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Pregnancy and parental absence

Parental absence during your studies

This page is for you who expects a child while studying, and wants to know more about parental absence. Here, you can read about the difference between parental absence and maternity/paternity leave, and learn who to contact at your programme. 

Parental absence vs. leave

It is important to know that there are major differences between parental absence and taking an official leave of absence from  your programme. Both options will be available to you when you expect a child, but consider which option is best for you.

Option 1: parental absence

If you choose parental absence (that is, without applying for a leave of absence) you will remain an active student. This means that you can continue to participate in classes or parts hereof, receive supervision or take exams, if you want. If you are receiving grants from the Danish State (SU), you can also continue to do so.

Option 2: Taking a leave

Students who are expecting a child before completing their study programme can take pregnancy or maternity leave.

You must apply for leave via STADS-selfservice (Administration - Leave). You must state that you wish to apply for substantiated leave of absence following childbirth and enclose documentation in the form of a birth certificate to your application.

Please be aware that during your leave of absence you cannot be an active student. This means that you cannot participate in classes, receive supervision or be an active member of any of the university’s governing bodies. It is also important to know that you will not be able to receive state grants (SU) during your leave.

You can take exams on a semester where you have been on leave, as long as your leave has officially ended before the time of the exam.

In addition, you should be aware that you cannot expect or demand upon your return to be enroled in the curriculum in which you were enroled prior to your leave of absence. You can find more information in the material provided on leave of absence.

Important to know about parental absence

You should be aware that you – with reference to your parental absence – in certain cases have to apply for an exemption.

  • To avoid deregistration from a bachelor or professional bachelor programme, in accordance with the Ministerial Order on University Examination and Grading, you must participate in all first-year exams – unless you are granted exemption herefrom.
  • To avoid deregistration from a bachelor or professional bachelor programme, in accordance with the Ministerial Order on University Examination and Grading, you must pass all first-year exams before the end of the second year of study (i.e. no later than 24 months after the commencement of study) – unless you are granted exemption herefrom.
  • Your enrolment will be terminated if you have not passed any exams in the past year, unless you are granted exemption herefrom.
  • To avoid using an exam attempt, in accordance with the Education Executive Order, you must hand in your master thesis before the set deadline – unless you are granted deadline extension (exemption). 

In addition to the above, individual curricula may have set deadlines for the completion of a given study programme and/or when exams must be passed. If so, you also need to apply for exemption from these deadlines with reference to your parental absence.

Who you need to submit your application for exemption to depends on the regulations from which you are applying for exemption.Therefore, you need to consult your faculty office. Give childbirth or pregnancy leave as the grounds for your application and enclose documentation for this in the form of a medical record and/or the child’s birth certificate. 

Please be aware of rules relating to your residence permit. Contact the Danish Immigration Service for more information.

Before you go on parental absence

In due time before your parental absence, you must inform your study secretary of the period you wish to be absent. You and your study secretary must make a study plan stating whether you will be attending all, some or none of your classes and which - if any - exams you wish to sign up for during your absence. There is no designated form for parental absence that you need to fill.