If you find out that you're pregnant, the Students' Union is here to support you.
If you are pregnant, there are different options available to you. You may wish to end the pregnancy by having an abortion, or you might want to continue with the pregnancy and then either give the baby up for adoption or raise the child yourself.
The choice is yours and no matter what decision you make, your Union supports you.
Abortion is legal in England. You can have an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy, but if there is a substantial risk to the pregnant person’s life or foetal abnormalities, abortions can be carried out later than this. When requesting an abortion, you will be asked to provide your reasons – this is required under the law.
The NHS offers abortions for free. To book an NHS funded abortion, you can either contact an abortion provider directly, or you can ask to be referred to an abortion service by a sexual health clinic or your GP.
You can find some more information about local sexual health clinics on our Sexual Health page.
Impartial advice and support are also available from the following abortion care services:
Studying Whilst Pregnant
If you choose to have a baby whilst studying, there is support available from the Union, the University and external organisations.
Support from the University
UCL encourages pregnant students to speak to their Departmental Tutor, Programme Tutor or Supervisor as soon as possible. If you feel at all uneasy about telling a tutor or supervisor then you can get in touch with the Women’s Officer or the Welfare and International Officer who can help you approach your department.
Once you have informed your department, they will complete a risk assessment with you to identify any relevant risks associated with your study programme (e.g. if you work with particular chemicals). The department will then work with you to develop and deliver a pregnancy support plan, ensuring reasonable adjustments are made and your needs are met during your pregnancy, following the birth and when you return to study.
Benefits and Student Finance
Your Student Loan can continue for up to 60 days from the beginning of any period of interruption of your studies. You will, however, need to inform the Student Loans Company of your circumstances.
If you are a postgraduate research student, your department will be able to advise you further about whether or not your research grant or scholarship covers paid maternity or paternity leave.
There are certain benefits you may be able to claim when pregnant such as the Sure Start Maternity Grant, which is a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the cost of having your first child. You can find more information about the benefits you can claim while you’re pregnant here .
If you have any questions about benefits, you can contact our Advice Service.
You can also contact UCL’s Student Funding Welfare Adviser to discuss any financial concerns.
Advice for International Students who are Pregnant
If you’re an international student, any changes to your hours of study or length of course could impact your visa. For more information on this, please contact UCL's Immigration Advice team.
Advice for Students on Placements or Years Abroad
If you become pregnant whilst on placement or on a year abroad, you should get in contact with your placement tutor or the Study Abroad Team in the first instance. UCL staff can assist you to access advice and support, and can work with your host institution to make reasonable adjustments where necessary.