Fitness to Study

Fitness to Study is a process around serious health concerns and academic work.

vp access and academic affairs advicevp welfare and equal opportunities advice

Key information

Fitness to study | University of Oxford 

Each College will have a Fitness to Study policy and procedure. It can be found on the College website, your student handbook or by asking the College Office. It is important to have a copy of this policy if you are subject to the procedure so you can understand the different stages and what you may be asked to do. If you need help finding or navigating the process then email us.

The Fitness to Study process usually starts at College level and is initiated if a College feels a student is not meeting certain academic demands. These can include meeting deadlines or consistently attaining below a certain mark for assessments, or can be based around behaviours. It can also be used if there are concerns about a student returning to study after a period of time away, for example a student who wants to return from suspension, but the College has concerns around their emotional or physical wellbeing and ability to study.

There is also a University level Fitness to Study Panel which convenes in cases where the College process has been exhausted. Being involved in this process is rare, but is a possibility in all Fitness to Study cases.

Understandably, the whole Fitness to Study process can cause students a great deal of concern and anxiety. If you would like help and support from Student Advice then drop us an email. The earlier in the process we hear from you, the more support we can offer. Student Advice is a non-judgemental, impartial service and we will only ask you facts around what has happened.


A first step in preparing for a Fitness to Study meeting with your College could be to try to locate your College’s Fitness to Study policy and procedure so you can understand where in the process you are. If you need help with this, email us. It is useful if you can tell us the answers to the following questions in your email:

  • What has happened?
  • What have you done so far?
  • What outcome are you hoping for from the situation?

If you have a University Fitness to Study Panel and you know when it is going to be held, try to make an appointment with one of our advisors as soon as possible. Let us know the date and time of the Panel. It is really helpful if you can share a short summary of the background to your case by email ahead of the appointment. If you do not feel comfortable sharing this information, that is ok. We can speak to you at the appointment.


Book an SU Advice appointment

Student Advice is the only independent advice and information service exclusively available to Oxford University Students. Our advisors are working remotely at the moment due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and are offering advice by email. We will do our best to reply to you within 2 working days. You can call us during term time. Please also check here updates to our service.

Advice on the Phone (term time only)

10.30am-12.30pm - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in term time.

Call an advisor 07436225637 or 07436225630. We'll have an initial chat with you about what you need.