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Study Abroad programmes

Module selection

How many modules should I take?

Exchange students at the University of Exeter usually take 60 Exeter Credits per semester (30 ECTS), the equivalent to 4 (15 credit) modules. Some students are able to take 45 Exeter credits per semester (3 modules or 22,5 ECTS), to do this approval must be gained from your home university and emailed to the Inbound team.

European Exchange students

European Exchange students must choose 75% of their modules in the subject in which we have the agreement with your university.  Some departments will allow European Exchange students to take 25% of their modules in another department, however this is subject to module availability. Students wishing to improve their English language skills may like to choose a credit-rated English language module from the INTO Insessional programme.

Study Abroad and International Exchange students

Study Abroad and International Exchange students can usually (if the agreement with your home university allows) choose modules from across our departments (excluding the College of Medicine and Health, Liberal Arts, and the Graduate School of Education) and at any undergraduate level. However, please note the following:

  • You must meet any pre-requisites stated in the module description
  • You must choose a level suitable for your prior knowledge of the subject area
  • Choosing modules from across different departments and levels will increase the possibility of timetable clashes. This can make finalising your study programme more difficult.  Therefore you should choose a minimum of 50% of your modules in one subject area.

We are unable to guarantee that the modules you initially choose will be available. Your study programme will be finalised in the first two weeks of your arrival at the University of Exeter.

Each module 'course' is identified by a module code. 

Undergraduate modules

The first 3 letters of the code refer to the subject area and the 4th character is a number between 1-3, which signifies the year of the module, e.g. ARC2XXX means Archaeology 2nd year undergraduate module, or POL3XXX means Politics, 3rd year module.

The 1, 2 and 3 numbers indicating the year of module are intended to indicate progressively more demanding content, and therefore increasing competence on the part of the student enrolled on the module.

An undergraduate degree in the UK typically lasts three years. Modules listed as 1 are mainly for first year students. Modules in year one aim to equip students with a broad understanding of the subject area so that students have the relevant skills and knowledge to progress to the second year of studies.

Modules taught in year two will build on the principles taught in year one. Even if no pre-requisites are listed, you should check that you have the relevant knowledge.

Year 3 modules are for final year, undergraduate students.

It is important when planning your courses that you understand the significance of these numbers so that you can choose a level you are prepared for.

Postgraduate modules

The 4th character will be an 'M' e.g BEMMXXX which means Business (Management Studies), Masters-level module.

Codes for the College of Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences are explained further in the guidance below.

Please note that Masters levels modules (postgraduate taught) do not normally list pre-requisites, however, students undertaking these courses will have gained three full years of experience in this subject. You MUST have sufficient knowledge of the subject to undertake these modules - check with your College Coordinator and module convenor if you are not sure.

Modules containing fieldwork are usually not available to incoming Exchange and Study Abroad students studying at the Exeter Campuses (Streatham and St Luke's). You must check the module descriptions to determine if this applies to a module you intend to study. For the majority of programmes field trips are not compulsory and other arrangements can be made to fulfil the aims of the trip. However, in some cases there may be other fieldtrip options that you will be liable to pay for.

Fieldwork modules at the Penryn Campus may be possible. For further information please contact

Exchange students attending fieldtrips and daytrips (e.g students studying Physical Geography modules) are expected to provide their own suitable clothing for this activity, which is likely to include walking boots and waterproof clothing. Consult your module convenor if further information is required.

Choosing modules

Please look at the modules offered at our campuses below. Please note, you cannot take modules at both campuses- you can either take Exeter campus modules or Penryn campus modules.

Submitting your modules

You will need to submit a Module request form as part of your application to study at the University of Exeter: University of Exeter Study Plan

Make sure you have received approval from your home university to take the modules you have requested, if approval will take longer than the application deadline, please submit your preferences- you are able to re-submit modules at a later date once approval had been received.

You must check the pre-requsites for modules and include on the form both the exeter pre-requisite and a module equivalent that you have taken at your home university (to prove you meet the pre-requisite).

You must include eight module choices per semester, students may only take a maximum of four modules per semester, however we ask for additional choices in case your first choices are unavilable to you. If you do not submit eight choices, you will be asked to complete another form- this is likely to delay your application being processed.

When will I be allocated modules?

Module allocation takes place in the month prior to arrival, you will have a full study load before the start of term, or will be contacted by the Inbound team. The first two weeks of term are the module add/drop period- when you are still able to change your modules. The Inbound team runs drop-ins throughout this period to help you choose.

Timetable and Assessment


Module timetables are not published until much later in the year so there is a potential for clashes between some of the modules you request. Once we have allocated modules to students by September (first semester) or December (second semester), we will try to avoid any clashes. If the clash is unavoidable, we will contact you to ask you to change modules. 

To help avoid any clashes, we encourage you to select modules from one department and from one level. Of course, if you would like to choose from different departments and levels, we will do our best to help you, but it will increase the chance of a timetable clash.

Assessments and Alternative Assessments

When choosing modules, it is important you check how you are assessed, for example by written essays or by exams. This information can be found under the Summative Assessment section of each module description.

If you are on exchange at Exeter for only the first semester and you cannot attend the exam session at the beginning of January, as you need to return to your home university, it's essential that you check whether you can take an alternative assessment. It is essential that you contact the Inbound team or the module convenor to request this as soon as possible and no later than week 8 of term. 

If you are unsure whether you will be able to take an alternative assessment, please contact us at and we will ask the department on your behalf.