Leave of absence

There can be many reasons to take a leave of absence for example work or illness. The Student Counsellor at UCL University College can guide you about the rules and application procedures, and help you clearing out your situation. Maybe taking a leave is not the right solution in your situation.

When can I apply for leave of absence?

You can apply for leave when you have finished the first year of your AP-degree or BA programme, or after the first semester of your Top-up programme. 

You have to be aware that you cannot participate in lectures, go to exams or get SU, while you are on a leave. Depending on your study programme there will be a maximum length to how long your leave can be. Your leave always ends by the end of the semester either on 31 January or 31 August, so that you are ready to pick up on your study from the following semester.

If you are going on a maternity leave you do not have to apply for a regular leave of absence, as there are other rules about maternity leave. Read more about maternity leave and SU during maternity leave. Remember to contact your Student Counsellor at UCL if you think about taking a leave of absence.

What can I do?

You can apply for leave of absence by filling out this application form. Your application for leave of absence will have to be approved by your Student Counsellor, and it is always a good idea to have a talk about your options with your Student Counsellor.

If you want to interrupt your leave for a short period to return to your studies, you can do so at the beginning of a semester. It can be problematic to return to the studies in the middle of a semester, and it is often not possible to do so at all. Contact your Student Counsellor to have a talk about your options.


You will not get SU while you are on a leave – the SU stops by the end of the month where your leave of absence begins.

If the SU system accidentally gives you SU after your leave of absence has started, you will have to pay it back. Therefore, it is important that you ask for leave of absence well in advance, so that the Study Secretary can inform SU that you are taking a leave. The allowable deduction is the same as if you deselect SU.

While you are on your leave, you will not be entitled to cash benefits, but before you apply for leave of absence you can contact your municipality to get information about your rights.

If you think you are entitled to unemployment benefits from your union, make sure to contact your union in good time before your leave starts, to get information about your options.

Information to paying Non EU students

As a paying student you will not be entitled to take a leave on the same circumstances as other students. The only exception is maternity leave.

If you apply for maternity leave you are obligated to inform your Student Counsellor at the Academy, and the authorities (“Styrelsen for Integration and Fastholdelse”).

If you have any reason to take a leave anyway, your Student Counsellor is obligated to inform the authorities.