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Pregnancy and study


Pregnancy testing

If you need to confirm if you are pregnant you can purchase a home test for 2 from:
Colchester campus  -
Nightline or Students' Union Advice Centre
Southend campus - The Union Building
Loughton campus - Student Support


Pregnant students are encouraged to contact Student Support to talk through a variety of issues including; arrangements for maternity related absence, financial implications, visa implications and emotional support.

Once you have spoken with Student Support you will need to complete the

The University of Essex policy documents are available for further information
Student pregnancy and maternity policy  & Pregnancy and maternity support plan

Depending on what stage you are at in both your pregnancy and your course, you may want/need to consider taking some time out (known as intermitting) from your studies and returning once the baby is born.

You may also wish to speak to:

  • Your GP or midwife
  • Your Department to discuss intermitting and any adjustments that can be made to allow you to continue with your studies. Please note that on some courses which are highly physical or involve hazardous activities it may not be possible (for the health of both mother and baby) to continue with the course past a certain stage of pregnancy.
  • Accommodation if you are living in University-owned accommodation.  We have very limited family accommodation and you would be unable to stay in a single room once the baby is born.  Intermitting students can be released from their contract once they return their key. 
  • Day Nursery - if you are on Colchester campus you may wish to consider childcare on campus when you return to study.

Extenuating Circumstances

If you feel that you have performed less well in your exams and/or coursework due to your pregnancy then you may be able to submit extenuating circumstances which will be considered by the Board of Examiners. 

Please select the appropriate link to find out more

Undergraduate students or Postgraduate students


If you decide to intermit from your studies you should be aware that this will affect your student funding.

Intermitting students continue to be treated as full time students for Council Tax purposes so you will not have to pay any Council Tax whilst you are intermitting (though if you live with non-students the household may still be liable).

Home students - Undergraduates must advise Student Finance England that they will be intermitting.  They will look at how much student loan/grant you have already received for the period that you will not be studying (if any) and will work out what repayment is due.  Any student loan that is due to be repaid can be added to you debt to be repaid once you have left University.  Any student grant that is due to be repaid must be repaid as soon as possible or can be clawed back from any grants that you may be eligible for once you return to study.

Postgraduates should advise their funding body as soon as they decide to intermit, some students will be required to repay funds to their funding body whilst others will not (such as students on certain NHS-funded courses).

International students and intermitting - International students should seek immigration advice from Student Support as early as possible in their pregnancy or before becoming pregnant (where possible). If necessary, you will be referred to an immigration lawyer for further specialist advice.

If you have a student visa, intermitting your studies will affect your immigration status. You should plan to leave the UK as soon as possible after submitting your intermission form, and return to the UK when you are ready to resume full time studies. Make sure that you are planning to return home whilst you are still able to fly - you should check with individual airlines for their own pregnancy policies.   

International students with a dependant's visa can make changes to their student status without any immigration implications.

More information about absences, late submission, intermitting and other useful topics see the Registry web pages.


You may be entitled to receive additional financial support during your pregnancy.  Please see the pregnancy funding web pages for further information.

Useful external links

There are many services and agencies that can help you explore your options, including whether you want to continue with the pregnancy:



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