Student maternity and childcare responsibilities

Students and maternity

Policy on maternity, adoptive and paternity leave provision for students

An early discussion should take place between the student and the Course Organiser/ supervisor/ Departmental Senior or PG Tutor and a full risk analysis to determine whether or not there may be any possible adverse effects of the programme on the course of the pregnancy (e.g. programme of study, examinations, working with chemicals, radiation or other hazards) leading to the development of an agreed action plan to mitigate all identified risks. Children playing

Undergraduate students

Depending on the expected timing of the birth, the principal option is to interrupt studies for one year and resume the course at the same point one year later.

Postgraduate taught students

Depending on the expected timing of birth, the principal option is to interrupt studies for one year and resume the course at the same point one year later; an alternative possibility for resuming studies is to transfer to the part time version of the course, where there is a part time offering of the same course available.

Postgraduate research students

An application should be made for a period of interruption of studies to cover the period of maternity leave,  normally for 16 weeks (for both maternity and adoptive leave), but may be less if the individual so wishes, and may be extended for up to one year. The maximum period of paternity leave normally allowed is 4 weeks.

For Home/EU research students in receipt of a stipend, contracts should include provision for up to 16 weeks paid maternity or adoptive leave (unless the funder stipulates a longer period); if the costs of maternity leave are not met by the funder, Departments/Divisions are asked to make suitable financial provision.

A small central fund is available to support maternity/adoptive leave in respect of full-time funded Home/EU students and Departments may apply to the Registry for assistance with the funding support if the funder does not make provision.  Note that Research Assistants (who may also be registered for a PhD, but as part-time students) are entitled to maternity or adoptive leave in accordance with the College conditions of service.

As regards paternity leave, Departments are asked to make financial provision if the funder does not do so.

An application for an interruption of studies for maternity, adoptive or paternity leave must be made to the Registry in advance of any application for funding.

To apply for funding please complete the Maternity Fund application form [Word] alongside a copy of your MATB1 form and return it to Student Financial Support at

International students

If you are an International student holding a tier 4 visa and planning to take maternity leave this may have an impact on your visa status. Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to leave the UK during this period of absence. If you are in this situation we would urge you to contact the International Student Support Team as soon as possible to discuss your options. International students holding a scholarship should also inform their funder of their pregnancy or planned interruption and comply with any requirements made by that body.

Help with childcare costs

Government funding for undergraduate students

Full time undergraduate students may be eligible to a Childcare Grant which provides help paying for childcare. Further infomation is available on the government student finance webpage.

College funding for undergraduate students

The Student Support Fund replaces the The College's Early Years Education Centre Subvention Fund and the Access to Learning Fund and can be used to help students pay childcare costs.

Applying for the Student Support Fund

Please read the guidelines carefully and then use the online application available on our Student Support Fund page.

Please contact if you have any further queries.