When do UK universities and colleges have holidays?

This week’s blogpost is in reply to a student who has asked about holidays at UK universities.

UK universities and colleges traditionally have a break three times during the academic year. As many international students are now discovering, one of these breaks is just about to start or may have already started at your institution. For students, the December / January break is often 3 to 4 weeks in length. It takes place when two key festivals occur in the UK – Christmas and New Year. Its exact start date and the date when you are due back to resume studies will vary from one institution to another so it’s important to check this if you plan to go off travelling for the period. If you are not travelling and intend to carry on with independent study during this period, you will need to check when any key buildings such as the library and computer workstations might be closed. They may be open for restricted hours during the vacation period but most will certainly be closed for a few key festival days. Teaching and administrative staff are generally still around and in their offices for a few days after most students have left for the vacation.

There is also a holiday in March / April. This falls around the time of Easter and varies slightly from one year to another. The summer holiday is the third and longest one although for many postgraduate students there are still dissertations to be written or PhD research work to be done during this period.

There are also a range of so-called Bank Holidays in the UK. These are one-day holidays which occur on a Monday so extend the weekend. If you would like to know when these occur in 2015, look on the official UK Government website.

Regarding public transport during vacation periods, if there is a local bus service which is run specifically for students attending your institution, you may find that once a vacation period begins, a new timetable applies. National public transport (long distance coach services and train services) do not operate on Christmas Day (25th December) and have restricted services on other feast days and/or bank holidays.

The Prepare for Success team would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas break and a peaceful new year!

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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4 Responses to When do UK universities and colleges have holidays?

  1. Yaw Boateng says:

    Thank you for this opportunity. Please I would like to know when is the graduation date (2017) for the postgraduate students in London Metropolitan University.
    Best regards.

  2. Kalibbala Evelyn Tracy says:

    thank you for this opportunity i would love to know when the university of greenwich is openning

  3. Nure Alam Howlader says:

    Dear Concern,

    I am interested to go study in Sheffield Hallam University for Masters program Sep,2019 – Sep,2020)
    I want to know about vacation time about this study time period.

    Thank You