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Exemptions

If you find yourself in an unusual situation that prevents you from complying with the rules of your degree programme, you can apply to the board of studies for dispensation. Dispensation may relate to the rules about the number of examination attempts, the conditions for an examination as described in your academic regulations, or the maximum period of study.

Find the academic regulations for your degree programme here.

The board of studies may grant dispensation from rules in the academic regulations that have been determined by the university only when exceptional circumstances apply. So to enable the board of studies to assess your application, it is important that you state the reasons for your application and enclose relevant documentation for the exceptional circumstances in question.

NB: If you want to apply for admission to a study program, you have previously been enrolled in, you must apply via Admission at AU (Form F)

How to apply

Find the application form in the right-hand column on mit.au.dk (self-service)

It is a good idea to contact a student counsellor before applying for dispensation. Your student counsellor can help you to get a clear idea of your situation and give you the best possible basis for making your decision. Find your student counsellor

Applications must be submitted via mit.au (self-service): Application for exemption

As a minimum your application must:

  1. Be submitted in writing, stating the reasons for the application
  2. State the rule to which your application relates, as well as what you wish to achieve
  3. Include documentation for the exceptional circumstances that justify the application
  4. Include your name and student registration number

Remember to save your receipt
You will receive a receipt on your AU mail. The receipt is your proof that you have submitted your application.

Keep an eye on your AU email
If the board of studies have any questions or need further details, they will contact you via your AU email address. If you don't answer, your application will be treated on the basis of the information you have submitted.

Response to your application

 

When your application for dispensation has been processed, you will receive a decision on your application via your e-Boks or AU email.

If the board of studies needs additional information in order to make a decision on your case, you will be contacted via your AU email.

We will process your application as soon as possible, but be aware that cases to be processed by the board of studies can take up to eight weeks (July not included). So we recommend that you apply well in advance.

What are exceptional circumstances?

Exceptional circumstances:

  • Are typically external in origin and unpredictable, things which are beyond your control
  • Is something individual, i.e. something that affects you alone, and typically does not affect other students
  • Have in general a scope and timing that prevents you from complying with a given rule
  • Must be documented

Events which occur frequently or commonly among students will not normally be considered exceptional circumstances.

When you apply for dispensation, you must prove that you were unable to comply with the rule in question owing to exceptional circumstances. You must account fully for these exceptional circumstances, and you must enclose relevant documentation to verify your account.

Circumstances which are within your control or which could have been planned for cannot be considered exceptional. Here are some examples of circumstances which cannot be considered exceptional:

  • delays due to public transport
  • delays in uploading an assignment via the digital exam system
  • your desire to go on a skiing holiday
  • the offer of an exciting job or an amazing internship

Circumstances that are frequently occurring or common among students, will not normally be considered as exceptional

Doctor’s certificates

If you are applying for dispensation because you have a medical condition or illness that affects your ability to complete your study programme on the terms and conditions that are generally applicable, you need a doctor’s certificate.
The purpose of a doctor’s certificate is to demonstrate how, to what extent and for how long your medical condition or illness will affect your ability to study/take exams.

A doctor’s certificate must answer the following questions:

  • How does your medical condition/illness affect you?
    The doctor must describe how your medical condition/illness affects your ability to carry out your study programme, including exams and comply with applicable rules . The doctor is not obliged to mention the medical condition or illness in question, but it is important that he/she describes the way in which it affects you, so that the board of studies can decide whether there are grounds for granting you dispensation.
  • To what extent are you affected?
    The doctor may also provide an assessment of the extent to which your ability to study is affected (e.g. whether you are completely unable to study for a certain period, or whether you can study part time). The prognosis may also be relevant – is there a chance of improvement?
  • How long have you had the problem?
    It is also important that the doctor states the period in which you have been ill, and perhaps how long the illness is expected to last.

These questions must be answered in relation to the rule from which you are applying for dispensation. The doctor must also state which information comes from their own examination, and which information comes from a consultation with you, from a third party, from your medical records, or from other sources.

The following information must also be included:

  • Your name, civil registration number and address.
  • The doctor’s name, official ID, company address and qualifications.
  • Information about who your family doctor is.
  • The date and the doctor’s signature.

The significance of doctor’s certificates

A doctor’s certificate is a medical assessment whose purpose is to give the board of studies grounds for deciding whether you should be granted dispensation. The board of studies are obliged to consider doctor’s certificates, but do not have to follow the doctor’s recommendations (if any are made).

If the board of studies do not feel that they have sufficient evidence to assess your case, they may ask you to send further documentation. The board will not your doctor.

Documentation in connection with disabilities

As of 1 April 2016, the Counselling and Support Unit no longer issues references for students applying for dispensation due to disabilities, and your board of studies will no longer ask for special references from the Counselling and Support Unit.

Instead, you must use the documentation you already have for your disability. This may be a medical certificate, a medical record from a hospital, a diagnostic report, a test for dyslexia, or the like.

If you cannot find any documentation, the Special Educational Support Team at Aarhus University can help you to procure a copy of any documentation that has been used in connection with a previous application for Special Educational Support.  

Send an e-mail to sps@au.dk, or call 871 62 720.

Your application for dispensation will be processed by the board of studies responsible for your degree programme

Dispensation in connection with exams

Please note that the processing time is up to 8 weeks from when we receive your application. Applications for exam-related dispensation must therefore be submitted well before the relevant exam, and preferably at the start of the semester if a chronic disability such as dyslexia is involved.

Parental leave

If you want to take parental leave during your degree programme, you must apply for dispensation from your board of studies.

Students at the Danish School of Education

Students at the Danish School of Education can apply to postpone the deadline for completing their degree programme by up to three semesters (18 months) if they want to take parental leave. Please note that it may be an advantage to take two rather than three semesters of parental leave. This is because taking three semesters means that you will be out of sync with your degree programme.

You can take either a partial or a complete break from your degree programme.

Please note that mothers are entitled to 12 extra months of SU grant, and that fathers/non-birth mothers are entitled to 6 extra months of SU grant. So if you choose to take long-term parental leave, it is very important that you are aware of the consequences in terms of SU grant payments. For more information about student grants, please go to the homepage of the Danish Agency for Higher Education.

When applying for postponement of the deadline for completing your degree programme owing to parental leave, you must enclose a plan for the rest of this programme. Based on this plan, we will change your registration for teaching and exams in all the compulsory courses in your degree programme. The teaching for which you have been registered automatically can be seen in the student self-service system.

You can read more about registration for and withdrawal from teaching and exams here

If the deadline for completing your degree programme is postponed because you want to take parental leave, the demand for active enrolment will be suspended during the period of this leave.

You can read more about the demand for active enrolment here  

Depending on your progress in your degree programme, you may also need to apply for dispensation from other rules. So it is a good idea to talk to a student counsellor. They can also help you put together a plan for how to continue your studies when you return from your parental leave.

Parental leave during your thesis

If you want to take parental leave during your thesis period, the deadline for submission can be postponed by up to 12 months. The deadline for completing your degree programme will be postponed by the same amount of time, and the demand for active enrolment will also be suspended during this period.

Documentation in connection with applications for parental leave

In connection with your application for dispensation, you must enclose one of the following types of documentation:

  • Medical records
  • Birth certificate
  • Confirmation of adoption
  • Declaration of paternity or maternity

The Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU) during parental leave

Please check the Danish Agency for Higher Education’s rules about SU and paternity leave.

Find out more on the homepage of the Danish Agency for Higher Education.

General rules about pregnancy

It is important to distinguish between parental leave and pregnancy. Pregnancy is not regarded in itself as “exceptional circumstances”, so it cannot be used as the grounds for dispensation. 

If you experience discomfort/illness related to your pregnancy and it affects your thesis work, you can apply for special dispensation for this. However, this requires documentation of the “exceptional circumstances” in question.

Students at the School of Culture and Society and the School of Communication and Culture

Students at the School of Culture and Society and the School of Communication and Culture who become mothers are entitled to take up to 12 months of parental leave (two semesters), while fathers and non-birth mothers are entitled to take up to six months of parental leave (one semester).

The parental leave must be taken as whole semesters, including relevant exam period, and cannot be taken across semesters. You can only apply for withdrawal from courses and exams in the semester(s) in which you want to take parental leave. You can take either a partial or a complete break from your degree programme during this period.

Special rules apply to parental leave during the Master’s thesis period. (+ link to section further down on the page)  

To be more specific, you can apply for the following types of dispensation in connection with parental leave:

  • Dispensation from the rule on maximum period of study
    Mothers can apply to extend their maximum period of study by up to 12 months. Fathers and non-birth mothers can apply for an extension of up to 6 months.
  • Dispensation from the 45-ECTS active enrolment requirement
    Students at the Faculty of Arts must pass 45 ECTS credits each semester. Mothers can apply to reduce this active enrolment requirement to 0 ECTS during the 12 months when they want to take parental leave. Fathers and non-birth mothers can apply to reduce the active enrolment requirement to 30 ECTS during the year of their 6-month parental leave.
  • Dispensation from automatic registration for teaching and exams during the semesters in which you want to take parental leave
    Since you will be registered automatically for teaching and exams in all the compulsory courses in your degree programme, and since you can only withdraw during a limited period of time, you can apply for dispensation to withdraw from teaching and exams in one or more courses in the semester(s) in which you want to take parental leave.

Depending on your progress in your degree programme, you may also need to apply for dispensation from other rules.

So it is a good idea to talk to a student counsellor. They can also help you put together a plan for how to continue your studies when you return from your parental leave.

Parental leave during your thesis

If you want to take parental leave during your thesis period, and in addition to the types of dispensation mentioned above, you can also apply for dispensation to extend your submission deadline by the number of months you want to take parental leave – up to 12 months for mothers, and up to 6 months for fathers and non-birth mothers.

Documentation in connection with applications for parental leave

In connection with your application for dispensation, you must enclose one of the following types of documentation:

  • Medical records
  • Birth certificate
  • Confirmation of adoption
  • Declaration of paternity or maternity

The Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU) during parental leave

Please check the Danish Agency for Higher Education’s rules about SU grants and paternity leave. Find out more on the homepage of the Danish Agency for Higher Education.

Childbirth and pregnancy-related illness

It is important to distinquish between parental leave and pregnancy. Pregnancy does not constitute an exceptional circumstance in itself, and therefore, it cannot give grounds for dispensation. Consequently, the main rule is that dispensation in connection to parental leave/pregnancy is granted at the time of birth.

If you experience discomfort/illness during your pregnancy while writing your Master's thesis, you can apply for separate dispensation for this. This requires that it can be categorised as 'exceptional circumstances and that you can document these circumstances.

If you go into labour in connection with your registered exams, you can submit a separate application for withdrawal from the exam. This requires that your application for withdrawal from the exam has been received before the exam submission deadline, and documentation must be enclosed/submitted subsequently that you have been prevented from taking the exam due to childbirth. This could be documentation of the actual time and date of birth or documentation that you have been admitted to the hospital in connection with childbirth.

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