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Study Abroad programmes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application and entry requirements

If you are an exchange student you must be nominated by your home university before you can apply to study with us. 

Application Deadlines  
Full year and Semester 1 31st May
Semester 2 (January-June) 31st October

You can find out more information on our Application webpage.

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. Therefore some departments will arrange an alternative assessment so that you can still receive a full semester's credits.  

If you are on exchange at Exeter for only Semester 1 and you cannot attend the January exam period because of an academic term clash with your home university, your home university needs to provide evidence to the Inbound Team by the end of the module change period.

Please note the following departments do not offer alternative assessments:

  • Business School
  • Psychology
  • Geography Level 1
  • Modern Languages

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 a minimum of 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 provide evidence that you have the required level of English to study at a British university.  As a guideline, please see the full list of accepted English language qualifications and the minimum scores/grades required.  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.

Once we have processed your application we will send you two emails. The first will confirm your acceptance and contains detailed information to help you prepare for your studies at the University of Exeter. The second will have a PDF acceptance letter attached for you to print out.  It can be used to support requests for Visitor immigration permission.  This letter will confirm your student number, study period and any tuition fees.

If you are coming to Exeter for the academic year you must apply for a Student Visa.  If you are coming to Exeter for one semester you can apply for the Student visa or request Visitor immigration permission.  Please look at the visa advice pages for further information.

PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to enter the UK as a Visitor and you plan to travel during your studies we strongly recommend that you apply for a Visitor visa in advance of travelling to the UK. Full information is available on the International Student Support website.

If you have a current British or Irish 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 at The Inbound Team are not able to advise on matters of immigration.


We recommend you look at our page on Accommodation and further information can be viewed on the Accommodation Office website.

Please contact the Accommodation team at  Further contact information can be found here.

The Inbound Team is not involved in accommodation allocation.

Full year students starting in September are guaranteed accommodation as long as they apply before the 31st July deadline.

One semester students are not guaranteed university accommodation, there are a limited number of rooms available. The majority of single semester students will secure housing in the private sector and there are several options. Advice and support to help you in your search can be found on the University’s private housing pages, including local area information.

Information regarding accommodation at our Penryn campus can be found here.

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


Students must study the full-time course load.  For one year students this is 120 Exeter credits (60 ECTS), and for one semester students this is 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 to your welfare.  It would also take a place away from another exchange student in subjects where there can often be limited capacity.  

One academic credit point is equivalent to 10 notional study hours, therefore a 15 credit module represents 150 notional study hours, comprising of scheduled learning and teaching, guided independent study and placements.

Check out our module page for more information on the modules you can choose and how to apply.

European exchange students must choose 75% of their modules in the subject of the agreement we have with their home university. 

International exchange students can choose across different subject areas, excluding the College of Medicine and Health, Liberal Arts, and the Graduate School of Education. However, this will increase the likelihood of timetable clashes, so you must be flexible with your module choices.  At least 50% should be in one subject area.  On your study plan you must list more than the full-time workload, approved by your home university in advance, so that you have alternatives if some modules 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 3 years to complete full-time, and consists 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 for one semester only you are expected to take 60 credits.

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

Notional study hours are the number of hours required to complete an academic credit point, module, or programme. One academic credit point is equivalent to 10 notional study hours, therefore a 15 credit module represents 150 notional study hours and is comprised of scheduled learning and teaching, guided independent study and placements. 

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 descriptor will explain in which term/semester the module is running and the form of assessment.

Term/semester one modules are taught from September to December with assessment in January.
Term/semester two modules are taught from January to March, with assessment in May.

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 you must consult the Departments’ module lists on their websites – please see the 'Module Selection' page.

On the Departments' 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.

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 before arrival.  Please list 8 modules per semester on your study plan.

Each department 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 be confirmed when you arrive in Exeter/Penryn.

Arriving here

Students coming in September can book on to the Airport Collection service .  It's organised for all new international students and operates from London Heathrow airport, taking students 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.

For more information see the International Student Support webpages.

Yes, students arriving in September take part in Welcome Week, a week of information sessions and social events before the start of classes. We recommend you have a look at the Pre-Arrival Information pages and attend the pre-Arrival Webinar, where you can find information about the Orientation programme.

Students arriving for semester two will also have an Orientation programme during the first week.  There is also the opportunity to attend Re-Freshers' Week in January to get involved in the extra-curricular societies we have on offer.

Orientation programme details are posted on the University website for new students once they have been confirmed.

Prior to arrival, you will receive a welcome email with details on how to complete your online registration.

You will be able to complete online registration once you have completed international student clearance.

For more details on the online registration please see this website.

Semester dates are found on the academic calendar

First semester students are expected to stay at Exeter until the end of the exam period in January. Alternative assessments/exams may be possible but policies differ in each subject area – it is your responsibility to seek permission from each department.  Some departments do not offer alternative assessment in which case you must stay for the exams.  Sometimes alternative assessment will be granted only if you can provide a letter from your home institution confirming that their Spring semester commences during the Exeter exams period. 

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

Please note that while teaching and assessment are 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 immigration permission to study in the UK must present certain documents on arrival at Exeter (such as your passport, visa, boarding pass) 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.

Academic Studies in the UK

  • Independent study is important - working on your own for significant periods of time
  • Students are expected to develop critical judgement, which means an ability to assess whether an argument is coherent and well supported by evidence
  • Our teaching stimulates and challenges our students, while motivating them as independent learners and critical thinkers

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

Leaving the 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, library, accommodation, learning and conference facilities, travel, home and garden, fashion and beauty and more.  Discounts are also available on postgraduate study. There are opportunities for you to come back for lectures and events.  Access to career advice, internship opportunities and graduate level work resources continues long after your studies at Exeter finish.

Once you have completed your studies at Exeter you could also consider submitting 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.

Requesting a transcript after your studies

Transcripts for Semester One students will be emailed to the student and the International Office of their home university in March. 

Transcripts for Full Year and Semester Two students will be emailed to the student and the International Office of their home university in July.  

If you are an independent fee-paying student then a copy will be emailed to you.  A copy can also be emailed to your home university, if requested. 

If you require additional copies, or if you are a former study abroad/exchange student, you are able to purchase transcripts at the online store for a cost of £12 per transcript. 

Undergraduate marking criteria.  For undergraduate modules the pass mark is 40%

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


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

Postgraduate marking criteria.  For postgraduate modules the pass mark is 50%.

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  


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

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

Your Exeter transcript will be sent to your home university once marks have been confirmed for all students studying at Exeter.  Sometimes transcripts may arrive a little later, usually in the case of semester one students where alternative assessments have been granted and later deadlines set.