Pregnancy Support

If you think you might be pregnant you should obtain medical advice from a Doctor or other medical professional as soon you think you are pregnant.

Doing a Pregnancy Test

If you feel confident doing a pregnancy test there are lots of places where you can have a free pregnancy test and get confidential advice.  

  • Your GP surgery.
  • Some pharmacies.
  • A sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.
  • A community contraceptive clinic.
  • The Department of Health’s sexual health helpline (call 0800 567123).

You can also buy a pregnancy test to do yourself at home, from a pharmacy or supermarket. Find out more about doing a pregnancy test here.

Continuing with the pregnancy

If you are pregnant and want to continue with the pregnancy, contact your GP or a midwife to start antenatal care as soon as possible.

If you’re not sure you want to be pregnant

If you’re not sure about continuing with pregnancy, you can discuss this confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options are:

  • Continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
  • Having an abortion
  • Continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted

Terminating a pregnancy

If you have questions about terminating a pregnancy, you should contact a healthcare professional.

If a student of the University decides to terminate a pregnancy, or miscarries, then there may be no need for any staff or students at the University to know (unless the student wishes them to know).  An application for extenuating circumstances may be appropriate if the student believes that their academic performance in an assessment has been negatively affected.  Students are may also want to seek support from Student Support, Student Advice or other external specialist services.

You may want to consider an interruption to Study policy if they are likely to be away from their course for any length of time.

Disclosure to the University

Students who become pregnant are encouraged to let the University know via their Personal Tutor/Supervisor in the first instance.  This will initiate the discussion of any implications for the programme of study and for other sources of support to be identified. It is important to identify any areas of concern to protect the health of both the mother and the unborn child.  If the student does not feel it is appropriate to approach their Personal Tutor or Supervisor they may want to talk directly with Student Support Services.

The highest risk of damage to the baby is during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Consequently, students are strongly encouraged to notify the University as early as possible of their pregnancy so that a health and safety assessment can be considered.

Students who are pregnant at the start of their course can contact the Admissions Tutor to discuss any implications for their programme of study.  Each case will need to be considered individually as course requirements vary greatly.

Interruption of Studies due to pregnancy, surrogacy or adoption

A student may decide to apply for an ‘Interruption of Study’. Whether to continue studies will be a very personal decision and will depend on a range of circumstances. The University’s Absences and Interruption to Study policy will provide information on how to apply for an ‘Interruption of Study’. A student will also need to consider how this may impact on student finances. There may also be some circumstances where the University will require a student to take an ‘Interruption of Study’, but the student will always be consulted on this decision.  This may occur, for example, where a module which is a core requirement of the programme of study is considered a high level risk to the health and safety of the mother or the unborn child.

Students can take an Interruption of Study for up to 12 months on the grounds of parental leave. Some students decide to take this time out near to when their baby is due but it depends on how you are coping with your course during the pregnancy. To take an Interruption of Study, it is advisable to speak to your Personal Tutor or Supervisor to discuss any academic implications. You can also talk to the Advice and Money Team in the Student Support Centre about applying for an Interruption of Study. Postgraduate Research students would also need to contact their department and relevant Research Council regarding extending the submission date for their thesis.

The University would encourage you as a new mother to seek advice from your Doctor or Health Visitor about how much time you need or should take off following the birth.  Once you know, please refer to the Absences and Interruption to Study policy.  Employment legislation stipulates that new mothers take at least two weeks off. If you are on a course of professional training or are receiving a bursary from a professional body you should check your minimum or recommended absence periods with the professional body concerned.

You may also need to consider the implications of any extended period of absence on any funding which you receive whilst attending your course.  The Advice and Money Team within the Student Support Centre can give advice on this.

Assessments/Examinations and the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations

Pregnancy in itself is not generally considered as a reason for consideration under the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations.  Pregnancy should not necessarily mean that you are unable to complete assessments, but if you become ill due to your pregnancy and this affects your ability to prepare for, or complete assessments, please refer to the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations ( 

If your baby is due near to, or during, an examination period and you have any concerns as to whether you should discuss this with your Personal Tutor or Supervisor and it may be appropriate for you to be referred to Student Occupational Health for their advice.  

If you need adjustments in order to sit examinations (such as the need for a different chair or comfort breaks) then the University may be able to accommodate these with adequate notice. Please discuss these with the Advice and Money Team at the Student Support Centre as soon as possible.  If you are unable to attend assessments due to the pregnancy or birth of your baby, you should report extenuating circumstances.

Students on placement

If you are currently on a work placement connected with your studies it is your responsibility to inform your host organisation (and the University) as they will need to carry out a risk assessment to ensure your safety. There will not normally be any reason why you cannot complete your placement unless there is a risk to you or your unborn child.

If you are due to undertake a work placement or exchange programme during your pregnancy this should be discussed with the host organisation to ensure that any risks can be identified and managed. Again you should ensure that your Personal Tutor.

If you are going through pregnancy and are struggling with any issues, Student Support have services available where they can provide you with counselling and guidance.