Leaves of absence and absences

Leaves of absence

A leave of absence means that the student temporarily relinquishes the right to study on a study programme. The application for leave of absence must be in writing and sent to the course administration on a separate form.

A student who has a baby while studying is entitled to leave of absence from the course during the pregnancy and in order to care for the child, cf section 4-5 of the Universities and University Colleges Act. Leave is also to be granted for initial military service or illness and on other weighty grounds.

For a leave of absence on other grounds, the student must have been on the study programme in question for at least one year. A leave of absence may normally be granted for up to one year.


The application deadline for a leave of absence for which no grounds are stated is 1 September for the autumn semester and 1 February for the spring semester.

Students who are on leave of absence do not pay any tuition or semester fees and do not have to register for semesters when they are on leave. If the student applies for leave of absence based on a reason and this application is granted after all the fees have been paid, the student can apply to have the tuition fee refunded. The semester fee is not refunded.

Students on leave of absence may not take exams during the leave.

Two months before the end of the leave of absence, the student must confirm in writing that he/she wants to continue studying after the leave of absence.

For students who have been on leave of absence, NLA University College will in so far as possible make conditions suitable so that the student can return at the same level as before the leave of absence.

The form for applying for leave of absence can be found here. 


Obligatory attendance is a work requirement for some of the courses offered by NLA University College. These are courses where the student's presence is necessary for the teaching and where most of the learning takes place in classroom lessons. If the student is not present when roll call is held, this is counted as an absence. This means that coming to class too late is counted as an absence. The student is responsible for keeping track of his/her absenteeism percentage.

If the student is absent from teaching for more than 20 per cent of the time, he/she may in some cases meet alternative work requirements. However, there are two prerequisites for this:

  1. Absenteeism that exceeds 20 per cent must be documented by a medical certificate or documentation of other weighty welfare reasons (such as the birth of his/her own child or a death in the immediate family).
  2. It must be both academically justifiable and practically possible to meet alternative work requirements. If a student has been absent for more than 20 per cent of the time and wants to meet alternative work requirements, an application for this is to be sent to the person in charge of the subject. A medical certificate/documentation of other weighty welfare grounds must be enclosed with the application.

A student who is absent for more than 20 per cent of the teaching and cannot document that stated above must take the course again the next semester or in a later semester. Note that one consequence of having to retake a subject due to a too high level of absenteeism may be that the study progression changes. For example, the fact that a student has to retake subjects is not taken into consideration when fixing timetables. If a student has to retake a subject, this may lead to extra costs being incurred.

Extending studies beyond the standardised study length

There may for various reasons be a need to extend the study period beyond the standardised study length. In such case, the education plan is to be changed so that it corresponds to the new planned study period. Contact a study advisor at your study location to revise your education plan or submit an application to change your education plan.

The form for applying to extend studies beyond the standardised study period is available here.