I have a disability, due to a severe mental health condition, which is covered under the Equality Act, and I also receive DSA for.
I completed a foundation year - full time 2015/16 - and received a loan/grant for tuition fees and maintenance.
I have now commenced 1st year of undergraduate - full time 2016/17.
*My disability has now deteriorated, which is affecting attendance and studies.
*I could attend/study equivalent to part-time but not to the level required for full-time, at the moment but with additional medical treatment I foresee that this current deterioration will be overcome in a couple of months.
My questions are;
* 1) By taking a leave of absence, my course would require me to *recommence the first year of the course in 2017/16.
If I had medical evidence approved by SFE under exceptional circumstances, would this constitute as my gift year?
* 2) If medical evidence was approved, is there the possibility to transfer to part-time study, temporarily, but not lose the funding awarded for full-time study, for this current year?
* I am confident my consultant would support the importance, for me to continue part-time rather than taking a leave of absence.
Taking a break would inhibit recovery and make it highly probable that it would jeopardise my return at a later date and therefore obtaining a degree.
It is important that I 'ride out' this current deterioration but to ensure that stresses are significantly reduced, part-time study should meet this requirement. *
I appreciate extenuating circumstances is another option, but I am a mature student, live on my own, and have a mortgage to pay. I have to work during the summer period or it will put me into financial difficulty.
Having extenuating circumstances would cause a knock on effect for semester 2, and require that I be granted extenuating circumstances again. *This would then impact on the length of period I could gain employment for and therefore put me into financial difficulty. *Additional funding from the university would not compensate to cover financial obligations.
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