Who can apply for leave of absence?
You can apply for leave of absence if you are enrolled in a full-time programme, but the rules for leave of absence do not apply to part-time programmes and open programmes.
How to apply for leave of absence?
To apply for leave of absence you must follow the directions on the form which you will find in the upper right corner at this page.
Financial reasons for applying for leave of absence?
Before you apply for leave of absence, you should consider whether it might be better to stop your monthly grant instead. This is an option if you want to heighten your earnings ceiling because you are earning money while studying and still want to be able to take an examination, for instance.
Other reasons for applying for leave of absence
If you need guidance, you are welcome to contact your academic supervisor or a student counsellor.
Definition of leave of absence
Leave of absence takes effect from the first of a month or from the day you submit your application. You cannot begin a leave of absence after 1 July in the spring term unless it is due to maternity/illness or other special circumstances (see below). You cannot take leave of absence only in July/August. Leave of absence is never granted retrospectively.
If you want to terminate your leave of absence
If you want to terminate your leave of absence before the specified period has expired, you must apply for this in writing no later than the day on which you want to terminate it. You cannot terminate your leave of absence retrospectively.
If you decide not to take leave of absence
If you decide not to take leave of absence after all, you can cancel it within 14 days and must make your decision known in writing.
When can you take leave of absence?
As a Bachelor student, you can only take leave of absence after you have completed your first year of studies (i.e. when you have passed all of the examinations during the first and second terms) in the Bachelor programme. Graduate students must have completed the first six months (i.e. have passed all of the examinations during the first term) in the graduate programme. However, you can apply for exemption from these rules if you want to take leave of absence on the grounds of maternity leave/adoption or have been called up for national service.
How long can leave of absence last?
You can take leave of absence for up to a year at a time and can take leave of absence from your programme at the University of Southern Denmark for a maximum of three years (two years in a Bachelor programme and one year in a graduate programme). Terms run from 1/9 – 3/11 and from 1/2 – 31/8. The autumn term in some programmes is divided into a first and second quarter and the spring term is divided into a third and fourth quarter. You can also apply for leave of absence for one or more quarters.
The length of time your leave of absence lasts will be set off against the time-limit for your programme. If, for instance, you have been granted exemption to take leave of absence during your first year of studies, the deadline for passing your first-year examination will be extended by the length of time your leave of absence lasts. Similarly, if there is a requirement to complete the Bachelor programme within six years, the length of time your leave of absence lasts will be set off so that you have the full six years to complete the programme, unless anything to the contrary is stated in the curriculum.
You cannot apply for leave of absence in order to enrol in another programme. Even though you have leave of absence, you are still enrolled as a student and you can only be enrolled in one full-time programme at a time. If you are admitted to a new programme, you must withdraw from the programme you are already enrolled in.
You do not have a right to return to the same curriculum after your leave of absence.
Exemption due to special circumstances
The university can grant exemption from the above in special circumstances.
It is not possible to draw up a list of such circumstances as we consider each application individually, but examples of special circumstances could be you or a close relative suddenly becoming ill or being affected by some other event (traffic accident, fire, theft, etc.) that is beyond your control.
If you have entered into a Master's thesis contract
You are entitled to take leave of absence if it is justifiable on the grounds of illness, childbirth/adoption, national service/UN service or other special circumstances. But because taking leave of absence has certain consequences (see below) it may be better to apply to the Academic Study Board for a deferment of the deadline for submitting a thesis, which is possible in special circumstances.
Consequences of taking leave of absence
- You cannot attend classes, register for an examination or submit assignments for evaluation during a term in which you have or have had leave of absence.
- You cannot attend classes or register for an examination even if you terminate your leave of absence in the middle of a term.
- During your leave of absence you cannot be enrolled on the same programme part-time and pay for it.
- You cannot take part in elections to the governing bodies of the university or be a member of them during your leave of absence.
State Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU)
You will not be entitled to receive a State Education Grant (SU) or a student loan during your leave of absence. Your SU ceases from the end of the month in which you have been granted leave of absence. If your leave of absence begins on the first of a month, your SU will ceases from that date. You should also note that you will not be entitled to an additional monthly grant occasioned by childbirth if you have leave of absence.
As SU is paid in advance, you may receive a monthly SU grant at the beginning of your leave of absence and, as you are not entitled to this payment, you will be obliged to repay it to the State Education Grant and Loan Scheme.
If your leave of absence is longer than six months, you must apply for SU again.
If you curtail/terminate your leave of absence, you must also apply for SU again.
You will be in the middle earnings ceiling during your leave of absence.
If you have any questions about SU during leave of absence – especially with regard to childbirth – you can contact Student Service – SU.
Social security benefit/maintenance allowance
You will not normally be eligible to receive social security benefit during your leave of absence, but you can obtain more information about this from your local authority or your union insurance system.
A person holding a Bachelor's degree can be admitted to a union insurance system as a new graduate, but you must fulfil a number of conditions to be entitled to maintenance allowance. Information about this and also about the possibility of receiving social security benefit during your leave of absence can be obtained from your union insurance system.
The rules for taking leave of absence from the University of Southern Denmark are laid down in pursuance of Sections 40 and 41 of the ministerial order on admission, etc., to Bachelor and graduate programmes at universities (ministerial order no. 233 of 24/3/2011, Ministry of Science, Technology and Development) and in Sections 35 and 36 of the ministerial order on admission, enrolment and leave of absence, etc., in connection with certain further and higher education programmes (ministerial order no. 87 of 7/2/2011, Ministry of Education).
Leave of absence for non-EU citizens
It is possible to apply for leave of absence in cases of exceptional circumstances; It is not possible to obtain a refund of tuition fees for a semester that has already commenced (e.g. if performance at examinations does not live up to expectations) except in case of serious illness and death (partner or member of immediate family). Please be aware that your residency permit will be cancelled while you are on leave and you must re-apply when you wish to resume your studies. It is possible to apply for a dispensation of cancellation of the residence permit; please contact the Immigration Services for further information firstname.lastname@example.org/35308750. Please note that you are subject to the general rules of leave of absence at the university during your leave.