Parental leave

If you become a parent and want to go on parental leave while studying, you have some options:

  • Special leave

    You also have the opportunity of applying for special leave. Please note that you cannot receive grants and loans from The Danish Students' Grants and Loans Scheme (SU) during special leave.

    Further information on special leave

Exemptions in connection with parental leave

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.

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.

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.

Discomfort or illness during pregnancy

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.

If you experience discomfort/illness during your pregnancy, you can apply for separate exemption for this.

This requires that it can be categorised as 'exceptional circumstances and that you can document these circumstances.

Further information on exemptions

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.