Sabbatical Leave and Leave of Absence

Sabbatical Leave and Leave of Absence

Sabbatical Leave

Swansea University recognises sabbatical leave as integral to research and as equally important to the enhancement of teaching quality and innovation. The University is fully committed, within available resources, to supporting applications for sabbatical leave, with or without pay, as part of the development of the research profile and programmes of staff.

Sabbatical leave is a period during which you are free from all teaching and administrative duties in order to further research or scholarship that delivers the University and College’s strategic objectives. Sabbaticals can be funded by the university or via external sources and you remain a salaried employee of Swansea University during the sabbatical leave.

Process and Criteria

As part of the induction process and during regular professional development review meetings you should be informed of any eligibility to apply for sabbatical leave.  Your aspirations and intended outcomes for sabbatical leave should also be discussed.

Only the Head of School and Director of Research, or an appropriate panel is authorised to approve sabbatical leave. The School will normally cover any incurred costs associated with the sabbatical leave, unless external funding is obtained.  School Business Plans should address sabbatical leave priorities and any associated provision of cover.


Your eligibility to sabbatical leave is not automatic but based on the merits of a proposal, its specified objectives and its planned outputs. 

Sabbatical leave will normally, but not exclusively, be granted for one of the following purposes:

  • Undertaking research or scholarly work either within SU or elsewhere, e.g. through visiting institutions, facilities or libraries in other parts of the UK or abroad;
  • Undertaking research or scholarly work which requires study for a particular defined period;
  • Completion of a book or substantial monograph;
  • Assuming a temporary position with another institution in this country or overseas;
  • Entrepreneurial activities involved in knowledge or technology transfer;
  • Action research and client-focussed research;
  • Consultancy
  • Income generation for research;
  • Working with external agencies in research-user networks;
  • Impact and Pedagogy research

There is a clear expectation that sabbatical leave should strengthen the implementation of the University’s Research Strategy and its submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF).  In particular Research active staff applying for sabbatical leave will be expected to be returned in the REF.  All research outputs are expected to be of a 3* / 4* standard.

The length of the sabbatical is flexible and will be considered and agreed as part of the approval process. It should reflect the strategic significance of agreed outcomes.

For further details on how to apply, eligibility criteria and process, please read the Sabbatical Leave Policy .

Leave of Absence

You are eligible to apply for leave of absence in order to accept invitations to work in, advise or consult for, other institutions, provided that such absences are reasonable.  Absences for other reasons will be considered on their merit, in terms of professional development, equal opportunities or academic advantage to the University.

Further information

Sabbatical Leave Policy
Sabbatical Leave Procedure and Application Form
Leave of Absence Eligibility  
Leave of Absence Form