Students with children
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.
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.
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.
Who is eligible?
All Imperial College London students
The fine print
The Student Support Fund is intended to support students in the greatest financial need so there are some conditions you will need to satisfy before making an application:
- Students from Faculties with their own hardship funding should apply to those funds before applying to the Student Support Fund, please see the guidance document below for more information.
- The Student Support Fund will not normally be awarded in your first term at Imperial. Please make sure you have the appropriate level of funding in place before beginning your studies. We may however offer an interest-free loan which you will be expected to repay.
- You will need to provide evidence of financial need and will be expected to have explored other avenues before applying for the Fund.
- Your senior tutor, postgraduate tutor or supervisor will be asked to confirm that your attendance and academic progress are satisfactory.
Applying for the Student Support Fund
First read the guidelines carefully and then use the online application available on our Student Support Fund page.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further queries.