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Frequently asked questions

1. I have studied under another programme than my current one?

I have completed part of a programme or passed just a single course
If that is the case, you must apply for starting credits. This means that you are applying to have previously passed courses included in your new programme. In order to get starting credits, the course or courses you have previously passed must correspond to courses on your current programme –  in terms of both subject matter, scope and academic level.

Apply for starting credits

I have completed a programme
If you have completed your previous programme, you cannot apply for starting credits. You may, however, apply for a credit transfer.

Individual course of study
By getting starting credits or a credit transfer, you will have semesters with less courses than usual. You should consider whether you want to spend that time taking some of the courses that are scheduled for later in your programme. This may result in a reduction of the time needed to complete your programme.

Individual study plan
If you want to do the courses in your programme in a different order than specified in the process model, it is a good idea to draw up a plan showing when you will be doing each course. Find the courses in your curriculum. Remember to check under available courses whether the courses are available in the autumn or spring semester

Get help to draw up your study plan from The Student Guidance Service.

2. I am or have become ill?

If you are ill and cannot sit an examination, you must notify SDU of your condition.

I have become acutely ill
If you have become ill at the time of an examination, you must report in sick. Otherwise you will be registered as “absent” and will have used one of your 3 examination attempts. You must be able to document your illness, e.g. in the form of a  doctor's note. When you report in sick, you’ll not use an examination attempt.

Registering for the re-exams
If you do not participate in the first examination attempt (ordinary exam), you must register for the second examination attempt (re-exam) yourself. If you are ill at the time of the re-exam, you must report in sick again.

I am suffering from prolonged illness
If you have suffered or are still suffering from prolonged illness (e.g. stress, depression etc.) and it affects your ability to study, you may apply for permission to take fewer courses than required by the Active Enrolment Requirements. This is referred to as an exemption.

What if I am lagging behind due to illness
There are a number of rules and regulations that you must be aware of if you do not study full-time for a period of time. You may be exempt from the Active Enrolment Requirement and Maximum Duration of Study in exceptional circumstances, such as illness.

If you cannot live up to these regulations and requirements, you may apply for an exemption. As long as you live up to the regulations and requirements, you need not apply for a dispensation.

You should also beware of the study requirements for SU. You may apply for additional monthly grants if your delay is caused by illness.

May I continue my studies even if I miss an examination?
As a rule, you may continue your programme even if you miss an examination, unless it is a precondition that you pass a particular course in order to continue your programme.

If you are unable to study actively, you must apply for an exemption in order to continue your programme or the mandatory courses within the deadline.

In your curriculum, you can see whether there are precondition subjects on your programme.

3. Other circumstances outside of my study make it difficult to follow my programme?

You may find yourself in situations that take your focus off of your studies for a period of time. Read more about how to deal with the various situations:

Illness and deaths in your immediate family...
may like your own illness be considered as exceptional circumstances, i.e. circumstances for which you are not to blame or over which you have no control. You may apply for permission to not study actively or to do  fewer courses, i.e. exemption.

is not regarded as an exceptional circumstance and therefore does not give you the right to be exempt. If you would like to work more for a period, you must be very clear in your prioritizations. A student counsellor may help you prioritize.

Relationship problems, parents’ divorce, family problems, financial difficulties, difficult living conditions, illness and death of a distant relative...
are all examples of situations that may take up a lot of your time and energy, and therefore affect your studies. At the same time, however, they are also situations that may not necessarily be regarded as exceptional circumstances. I.e. it’s not certain that they are justification enough to be granted exemption from your studies.

Documentation is needed
You may be eligible for an exemption if you are able to provide documentation, such as doctor’s note, confirming  that your situation affects you to such an extent that you are unable to study. Attach the documentation to your application for exemption. 

Individual study plan
If you are applying for a dispensation or are delayed in your studies, it may be a good idea to draw up an individual study plan which reflects when you expect to take each course. Contact the Student Guidance Service  if you need help in drawing up the plan.

Need help?
You can also get help to deal with your situation from the Counselling Centre or the Student Counselling Service.

4. I'm going to be a mother or a father?

Congratulations! Even if you are going to be a mother or a father, you are of course, entitled to parental leave.

What should I do?
You must in general pass courses corresponding to at least 45 ECTS credits in each academic year, unless you are affected by exceptional circumstances. Childbirth and parental leave are considered exceptional circumstances. When going on parental leave, you will be exempt from the Active Enrolment Requirements during your leave. However, you are welcome to be active on your programme if you feel you are up to it. You may do courses and pass  exams even though you are on parental leave. That way you may get a bit ahead, and that may be an advantage for you later on in your programme.

When applying for parental leave

What do I do when I return from parental leave?
When you resume your studies, it may be a good idea to draw up a plan for the remainder of your programme, i.e. what courses you need to take and when. You may get help to create a study plan from The Student Guidance Service.

Additional SU
If you have a child while studying, you are entitled to additional SU, so you will be able to go on parental leave.

Check or get in touch with the people responsible for SU through Student Services, if you need further information or assistance concerning SU.

5. I failed an exam?

Read about what you need to be aware of when you fail an examination.

If you fail the first examination attempt (ordinary examination), you must register for the second examination attempt (re-examination) yourself. The examination type for the re-exam may differ from that of the ordinary exam. Check your curriculum for examination type or ask your teacher.

How many examination attempts do I get per course?
You have three examination attempts to pass each course in your programme. If you fail your first examination attempt, you have two further examination attempts. It is important that you use your examination attempts with care.

Read about exams

May I continue my programme even if I’m delayed?
In general, you may continue your programme, even though you fail an exam. You must pass the exam at a later time, and you have 3 examination attempts for each course. However, there are rules and regulations that you need to be aware of, if you are delayed due to failed exams:

If you cannot live up to these regulations and requirements, you may apply for a exemption. As long as you live up to the regulations and requirements, you need not apply for a dispensation.

If you need help, contact the Student Guidance Service.

See application forms for the various situations

Get help with the exam
The General Counselling Centre offers counselling concerning e.g. exam technique and exam anxiety. 

Good advice for the exams

6. I have doubts about my programme?

Is it the right programme for me? Would another programme be better suited in view of my interests? If you have thoughts like these, it may be a good idea to talk to someone and figure out why you are having doubts.

You may contact the Counselling Centre or the Student Guidance Service if you need to talk to someone about your doubts.

7. I’d like to change my programme?

Should you decide that you want to change your programme, you will most likely have to apply again and start over. If you want to start over on a new programme, it may be a good idea to continue your current programme until you know whether you have been admitted to the new programme. This way, you’ll be sure to remain on your current programme, if, for some reason, you are not admitted in the new one.

You must apply for credits
You may apply for credits, and if the new programme has subjects that correlate to the ones you have passed in your previous programme, you’ll get credits. Getting credits means that some or all of the subjects that you have passed in your previous programme, will be transferred to your new programme. That way, you should be able to reduce the completion time on your new programme. If you apply again for a new programme and are admitted, you must apply for starting credit.

Please note, that if you continue on your current programme, until you are admitted at the new one, you ‘ll be using your SU that you cannot retrieve in order to use on your new programme.

Get help and guidance from the Counselling Centre or the Student Guidance Service.

8. I’m feeling that I'm not thriving on my programme?

Do you feel that you are not thriving in your programme? If that is the case, it may be a good idea to find out why and to talk someone about the challenges you are faced with.

Get help and guidance from the Counselling Centre or the Student Guidance Service.

9. I want to withdraw from my programme

Withdrawing from your programme is a big decision and should be considered very carefully. It may be a good idea to talk to your family, friends or a student counsellor about your thoughts. You are welcome to ask for counselling.

Sometimes there may be other and better options than withdrawal available to you. You may e.g. have grounds to apply for exemption or take a ;leave of  absence.

Important rules concerning withdrawal
Before you finally decide to withdraw, we recommend that you check the rules concerning withdrawal.

Find the withdrawal form here.

I would like to enroll again?
If you have withdrawn from your programme and at some point in time would like to be re-enrolled on the same programme again, you must be aware of the rules for re-enrolment. You may, of course, apply for admission to a completely different programme, too. In that case you must apply through the coordinated admission (KOT).

See the procedure for admission and application form

SU and student accommodation
Please be aware that your SU will cease upon withdrawal. Contact SU at Student Service,if you are uncertain about the deadlines and so on.

To be eligible for student accommodation you are required to be studying actively. Ask your housing association, if you are in doubt about their rules.

10. Can I take a break from my studies

As a full-degree student, you must to live up to the Active Enrolment Requirements and Maximum Period of Study.

You can be exempted from these requirements only in case of exceptional circumstances, e.g. illness, disability, illness/death in your immediate family. This is not an exhaustive list, but generally, the term applies to verifiable circumstances beyond your control that have a negative effect on your ability to study.

Leave of absence or exemption
If you need a break from your studies due to exceptional circumstances, you have two options: You can apply either for leave of absence or for exemption (dispensation) from the requirements and rules for a (limited) period of time.

Below we have explained the difference between leave of absence and exemption.

Leave of absence Exemption
SU Your SU will stop for the duration of your leave of absence. Your SU will continue — even if you do not attend any courses or exams for a time.
Classes and examination You are not allowed to attend any classes or sit examinations. You cannot get guidance from lecturers. You may attend classes and sit examinations.
   Read more about leave of absence  Read more about exemption

Apply for leave of absence
Apply for an exemption

Subjects/courses may phase out and curricula may expire
Regardless of whether you take leave of absence or have been granted an exemption, you must be aware that programmes are changed continuously. If you are absent from your studies on a long-term basis, you run the risk of your remaining courses and examinations no longer being available – or that you curriculum has expired, in which case you’re required to transfer to the most recent curriculum.

Contact The Student Guidance Service, if you need to take a break due to exceptional circumstances and need guidance in the process.

11. I want to start over on my programme?

It is not possible to start over on your programme. However, you may attend courses again in subjects that you have previously failed. In other words, you may attend the course when it is available again. Keep in mind, however, that the examination attempts you have already used, count as part of the three examination attempts you have, to pass each exam. Moreover, you cannot sit the exam again in a subject that you have already passed, e.g. in order to get a better grade.

Illness is the reason for my not passing the exams
If you do not pass any exams during your first year due to illness, you may attend the courses again the following year. However, you still need to keep in mind the Active Enrolment Requirements and Maximum Period of Study – and when you may need to apply for exemption from them.

Contact the Student Guidance Service if you are considering to start over and to hear about your options.

Are you ill and have an exam coming?

Follow up on the SDU regulations on what to do.

Read more

Applying for credit?

University of Southern Denmark continuously checks the documentation for courses taken at other institutions.