The Advice and Counselling Service provides an information page for students who are parents or are about to become one. This page explains what financial help you might if eligible for, as well as providing guidance on budgeting and childcare.
Change of circumstances
If you or your partner becomes pregnant during your studies, you may feel you want to consider one of the following options:
- an interruption of study;
- withdrawal from an academic course; or
- a change of programme
It is important to discuss your options before deciding to stop your studies or change course.
Interrupting your studies
Permission to interrupt your studies should come from the appropriate member of staff within your School or Institute.
The Queen Mary Academic Regulations provide special provision for pregnant and parent students on interrupting your studies:
2.82. A student may interrupt their registration on the grounds of primary carer leave for up to one year per child. This may cover pregnancy and related illnesses, and/or caring responsibilities. Periods of interruption for primary carer leave shall not count towards the maximum of two years permitted for interruption, but in all other respects the standard interruption procedures shall apply. Secondary carers wishing to take an extended period of leave shall do so under the standard interruption procedures.
The Advice and Counselling Service has guidance on interrupting studies:
- For Home and EU undergraduates
- For Home and EU postgraduates (see the section ‘Changes to your studies’)
- For international students
ARCS website has the downloadable interruption form for taught students and a separate interruption form for research students.
Withdrawal from Queen Mary is permanent. There are other options which may be more suitable if you are experiencing difficulties, such as an interruption of studies, deadline extensions or a change of programme.
Find out more about withdrawing in the advice guides here
Extenuating circumstances – commonly referred to as ECs – are “circumstances that are outside a student’s control which may have a negative impact on a student’s ability to undertake or complete any assessment so as to cast doubt on the likely validity of the assessment as a measure of the student’s achievement. (Academic Regulations 2018-19, 3.74)
Extenuating circumstances may include medical and personal circumstances. Further information is available from the QMUL guide to extenuating circumstances. This explains what counts as ECs, how to make an EC’s claim (e.g. for extra time to submit a piece of coursework, or to be absented from an exam), what information you will need to provide, and who can help you with this.
Queen Mary has a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to accommodate the needs of pregnant students, who form one of the ‘protected characteristics’ covered by the legislation. Pregnant students should present a MATB1 certificate to confirm their pregnancy to the Disability and Dyslexia Service who will be then able to recommend the provision of 25% additional time to compensate for the fact that they may need to leave the exam hall more frequently than their peers to use the bathroom. It is also advisable that pregnant students are sat near the door of the examination venue to minimise disruption to other students if and when they need to leave the exam room.
Details of how to apply for this are available from the from the Disability and Dyslexia Service website.
Breastfeeding on campus
Queen Mary provides guidance and facilities for students who want to breastfeed or express milk on campus. Please read the breastfeeding policy for more information.