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General information on exemptions

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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

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

Go to the application forms portal

Which application form is the right one?

You can read more about different types of exemptions here. You can find information on what information you will be asked to provide when filling out the application form.

Do you want to apply for exemption, but can’t find the right form? If so, you can use this application form. The form has space for you to write what you are applying for and you can enclose documentation such as a doctor’s note with your application.

Apply here.

Do you want to apply for exemption, but can’t find the right form? If so, you can use this application form. The form has space for you to write what you are applying for and you can enclose documentation such as a doctor’s note with your application.

Apply here.

You must pass a minimum of 45 ECTS points in the academic year. This is an accumulated requirement which means that you may “save up ECTS” by doing more ECTS in one of more semesters.  Find further information here.

If you need to be exempt from the study activity requirements, you must provide authenticated documentation that you have been or are affected by exceptional circumstances for a brief or extended period, such as e.g. illness.

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

You must indicate how many ECTS points you are able to take each semester, and you must enclose an individual study plan for your future course of study to your application.

The exceptional circumstances must be documented through authenticated documentation, such as 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 used, depending on the specific situation.

Apply here.

You will almost always have three attempts to pass your examinations. There may be some examinations where you only have two attempts, so consult your curriculum to be sure. Being absent from an examination also counts as an attempt.

You must have been affected by exceptional circumstances in order to be granted exemption for further examination attempts.

You must provide a thorough explanation of these exceptional circumstances in your application.

You must be able to provide documented 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 here.

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, there must be exceptional circumstances for you to be granted this kind of exemption.

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

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

Apply here.

You may apply for exemption if there are circumstances that prevent you from being able to comply with the rules that are applicable for your programme. Usually unexpected circumstances have to apply.

The first-year examination consists of a number of examinations that you must sit and pass during the first year of your programme.

You can read more about the first-year examination in your curriculum.

You must have been affected by exceptional circumstances in order to postpone the deadline for sitting or passing your first-year examination.

You must provide a thorough explanation of these exceptional circumstances in your application.

You must be able to provide documented 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 here.

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

If your application refers to exceptional circumstances, you must be able to provide documented evidence of 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 here.

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


Student counsellors Faculty of Science University of Southern Denmark
  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 4387

Last Updated 14.06.2021