General information on exemptions

1. What is an exemption?

An exemption is defined as a permission to be excused from the rules and regulations for a study programme.  For instance, you may apply for additional examination attempts, more time for an examination, or for taking fewer courses in a semester than prescribed by your curriculum.

2. Under what circumstances can I apply for exemption?

You may apply for exemption if there are any exceptional circumstances that prevent you from being able to comply with the rules that apply to your programme.

3. Requirements for your application
  • Choose the application form that covers the type of exemption you need
  • Follow the instructions for filling out the application form
  • Enclose  any relevant documentation.
4. What does "exceptional circumstances" mean?

When you apply for exemption, you must give reasons as to why you believe you are entitled to exemption from the general rules.

This means that in many cases, you must provide an explanation of what “exceptional circumstances” you are being affected by and you must be able to document them with, for example, a doctor’s note.

Examples of exceptional circumstances:

  • Illness
  • Maternity leave
  • Illness or death in your immediate family
  • Disability, e.g. dyslexia
  • Jury duty as a lay judge or juror

Examples of circumstances which are not normally considered to be exceptional:

  • You have a holiday planned on the same day as your examination
  • You work a part-time job while completing your studies and  can’t keep up with all of the courses required by your curriculum
  • The bus was running late on the day of your examination

A good explanation will meet the following three requirements:

  1. It describes one or more circumstances that are exceptional in the sense that they are not something you often encounter (i.e. they do not occur on a regular basis).
  2. It describes how the exceptional circumstances are beyond your control. Thus it should not describe circumstances that could have been avoided by being more careful, that you should have been able to foresee or that are otherwise “your own fault”.
  3. It describes how the exceptional circumstances significantly affected your ability to comply with the rule(s) and regulations that you are requesting exemption from.

Processing an application for an exemption always involves a case-specific assessment. Therefore, your must describe the exceptional circumstances in such a way that you provide the Study Board with the best possible basis on which to assess your application.

Study plan
If you are applying for exemption from the requirement to register for 30 ECTS points each semester, you must submit a study plan. There may be other cases where it would also be a good idea to include a study plan for your future course of study, e.g. when applying for exemption from the first-year examination.

A study plan is a document that outlines when you plan to take the rest of the courses for your programme. You can get help with creating your study plan from Student Counselling at the Faculty of the Humanities.

5. Requirements for doctor's note

You must provide documentation supporting your application. If your application is substantiated by, for example, illness, you must enclose a valid doctor's note or other medical documentation. It is up to the Study Board to assess whether the documentation provided is sufficient for granting you an exemption.

Please be aware that the doctor's note provided to the Study Board must include a medical evaluation and that there must be a clear correlation between your spell of sickness and the matter from which you are applying for exemption.

If your illness is protracted or chronic, the doctor's note should make clear exactly how it has been of specific importance to the matter from which you are applying for exemption. Otherwise, the Study Board cannot make a decision on a fully informed basis.

Certain types of applications will require you to enclose an individual study plan.

Examples of documentation

  • Doctor's note
  • Documentation of divorce
  • Birth certificate

Formal requirements for a doctor's note
A doctor's note should, as a minimum, include the following information:

  • The patient's name, civil registration number and address
  • The doctor's name and address
  • Which information in the doctor's note is based on the doctor's own examination of the patient, and which is based on medical records or provided by the patient themself
  • Name of the patient's general practitioner
  • Any medical information relevant to the application

The Study Board will make its decision based on your application and the documentation provided by you. You will receive an written answer by e-mail when the Study Board has made its decision.

6. Practical information, guidance, etc.

If you need guidance on your specific situation, please contact the Student Counsellors at the Faculty of Science.

Which form is the right one?

You can read more about different types of exemptions below and then chose the right application form for your situation. You can find information on what information you will be asked to provide when filling out the application form.

NB Please submit one application form per situation/condition. For instance, if you wish to apply both for an additional examination attempt and for an exemption from the active enrolment requirements, you should submit two application forms.

1. Deregistration from examinations

Once the registration period has passed, all exam registrations are binding and can be cancelled only by dispensation from the Study Board.

The Study Board can grant you a dispensation to deregister from an examination only if you can provide documentary evidence that exceptional circumstances prevent you from preparing for and/or attending the examination.

You must enclose an individual study plan accounting for the remainder of your course of study.

Apply now

2. Deregistration from courses

Once the registration period has passed, all course registrations are binding and can be cancelled only by dispensation from the Study Board. Please note that special rules apply to elective courses.

The Study Board can grant you a dispensation to deregister from a course only if you can provide documentary evidence that exceptional circumstances prevent you from attending the rest of the course.

You must enclose an individual study plan accounting for the remainder of your course of study.

Apply now

3. Do you need exemption from the active enrolment requirements?

As a student at SDU, you must meet the active enrolment requirements.

If you need to be exempt from the active enrolment requirements, you must provide documentary evidence that you have been or are affected by exceptional circumstances for a brief or extended period of time, e.g. illness.

In your application you must give a thorough explanation concerning these exceptional circumstances.

You must indicate how many ECTS you are able to pass each semester, and you must enclose an individual study plan for the remainder of your course of study.

The exceptional circumstances must be documented through authenticated documentation, e.g. a doctor’s note. The doctor’s note must indicate whether your impaired work ability is permanent or temporary. It must also indicate how severe the impairment is. Other forms of documentation may also be useful, depending on the specific situation.

Apply now

4. Have you spent your three examination attempts?

You will almost always have three attempts to pass your examinations. Being absent from an examination also counts as an attempt.

In order to be granted any further examination attempts, you must have been affected by exceptional circumstances. You must provide a thorough explanation of these exceptional circumstances in your application and substantiate that these circumstances are the reason why you have failed to pass one or more examination attempts.

You must be able to provide documentary evidence of these exceptional circumstances, e.g. a doctor’s note. Many other forms of documentation may also be used depending on the specific situation.

Apply now

5. Do you need an exemption from any course prerequisites?

Some courses have prerequisites. A prerequisite may consist of a single course or multiple courses, which you must have passed in order to register for the course. Any such requirements are stated in the course description of the course concerned. You may be administratively dropped from any course for which you do not meet the prerequisites.

However, the Study Board may grant you an exemption from the prerequisites of a course if you can substantiate that you have the qualifications required to take the course, even though you do not meet the prerequisites.

You must enclose an individual study plan accounting for the remainder of your course of study.

Apply now

6. Latest completion of Master programme

Two-year Master's degree programmes at SDU must be completed within the standard duration + ½ year. If you do not complete your programme within this limit, you will be discharged from your programme.

The Study Board may grant you an exemption from the time limit if you can provide documentary evidence that exceptional circumstances prevent you from completing the programme within the time limit.

You must state in your application when you expect to complete your programme and you must enclose an individual study plan accounting for the remainder of your course of study.

NB If you were enrolled before 1 September 2015, a transitional arrangement applies to you. Read more about the transitional arrangement.

Apply now

7. Do you need to alter the terms of an examination?

You must use this application form if you are applying to change your examination conditions, e.g. if you want to replace an oral examination with a written one or get a time extension for your examination. As a rule, this kind of exemption may only be granted in case of exceptional circumstances.

You must also use this application form to apply for other changes to your examination conditions. Examples of changes to examination conditions include doing the examination in a different language, lowering the ECTS weighting of a course or sitting an examination based on an old syllabus. In cases such as these, writing a thorough explanation of your academic situation will often suffice.

If your application refers to any exceptional circumstances, you must be able to provide documentary evidence of any such circumstances, e.g. a doctor’s note. Many other forms of documentation may also be used, depending on the specific situation.

Apply now

8. Do you wish to reschedule an examination or extend a deadline?

You must use this application form if you would like to apply to have the deadline for your examination postponed or rescheduled if necessary. As a rule, this kind of exemption is granted only in case of exceptional circumstances, but it is also possible in some cases to obtain exemption on academic grounds, e.g. due to study trips or other examinations being scheduled at the same time.

If your application refers to exceptional circumstances, you must be able to provide documentary evidence of any such circumstances, e.g. a doctor’s note. Many other forms of documentation may also be used, depending on the specific situation. If your application refers to your academic situation as evidence for exemption, you must provide a thorough explanation of the situation.

Apply now

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