Student attendance and engagement policy

Updated on 30 August 2022

This policy provides the framework for student attendance and engagement.

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This policy applies across all schools and all years of study for students undertaking all modes of study e.g. taught undergraduate and taught postgraduate, including distance learning*.  The University has additional responsibilities for monitoring international students who are studying in the UK on a Student visa. Attendance and engagement is directly linked to conditions of the study visa, which is issued by the UK Government. Section 6 provides more details.

*Specific attendance and engagement requirements for postgraduate researcher students are outlined in the University’s Research Degree Quality Code.  


The University has adopted a blended approach to teaching and learning for most of the on-campus, taught provision. The teaching delivery focusses on on-campus small group and practical teaching, and a mix of in-person and online delivery of lectures and other larger group teaching which is discipline-dependent. 

The University is committed to supporting students to complete their programmes of study and attain the best possible academic outcome. As part of this, it is important that student engagement with all aspects of their programme is encouraged and monitored so that any difficulties can be identified and supported. 

The University is also committed to providing a positive learning environment for all students and extends this commitment to ensure an appropriate response in circumstances where a student’s level of attendance and/or engagement is a concern. Wherever possible, the University will provide support mechanisms for those students with difficulties in attending and/or engagement, including through appropriate and timely referrals to relevant support services. 

The University will consider flexibility in attendance requirements for students in protected groups, including making reasonable adjustments for disabled students where possible, in line with its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010). Such flexibility will take account of students’ individual circumstances and any supportive evidence provided. 

Students should contact their School as soon as possible should they anticipate any difficulties in meeting attendance and engagement requirements associated with their programme or studies. 

Attendance and engagement monitoring requirements 

  1. Students are required to attend all centrally timetabled scheduled teaching events (where this is a feature of the study programme) in all years of study unless flexibility in attendance has been approved for an individual student as part of their individual learning plan by their School. 
  2. Schools will monitor attendance on campus and engagement online for all centrally timetabled teaching events across all years of study. 
  3. Schools with programmes accredited by professional bodies (e.g. Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing ) will align the approach with their regulatory requirements, e.g. this may require additional monitoring of learning, teaching and assessment activities. 
  4. The threshold for intervention is when a student’s attendance at centrally timetabled scheduled teaching events drops below 80%. For accredited programmes this may be higher. 
  5. Where a student’s attendance or engagement falls below the threshold within a 7-day period, the student will be alerted. If the student’s attendance or engagement continues to fall below the threshold after 14 days, there will be a further alert. After 21 days, a member of academic staff will make contact to offer support. Such intervention will include directing students to appropriate sources of support, including that available through the Support Hub, Academic Skills Centre and DUSA.
  6. For students who hold a Student visa (formerly Tier 4), poor attendance and engagement can have potentially serious implications because the UK Government attach conditions to the visa which must be fulfilled. These conditions include the requirement for regular attendance and engagement in all aspects of learning and study. The University has a legal responsibility to record and report attendance and engagement to the Home Office.

International students

International students on a student visa will be contacted by the Immigration Compliance Team when:

  1. Engagement drops to 50% within a 7-day period. At this point students will be reminded of the study conditions attached to the visa and given 7 days to increase the level of engagement. There will also be an offer of support to help students to re-engage with learning and teaching.
  2. Engagement is consistently below 50% within a 14-day period. Students in this category will be invited to meet with the Immigration Compliance Team to discuss the situation, to be offered support and to have outlined the impact of continued non-engagement on the study visa.
  3. Continued non-engagement beyond the 14 days. This is serious and can lead to withdrawal from studies. The Immigration Compliance Team will report this to the Home Office and this could result in cancellation of the Student visa. At this stage students would need to return to their home country.

Attendance and engagement capture 

The University uses the SEAtS functionality to enable students to check into each on-campus or online centrally timetabled scheduled teaching event (where this is a feature of their programme of studies). The SEAtS mobile app is available as a download for iOS and Android devices from the App Store and Google Play. 

Learn about installing and using the SEAtS mobile app

Students and staff can record attendance using the SEAtS mobile app connected to low-energy Bluetooth beacons installed in teaching spaces. For online activities the SEAtS functionality enables students to confirm their attendance when participating at an online timetable teaching event. 

Students can view and monitor their own attendance and engagement statistics in a dashboard via the SEAtS app. Staff can also view student attendance and engagement data in the SEAtS app and use this to monitor activity and make interventions. 

Data protection 

The University is committed to storing and using your personal data securely, see our data protection pages. Also see Registry Privacy Notice.

Approved by the Learning and Teaching Committee (May 2016, August 2020, September 2021)
[Video added to page September 2022]

Corporate information category Governance