB and OH check so that you are able to undertake any placement allocation once rejoined.