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Maternity and paternity leave

Maternity leave

Students may interrupt their studies for the purpose of maternity leave at any time from 28 weeks of the pregnancy for a maximum period of 12 months during their degree, subject to approval from the relevant School or Faculty. The period of leave must be taken in one consecutive block.

It should be noted that students on the NHS Bursary Scheme (most Nursing/Midwifery/Social Work students) are subject to the arrangements of the NHS Maternity Award Scheme, which only funds maternity leave for 45 weeks. The NHS Maternity Award Scheme also stipulates a minimum 12 week maternity leave period.

Staff members advising students likely to be covered under this NHS Scheme should refer to the NHS guidance at:

Applying for maternity leave

Students should discuss their maternity leave arrangements with their Programme Director, Personal Tutor, Academic Advisor, Student Support Officer or Programme Administrator.

The student together with the staff member should consider the implications of any leave of absence in terms of the academic requirements of the student’s programme of study.

To make an application for maternity leave please refer students to:

If a period of maternity leave is agreed, a written plan should be produced by the staff member, in conjunction with the student, setting out any special arrangements during the student’s pregnancy and the agreed timescales for the maternity leave period and planned return to study.

Paternity leave

A total of two weeks paternity leave may be taken at any time during a partner’s pregnancy or within three months following birth. The student must request the permission of the School for this absence.

Schools are expected to take a flexible approach towards partners who wish to attend antenatal appointments.  Similarly, if a student needs to take time off due to complications with their partner's pregnancy, or pregnancy-related illness, Schools should try to be as flexible as possible.