Break in learning

Find out more about taking a break in learning during your apprenticeship, and the scenarios and criteria required for taking official leave from your studies.

What is a break in learning?

A break in learning is an authorised break in your training where you are not continuing with your apprenticeship. If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions, then this would constitute as a Break in learning:

  • Is it your decision to take a break in learning?
  • Will the break last for more than 4 weeks?
  • Has your employer agreed to the break in learning?
  • Do you plan to return to the same apprenticeship after your break in learning?
  • Do you intend to stay with your current employer while having a break from the training?
  • Does your employer agree that you can return to the apprenticeship with them after your break in training?

You may be eligible for a break in learning if you:

  • have a documented personal or medical reason which is making it difficult for you to engage with and focus on your training
  • are going on a period of maternity or paternity leave.

A short-term absence (less than 4 weeks), annual leave and public holidays would not be classed as a break in learning. A break in learning longer than 12 months is not allowed.

While you’re on a break in learning, you will not be able to access any University resources such as attending lectures, placements, laboratories, workshops etc. Access to the University’s IT Services and the library, however, is still possible.

Deciding if you should take a break in learning

When making your decision, it’s important that you discuss your options with your employer apprentice mentor, line manager and workplace tutor. A break in learning should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted.

If you decide that a break in learning is required, you should try and apply before the start date of the authorised absence wherever possible, and no later than one month after the proposed start date.

How to apply for a break in learning

If your course leader and employer agree that a break in learning is the best option for you, you will need to email to inform them. In this email, you will need to include:

  1. The date in which you intend to start your break in learning.
  2. The date in which you intend to return to your apprenticeship (this can change but it will help us to prepare for your return).
  3. An alternative email address as your NTU email may not be accessible.
  4. Confirmation from your employer and course team that they support your request – this could be as simple as copying them in to the email.

Once the apprenticeships team has this information, they will reply to confirm that your apprenticeship training is on a formal break.

In the event that your break in learning application is unlikely to be authorised (by your employer and / or course team) before an assessment decision, then please follow the NEC process.

Returning to your study after a break in learning

Before you return to your apprenticeship training, your course leader will send you two recall emails asking you to confirm your return. If you fail to respond, they will notify the NTU Apprenticeships Team who will engage with your employer to prompt a response.

Where possible, you will have the same workplace tutor, unless personnel have changed or left the University.

To be re-instated, you need to ensure that you have fulfilled any conditions of return as outlined in your authorisation email.

If the reason for your break in learning was medical, you will need to provide confirmation that you are fit to study, details of which will be in your authorisation email.

  • Last updated: 05/12/2022