Leave of absence

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    Taking a break

    A leave gives you the option to take a break before completing your studies. If you are enrolled ordinarily as a full-time student  at Aalborg University, you can be granted leave from your programme for a shorter or longer period of time.

    Leave is always granted for a certain period which, however, can be extended if you continue to be entitled to leave. You cannot apply for leave retroactively.

    Leave is either granted as substantiated leave or unsubstantiated leave. Application for unsubstantiated leave does not require documentation for the grounds for leave.

    If you have been on unsubstantiated leave for a period of time and are able to provide documentation that you would have had a right to substantiated leave, you can subsequently apply for a convertion of your leave period into substantiated leave.

    If you are a non-EU student, you should note that the University is obligated to actively inform the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration when you are granted leave.

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    Applying for leave

    You apply for leave via STADS-selfservice (Administration - Leave). 

    Note that you will not be eligible for SU (Danish state grants) while on leave.

    Leave can be granted from a day of your choice, but no earlier than the date we receive your application for leave. Therefore, leave cannot be granted retroactively. If your application for leave is approved, Study Service will send a leave approval letter to your AAU e-mail.

    When your leave ends, you are automatically and without further notice again considered an enrolled, active student in the programme from which you have been on leave. You continue studying in accordance with the rules that are in force at this time.

    Apply for leave in STADS-selfservice

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    Unsubstantiated leave

    You have a right to a maximum of 12 months’ unsubstantiated leave from your study programme.

    These 12 months can be divided into a maximum of three leave periods of which each must meet the minimum requirement of two months leave which cannot, however, encompass the months of July and August solely.

    You cannot be granted unsubstantiated leave:

    • If you have exhausted your right hereto.
    • If Aalborg University has given notice that the programme you are enrolled in is to be closed  
    • If you are enrolled in a bachelor or profession bachelor programme and you have failed to complete and pass the first year of study (the first two semesters).
    • If you are enrolled in a master’s programme and you have failed to complete and pass the first semester.
    • If you are enrolled in a master’s programme and you have passed all exams, except the exams, which in accordance with the given curriculum are placed in the last semester of of the master´s programme. 
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    Substantiated leave

    You can always be granted (substantiated) leave under special circumstances, including:

    Own illness You can be granted leave if you are suffering from illness that prevent you from being an active student. If you want to apply for leave due to illness, you need to submit a medical certificate written by a physician. In this certificate, your physician must state that you are unable to study due to illness, and estimate the period of time you have to be on leave.

    You have a right to a maximum of 12 months’ leave due to pregnancy or adoption. For fathers, the maximum is six months. For mothers, your leave can start from six weeks before the expected time of birth. For fathers, your leave can start from the time of birth. For both mothers and fathers, your leave can end no later than 12 months after the date of birth or adoption. If you want to apply for leave due to pregnancy or adoption, you must submit documentation, which can be a medical record, birth certificate, or other relevant documents.

    Military service You can be granted leave if you have to serve in the military. This includes service connected to international military operations and conscientious objector service. If you want to apply for leave due to military service, you must submit documentation, which can be a certificate from the draft board, a contract, call-up papers, or other relevant documentation.
    Caretaking of close relatives You can be granted leave if you have to take care of close relatives who are handicapped, critically ill, or dying. We consider parents, grandparents, children and spouse/cohabiting partner to be close relatives, although we also in certain cases accept other persons to be close relatives. You need to provide documentation that the person you need to take care of is a close relative, and that he or she is in need of care in a specific or expected period of time. You also need to document that you will be the primary person caring for your relative.
    Other special circumstances You can also be granted leave due to other special circumstances that justifies leave. Such circumstances must prevent you from being an active student, and are typically not self-imposed. You need to provide documentation showing special circumstances.
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    the effects of leave

    While being on leave, you continue to be enrolled in your study programme. However, leave does have a series of consequences, including your opportunities to participate in activities at Aalborg University.

    Normally, students’ residence permits will be withdrawn in the leave period. Please contact the Danish Immigration Service for more information.
    Classes While being on leave you cannot be active in your study programme. This means that you cannot participate in classes, hand in written assignments for marking or receive supervision.
    Furthermore, while on leave you cannot be enrolled in other Danish higher education programmes, including equivalent continuing education programmes.
    Examination While being on leave you cannot participate in exams in your programme. This is also the case in regards to re-examinations.
    Finances You cannot receive any study grants or loans (SU, Danish state education grants or loans) in the leave period.
    If you receive grants or loans from you home country, you need to contact the institution in question for more information on the consequences of leave.
    Accommodation Leave may affect your accommodation if you live in students accommodation/residence halls. Please contact your accommodation office for more information.
    Restarting your studies after leave

    You have a right to a student place when you return from leave. But you do not necessarily have the right to complete the programme in accordance with the curriculum in force at the time you went on leave.

    Political work During the leave period you cannot vote for, accept election for, or be a member of The Board of Directors, Academic Councils, Ph.D. Committees, Department Committees and Board of Studies at Aalborg University. However, in case your leave period has come to an end by the time the term of office begins, you may apply for permission to accept election to one or more of the bodies mentioned above.
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    Alternatives to leave

    If you believe that you will be unable to complete your study programme in time due to pregnancy, illness or other special circumstances, you do not necessarily have to apply for leave. 

    If special circumstances caused you to be delayed in your programme, you can apply for an exemption from deadlines, including submission deadlines.

    Normally, special circumstances include illness, parental leave, adoption, compulsory military service, conscientious objector service, and UN service on the basis of a contract with the Danish Defence.

    In some cases, special circumstances also include caretaking of close relatives, who are handicapped, critically ill or dying - and other circumstances which reasonably can be said to prevent or have prevented you involuntarily from being an active student.


    If you wish to avoid the consequences of leave, another alternative is to deregister from the programme in question and subsequently apply for re-admission.

    In this case, however, you should be aware that once you deregister, you are not guaranteed a student place if you want to complete your studies later on.

    Please note that you cannot be re-admitted sooner than 5 months after your deregistration, and that you can only be re-admitted at the beginning of a semester - i.e. 1 February and 1 September respectively.

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    Ending or extending your leave

    If you wish to extend your leave period or deregister from university before the end of your leave period, you must apply for leave or request withdrawal/deregistration via STADS-selfservice (Administration - Leave or Request withdrawal).

    If you wish, you can end your leave before time by contacting Study Service in writing. However, your leave period can be of no less than two months, and the leave period cannot, as a result of ending before time, include only July and August. You also need to know that your leave cannot be annulled retroactively.

    contact study service

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    Legal framework for leave at AAU

    Find more information about lega framwework for leave at AAU here: 

    Legal framework for leave at AAU