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Centre of Development Studies


Leave to Work Away

Registered postgraduate students need to apply for Leave to Work Away if at any time you plan to work away from Cambridge to conduct fieldwork, undertake work directly related to your studies or "write up" prior to submission of your thesis. 

You do not need to apply for short trips (up to 2 weeks) but you must apply for any period longer than this, even if you are returning home. 

**For trips less than 2 weeks you must still complete a Risk Assessment form.**

Risk Assessment forms and advice for completion are available on Moodle: PhD Development Studies Moodle It is essential that you follow the instructions on completing your Risk Assessment. Failure to complete a Risk Assessment with adequate detail can result in lengthy delays and may affect the date you are able to begin your research.

It is very important that the University has a record of where you are when not in Cambridge. For those students sponsored under Tier 4, it is absolutely essential.

You should not consider leaving Cambridge without having received notification by email from the Student Registry that your application to work away has been approved. 

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the Leave to Work Away is approved. Please apply well ahead of going on your fieldwork trip (a recommended 3 months ahead) to make sure that the whole process is completed before you go.

You are responsible for tracking your LTWA application on CamSIS self-service. The application goes first to the supervisor for approval, then to the Department (PhD Administrator, on behalf of the Centre Director), to the College, Degree Committee, and finally, to the Student Registry. 

It is very important that you keep a close eye on your application via your self-service as the University Fieldwork Fund administrator will not consider your application for funds if your leave has not been approved before you go on a fieldwork trip. 

Please read our Central POLIS Graduate Resources Webpage carefully to make sure that you fully understand the Department procedures concerning Leave to Work Away, Fieldwork and Fieldwork Funding. The Central POLIS Graduate Resources Webpage will be updated regularly to reflect any changes that are made to the procedures. 

Leave to Work Away for Writing Up

Students may apply via Camsis self-service for Leave to Work Away to return home to write up their thesis. If they are returning to their home country, they do not usually need to complete a Risk Assessment. A Risk Assessment will be required if they intend to write up in any other country, including if they have a residency visa for that country.

Leave to Work Away for Corrections

Students may return home to carry out corrections after their Viva examination, before their Viva outcome is approved. The PhD Administrator should be notified if they intend to return home. 

The Viva outcome needs to be approved by Executive Committee, Degree Committee and Board of Graduate Studies. (After 1 October 2020, it will need to be approved by Executive Committee and Degree Committee only). Once it has been approved by BGS, students should then apply on Camsis self-service for LTWA to carry out their corrections, (even if they are already in their home country).

The time allowed for corrections begins from the date that BGS approves the Viva outcome. Students should count on from the BGS approval date (3 months for minor corrections and 6 months for major corrections) to calculate the due date for their corrected thesis to be sent to the examiner.



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