Parental Leave for Doctoral Students

While you make your way through your Doctoral journey, other parts of your life may also be changing. Some of you may become parents during this time, and at UC we want to ensure that you are supported, and that you're able to balance your studies with new parenthood. 


Options for Doctoral students

When you first become a parent (or are about to become one), it's likley you'll need to take some parental leave in one form or another. The best place to start would be to have a discussion with your supervisor to see what would best suit your situation. A couple of available options are given below, but you and your supervisor might also come up with an alternative pathway.


It's likely that you'll need to take a complete break (or parental leave) from your studies for a period of time when you first become a parent. The suspension application form has been updated to include parental leave as a specific reason for making such a request. You can find the suspension application form, and more information about what a suspension means, at the following link: Application for a suspension to your study

Part-time enrolment

On returning to your studies, you may need to reduce the number of hours you've committed to your Doctoral research. There are two types of part-time options available, part-time at 0.65 EFTS and part-time at 0.35 EFTS.

The second option (part-time at 0.35 EFTS) has some specific criteria associated with it and will normally only be approved in certain circumstancea; parental leave being one of them. In most cases, it will be determined at the onset how long this level of part-time enrolment will continue for, and this will usually only be available for a maximum of 12 months and in quarterly enrolments.

Please note that if you're an international student, changing to part-time enrolment may affect the conditions of your student visa. In these cases, we recommend contacting International Student Support or Student Care, for more advice. 

The Change of Enrolment Status application form has been updated to include parental leave as a specific reason for making such a request.  More information about changing to part-time enrolment can be found at the following link: Application to change between full and part-time study


Support for parents

As well as taking some time away from your studies, there are other forms of support on offer at UC.


The UC Early Childhood Learning Centre offers a childcare and educational facility to children of up to six years of age. As it's on campus, it's a very convenient option for Doctoral students, and it allows you to see your child at any time during the day. 

Student Care

Student care offers a wide range of support to students, and is a good first port of call if you find yourself struggling or needing advice. This is a free service and is available to both on-campus and distance students.

International student advice

If you have any visa concerns, or any other questions related to being an international student, then the Interntional Student Support team are there to offer expert advice and a strong support network.  

Health Centre

All enrolled and on-campus UC students can register with the UC Health Centre. In doing so, you will have access to a wide range of health services, and can usually qualify for subsidised healthcare. As it's on-campus, it's a convenient option for students, and your student services levy goes goes towards funding this service.