Parental leave

If you want to take parental leave during your studies, you must apply for dispensation from your board of studies. Please go to your study portal for more information on dispensations at 'Student counselling' / 'Exemption requests'.

Parental leave is granted for whole semesters. The board’s decision will primarily take into account the maximum time to degree and the requirement for active enrolment. Depending on how far along you are in your studies, you may also need to apply for dispensation from other rules, such as those regarding first-year exams or Master’s thesis registration.

Dispensation from the rule on maximum time to degree
You can apply for an extension of your maximum time to degree relative to the duration of your parental leave. This means that if you want to take parental leave for two semesters (12 months), your maximum time to degree will be extended by two semesters (12 months).

Dispensation from the active enrolment requirement of 45 ECTS
Students at Aarhus BSS must pass courses equivalent to 45 ECTS each academic year. You can apply for a reduction of the active enrolment requirement to 0 ECTS during your parental leave.

It is a good idea to talk to a student counsellor. They can help you put together a plan for how to proceed with your studies when you return from parental leave.

Naturally, it is up to you as parents to decide how you wish to distribute your parental leave.

Typically, the mother applies for two semesters (12 months) and the father for one semester (6 months). If the parental leave starts in the middle of a semester, the mother can apply for an additional semester (six months), so that she takes three semesters (18 months) in total.

Naturally, the father can also apply for two semesters (12 months) of parental leave. However, you must then document that the mother will only take one semester (six months) of parental leave. 

If you are in a same-sex relationship, the same allocation applies. This means that the primary parent (the “mother”) can apply for two to three semesters (12/18 months), and the co-parent (the “father”) can apply for one semester (six months).

Parental leave during your thesis

If you want to take parental leave during your thesis period, 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.

As a main rule, the mother's (primary partent) thesis period can be suspended up till 12 months. The father's (secondary parent) thesis period can as a main rule be suspended up till 6 months. However, it will also be based on an individual and concrete assessment.

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:

As the mother (primary parent), you must include

  • a doctor’s certificate
  • your medical records
  • birth certificate
  • confirmation of adoption.

As the father (co-parent), you must include

  • a birth certificate that denotes you as the father
  • adoption records that denote you as the father
  • or a copy of the medical records including confirmation from the mother that you are the child’s father.

The Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU) during parental leave
The board of studies’ decision regarding parental leave has no bearing on the decision made by the Danish Agency for Higher Education regarding the allocation of student grants and loans in connection with parental leave.

As such, please remember to also check the rules of the Danish Agency for Higher Education regarding student grants and loans and parental leave. Find out more on the website of the Danish Agency for Higher Education.

General rules on 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 complications in connection with your pregnancy that affect your study performance, you can of course apply for dispensation. 

As a rule, dispensation in connection with parental leave/pregnancy can only be granted from the time the baby is born.