skip to content

Postgraduate Study


Can I change my start date or defer my entry?

If you wish to change the start date of your course, you may be able to request a deferral.

You may only apply to defer your offer if you have applied for a research degree and you wish to change your start term within the same academic year. It's not possible to defer entry to the next academic year.

Possible start dates for research degrees are October, January and April. You may only defer your entry if your department accepts entries in these other terms. 

The majority of MPhil courses begin with taught elements, and only start in October. Because of this, deferral is not possible for these courses.

In general, if you wish to change your admission to the next academic year, you will need to make a new application. For courses with an application fee, a fee will be charged for this.

Note that you are not guaranteed an offer of a place in the later year. That will depend on the available academic resources and on competition, with your application considered against the other applications in that year. You should let your department know if it is your intention to reapply in this way.

If your need to delay admission to the next year is specifically caused by a disability or by pregnancy/maternity then you should talk to your department about this. Where appropriate, the department and Postgraduate Admissions Office will work with you, and in conjunction with your College and funder, to achieve the revised admission date.

How to change your start date if you have received an offer

If you no longer wish to start your course in the term for which you have received an offer, you may be able to request a deferral to a later term in the same academic year via your Self-Service page. This option will only appear if deferral for your course is possible.

You may also wish to contact your department, as they may have further advice on your deferral.

How to change your start date if your admission has been confirmed

If your admission has already been confirmed but you wish to request a deferral to another start date within the same academic year, you will need to contact us via the Submit a request form, as 'deferral' will not appear as an option in your Self-Service page.

For your deferral request to be processed, we will need to unconfirm your place. If your deferral is approved, you will be re-confirmed once any required updates have been made to your supporting documents.

If you have been issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to support a visa application but subsequently defer your offer, visa sponsorship will need to be withdrawn. If your visa has already been granted, it will be curtailed.

It is not possible to use the same visa to start your course at a different time. The visa fees, including the immigration health surcharge, are not refundable in these circumstances. A new CAS will be issued to support your visa application once the deferral is approved and you have been re-confirmed. If you have applied for your visa but the decision is pending, it is likely you will need to withdraw your application but you are advised to contact the International Student Office for further guidance. 

How to change your start date if you have not yet received an offer

If you have not yet received an offer but you wish to change the course start date, you will need to contact the department or faculty to make the request, as the deferral option is only available for applicants who have received an offer.

Approval of your deferral request

Your deferral will only be approved after agreement from each of the following:

  • department/faculty
  • degree committee
  • College
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office

If your deferral is approved, you will not normally have to resubmit any academic documents that you have already sent. Any scholarships that you have already been awarded will usually remain valid for the later start date, as long as you start your course before the end of April. However, you will need to consult your sponsor if you wish to defer your offer. You will not automatically be considered for any further scholarships.

If your deferral is approved, you may also be asked to provide an updated passport, ATAS certificate or language test, if any you have submitted previously will expire before your new start date. You will be notified via your self-service account if any of these are required.

If your deferral request is rejected by the department/faculty or degree committee, your place to study will be withdrawn. If your deferral request is rejected by the College, your application will automatically be sent to another College for consideration.

Deferral request deadline

Please note that there are deadlines in place for each term. If you wish to be considered for a deferral, your request must be submitted before the following dates:

  • 14 January 2023 - deferring from Lent 2023 to Easter 2023
  • 7 October 2023 - deferring from Michaelmas 2023 to Lent 2024 and Easter 2024
  • 14 January 2024 - deferring from Lent 2024 to Easter 2024

Applications for deferrals past these dates cannot be considered.