International Exchange and Fee Paying Students FAQs

Application and entry requirements

For International Exchange and fee paying Study Abroad students the application deadlines are:

  • One year and first semester: 30 April
  • Second semester: 31 October

Students are usually expected to stay until the end of the exam period in January.

However, we know that clashes in academic year dates can occur for some students. Therefore some of our departments will arrange an alternative assessment so that you can still receive a full semester's credits.  

It is your responsibility to check the policy for each of your subjects, but there are some firm rules below:

  • Students taking College of Social Science and International Studies modules will automatically be offered alternative assessments in January, for these modules only.
  • The Business School will arrange for you to sit your exams at your home university only if you have an academic clash.
  • The Psychology Department do not offer any alternative assessment under any circumstance, you must take exams in Exeter in January.

If you are taking modules in different departments, do not assume that you will be permitted an alternative assessment for all of your modules.

You must have completed at least one year of study at your home university before studying at Exeter.  As a general indication, for American students we would normally require a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 where the maximum GPA is 4.0.

If English is not your first language you will also need to meet the University's minimum English language requirements.  To see the full list of accepted English Language qualifications the minimum scores/grades please see our Undergraduate Study entry requirements page. Please note that some departments require a higher level of English Language than others.  Students planning to take modules from across different departments will normally need to satisfy the higher of any linguistic minima required; for example students taking one English module and two Archaeology modules will need the higher grade of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.

Once we have processed your application we will issue you with two acceptance emails. The first will contain detailed information to help you prepare for your studies at University of Exeter. The second will be a shorter, PDF version for you to print out to support your Short Term Study visa (if applicable). This letter will indicate your student number; study period and tuition fees (if applicable).

If you are coming to Exeter for the academic year you must apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa (entry clearance).  If you are coming to Exeter for one semester you can apply for the Tier 4 General Student Visa or the Short Term Study Visa.  

PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to apply for the Short Term Study visa and you plan to travel during your studies at Exeter we strongly recommend you apply for it in advance of travelling to the UK. Full information is available on the International Student Support website.

If you have a current British or other European passport and you use it to travel then you do not need a visa to enter and study in the UK.

Please note that you must direct all visa and immigration queries to our specialist International Student Support Office via The Study Abroad Team are not able to advise on matters of immigration.


Accommodation information for Study Abroad, International Exchange and Erasmus students can be viewed at the Accommodation Office webpages. 

Full year students starting in September are guaranteed accommodation (as long as you apply before the deadline).  Information about the guarantee can be viewed above.

Please note that the majority of single semester students will need to secure housing in the private sector as there is limited university-owned accommodation available.  There is plenty of advice and support to help you in your search on the university's private housing pages, including things to consider and local area information.

Please contact our Student Information Desk at and put 'Accommodation Query' in the subject line.  You will be directed to the Accommodation team.  The Study Abroad team is not involved in accommodation allocation.

No, as with many UK institutions we are unable to guarantee university-owned accommodation for single semester students. Each year we receive a limited number of rooms (usually in James Owen Court).  In order to apply for this, you will need to have been issued your acceptance email containing your Exeter ID number and make your application when it opens in April. Please see the accommodation webpage for further information.

Most single semester students should expect to be housed in the private sector.

The accommodation application portal opens in April for students starting in September and October for students starting in January.  Please note that you cannot apply for accommodation until you receive your Exeter Student ID number which is contained in your official acceptance email.  We are not able to issue students with this number, or email until the application and supporting documents have been processed.


Students coming for one academic year must study the full-time course load which is 120 Exeter credits (60 ECTS).  Students coming for one semester must study 60 Exeter credits (30 ECTS).  The number of modules you study to achieve this will vary according to the credit-weighting of each module.

It is against university policy to allow students to study more than the full time course load. This would amount to a great deal of extra study and is considered detrimental for your welfare. One academic credit point is equivalent to 10 notional study hours, therefore a 15 credit module represents 150 notional study hours, comprising scheduled learning and teaching, guided independent study and placements.

It also takes a module space away from another inbound exchange student in subjects where there can quite often be limited capacity.

Yes, we offer students the flexibility to choose across different subject areas (excluding the College of Medicine and Health) and levels of study. However, this will increase the likeliness of timetable clashes, so in return you must be very flexible with your module choices. We recommend that you choose more than the full-time workload, approved by your home university in advance, so that you have alternatives if some are unavailable or don't fit your timetable.

You must meet any pre-requisites stated in the module description.

In England, an undergraduate Bachelors degree programme will usually take three years to complete as a full-time student and consist of modules which are credit-rated to reflect the workload that they represent.

A full-time undergraduate is expected to take 120 credits a year, therefore if you are studying one semester only you are expected to take 60 credits.

At the University of Exeter modules worth 15 or 30 credits are the norm, which means that students studying for one semester will take between 2-4 modules.

The number of hours required to complete an academic credit point, module, or programme are called notional study hours. One academic credit point is equivalent to 10 notional study hours, therefore a 15 credit module represents 150 notional study hours, comprising scheduled learning and teaching, guided independent study and placements. A year of undergraduate study equates to 1200 hours of full-time study (120 credits).

The University’s academic teaching is based on two semesters. Some modules will be taught over both semesters, with final assessment, usually in the form of examinations, held at some point in the final weeks of the second semester. Other modules may be condensed into one semester, with examinations in early January or at the end of the academic year.

The module desciptor will explain in which Term the module is running and the form of assessment.

Term One modules run from September to December with an assessment in January (Semester One).
Term Two modules run in January to Easter, with assessment in May (Semester Two).

See the Academic calendar for dates.

A master's degree (Postgraduate Taught) usually lasts one year in duration. A year of postgraduate study equates to 1800 hours of full-time study (180 credits).

To find out about our modules and to gain up-to-date and extensive information you must consult the Colleges’ module lists on their websites – please see the 'Module Selection' page.

On the College's webpages you will find a full module description which includes, for example, details of the subject content, any prerequisites, total study time, teaching/learning methods and how the module is assessed. You will also see details such as the credit value and duration of the module.

Module descriptions
Code SOC2005
Credit 30 Credits
Semester/Term Term 1 and/or Term 2
  • The first three letters indicate the subject, SOC = Sociology
  • The first digit of the code indicates the level at which the subject is taught, e.g. SOC2005 would normally be taken by a second-year undergraduate at Exeter
  • The credit value indicates the expected workload, e.g. 30 credits is 25% of the full-year's workload of 120 credits at the University of Exeter
  • The duration indicates in which semester (term) the module is likely to be taught. Term One is Semester One and Term Two is Semester Two.

The modules chosen on your application form are provisional. We cannot guarantee modules as they are subject to timetabling and availability. However we do try and give you a good idea of what you are likely to study.  Please list up to 8 options on your study plan.

Each department/college manages its module allocation differently, but most aim to start this process before you arrive based on the modules listed on your study plan. Your study programme will then be confirmed when you are in Exeter and you meet your academic/study abroad coordinator.

Arriving here

Students coming for the first semester or the academic year in September can book on to the Meet and Greet service organised for all new international students which operates from London Heathrow airport to the Exeter and Penryn campuses.  There is a small charge.

This service is not available for semester two students, however it is easy to get to Exeter from most major airports. There is a direct coach service from London Heathrow airport to Exeter bus station.

For more information see the International Student Support webpages.

Yes, students arriving in September take part in Freshers' Week, a week of information sessions and social events before the start of classes.  Students arriving for semester two will be involved in an orientation day where you will take part in information sessions and social events during the first week.  Orientation programme details are posted on the University website for new students once they have been confirmed.

For details about registering as a University of Exeter student please see the University's website for new students.

Registering for modules - you will be allocated a home department/College and you will meet with your Study Abroad coordinator during Orientation to confirm your module selection.  Your Study Abroad Coordinator will act as your academic advisor during your time at Exeter.  You will be given a module registration form listing your modules and each module will need to be signed off by the coordinator.  Please note that if you are taking modules in another department/College you will need to obtain the signature of the appropriate coordinator.

Semester dates are found on the Academic calendar

First semester students starting in September are expected to stay at Exeter until the end of the exam period in January. Alternative Assessments/exams policies differ in each subject area – it is your responsibility to seek permission prior to your arrival. Sometimes, alternative assessment will be granted only if you can provide a letter from your home institution confirming that the Spring Semester commences during the exams period. 

All second semester and full year students must stay for the examination/assessment until June.  Alternative assessment is not an option.

Please note that while teaching and assessment is organised over two semesters, our holidays are organised over three terms.  The important dates for your study period at Exeter are the semester dates.  Those studying for the full-year or semester two will benefit from a University holiday over Easter (4 weeks).  Many of our students use this time to travel.

What to expect

"I have been accepted for exchange at the University of Exeter but I have received a message saying I have incomplete documentation and that I need further information to register for my programme, please can you resolve this issue?"

Students who require a visa to study in the UK will be required to present certain documents on arrival at Exeter (such as your passport and visa) before you are able to complete online registration.

Full details will be provided in your pre-arrival support emails from the University.

The way you learn at University of Exeter is likely to different to what you will have experienced before. Depending on your course, you may be involved in some or all of these types of teaching.

From campus life to your studies, the current students webpage lists a full A-Z list of services and support for current students.

Leaving University of Exeter

When you leave Exeter you automatically become one of our alumni.  A range of discounts are available to Exeter alumni, including sports facilities; library access; accommodation; learning and conference facilities and discounts on postgraduate study. There are also opportunities for you to come back for lectures and events.  In addition, careers support is available to recent alumni. There are internship opportunities, chances to build your skills and plenty of advice or networking opportunities.

Once you have completed your studies at Exeter you could also consider writing us a profile to describe your Study Abroad experience with us. Profiles of students giving testimony about their time at the University of Exeter provide an invaluable insight into the real experiences of our students, helping to inspire and inform prospective and current students.

Please see the Alumni website for further information and remember to update your contact details.


Your academic transcript will be sent out as soon as possible after the release of your marks for your study period at Exeter. For one year and semester two students the transcripts will be posted in July. Semester one students should expect your transcript to be posted in early March by the Student Information Desk. The transcripts will be sent to your university's international office. Please see our Transcripts page for more information.

Undergraduate marking criteria

Mark Class Comment
80 and above 1st All the criteria for 1st, plus outstanding analytical power or originality of ideas
70-79 1st Clear and stylish writing.  Very thorough knowledge of the material.  Excellent critical assessment.  Well structured and organised.  Empirical data very well analysed and integrated in assessed work,
All the criteria for 2:1, plus substantial originality of ideas

60-69 2:1 Clear writing with a well-defined focus, reflecting a good working knowledge of the material and good competence in its critical assessment. Well-structured and organised. Appropriate methodology.  Empirical data and experimental work well analysed and integrated in assessed work
50-59 2:2 Acceptable level of self-expression based on adequate working knowledge of material. Satisfactory structure and organisation of material. Appropriate methodology.  Satisfactory analysis of empirical data and experimental work
40-49 3rd Limited level of self-expression based on core material.  Quality of writing inconsistent.  Structure and organisation adequate at best. Unimaginative use made of appropriate methodology.  Limited use of empirical and experimental results.
39% and below Fail Lacking in basic knowledge and critical ability.  Inappropriate methodology or poor application of appropriate methodology.  Major defects in writing and reporting of empirical data and experimental results

For undergraduate modules the pass mark (in order to gain credits) is 40%.

Where a student has passed an assessment at the second attempt, a formal mark of 40% is normally recorded.

Postgraduate marking criteria

Mark Range Comment  
70% and above Distinction. Work of near publishable standard reflecting outstanding knowledge of material and critical ability.  
60-69% Merit. Work with a well-defined focus, reflecting a good working knowledge of material and good level of competence in its critical assessment.  
50-59% Pass. Work demonstrating adequate working knowledge of material and evidence of some analysis.    
40-49% Fail. Limited knowledge of core material and limited critical ability.  
39% and below Fail. Lacking in basic knowledge and critical ability  

For postgraduate modules the pass mark (in order to gain credits) is 50%.

Where a student has passed an assessment at the second attempt, a formal mark of 50% is normally recorded.

Translation of your marks is the responsibility of your home university.  We do not advise on this as different universities can often use different systems.