Pregnancy and maternity support
We offer support and flexibility to help you manage your studies alongside your pregnancy and maternity period. On this page you can find answers to frequently asked questions, university policies, details on respite rooms, financial support and additional information. We hope you find this a useful resource whilst studying during your pregnancy.
Frequently asked questions
I am pregnant, what should I do next?
We would encourage you to inform the University that you are pregnant at least 15 weeks prior to your due date. This will allow plenty of time for your Pregnancy and Maternity Support Plan to be created and ensure appropriate support measures have been put in place. You are not obliged to do this, however we will be able to advise you on the support available. The best way to inform us is by booking an appointment with your Student Support Adviser (SSA).
If you decide to inform your Academic Adviser or another member of staff that you are pregnant, you will be advised to book an SSA appointment.
We understand that your pregnancy may be unexpected or you could be experiencing difficult circumstances at this time. Please feel comfortable to discuss your concerns with your SSA who will be able to refer you to pregnancy, miscarriage and termination support offered by our Student Wellbeing Service.
What happens during my appointment with my SSA?
Your adviser will work with you to create a support plan. They will discuss your assessment deadlines, options for maternity leave and authorised absence guidance (for international students).
Before your appointment we would recommend thinking about any support you might need, and prepare any questions you may have.
What if I inform the University of my pregnancy at a late stage or have given birth recently?
You are eligible for support under the Student Pregnancy and Maternity Policy and Procedure (PDF, 142.1KB) until your baby is 26 weeks old. Book an appointment with your SSA to discuss the support available.
I am struggling to attend teaching and engage with my course due to illness, what should I do?
If illness is impacting on your course engagement or your ability to complete assessments or exams, please speak to your SSA who will be able to advise you on the options available including authorised absence guidance for international students.
I am concerned about meeting assessment deadlines for pregnancy or maternity-related reasons, what should I do?
Ideally, you will have already discussed your deadlines during your SSA appointment and support for these will be noted in your Pregnancy and Maternity Support Plan. However, if you are struggling to meet a deadline, or you miss a deadline, please contact your SSA for further guidance on the support and options available.
Do I need to take a break from my course after giving birth?
It is recommended that you take a break for a minimum of 2 weeks following the birth of your baby. If you wish to take a longer break, please speak to your SSA who will outline all the options available and provide advice and guidance on what you need to do.
Depending on the length of your intended absence, you may be required to take a Break in Study (BiS) (PDF, 189.9KB). If you are an international student, you will also be advised to contact the International Experience Team for further guidance about the implications on your visa.
I am an international student and I want to take a few weeks break from my course. What are my options?
Your SSA will recommend that you consider taking a Break in Study (PDF, 189.9KB). If you choose not to do this, you will need to complete an authorised absence form to comply with your student visa requirements. Please seek guidance from your SSA and the International Experience Team about this.
An authorised absence is not a complete break in study. Students must catch up on missed teaching, submit assignments and attend exams where required during a period of authorised absence. This can be discussed in more detail during your SSA appointment.
What if I am on placement, due to go on placement, or a higher degree apprenticeship student?
You will need to inform your placement provider that you need a pregnant worker risk assessment. The provider is responsible for undertaking a pregnant worker risk assessment for you. If you experience any issues with this, please speak to the academic tutor linked to your placement.
If you are struggling to attend or complete your placement due to any pregnancy related circumstances, please contact your SSA to discuss support options.
Can I bring my baby/children onto campus?
The University's statement about accompanying children on campus acknowledges that parents may need to bring their children with them when they are visiting the University.
The public spaces of the University are open to parents and their children. However, students are prohibited from bringing their children into lectures, seminars, laboratories, studios, workshops, or other classes or learning activities. Children also cannot be left unsupervised while students attend classes or learning activities.
Please refer to the University's Children on Campus Position Statement (PDF, 125.2KB) for more details.