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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

 
Stopwatch cradled in a hand

Research question

What is the relationship between intermission and extended period of study, and which is more appropriate to support the academic performance of disabled students with mental health conditions?

See also the Double Time project

 

Project team

  • Jess O'Brien, undergraduate student reading Law

 

Project report

Report: Intermission & EPS Project (PDF)

 

Abstract

Intermission - taking time out of your studies for medical or other serious reasons - is a common practice for students with mental illness who are no longer able to manage their workload. This project explored the extent to which this practice may be overused or misapplied.

Extension to Period of Study (EPS) - known colloquially as 'Double Time' - might be considered a more appropriate, less damaging and more long-term solution for a significant number of students who currently choose to intermit. This project found that intermission was clearly not the correct solution for all students who had intermitted, and in many cases students feel that intermission could have been prevented with other measures.

Some students may intermit as an informal method of accessing EPS. This seems to be a particular issue for students whose disability does not cease to affect them after one year, and thus is still a factor upon their return from intermission.

Most students who might consider accessing EPS were unaware of it as an option before interacting with this research. The University may want to consider alternative solutions to intermission, including EPS, and finding mechanisms to make these more widely known and available to students.