Fee-paying incoming study abroad
We welcome a small number of students from higher education institutions outside the UK to study at Surrey on a fee-paying basis for a short period (one or two semesters). Surrey study credits obtained during this period can be transferred to their full-time degree at their home institution.
We receive two types of fee-paying short-term international students:
One-way study abroad at Surrey agreement
These are students whose home institution has a one-way institutional agreement with the University of Surrey.
Students coming to Surrey under a one-way study abroad agreement are integrated into our student exchange programme and are managed in the same way as our exchange students for the duration of their stay.
The main differences are:
- Students will be expected to pay tuition fees as agreed with the home institution.
- Module choices will have been pre-agreed with the home institution.
Please ask your home institution for exact details.
Independent study abroad at Surrey
These are students whose home institution has no existing agreement with the University of Surrey.
Independent Study Abroad Students are integrated into our student exchange programme and are managed in the same way as our exchange students for the duration of their stay. The main differences are that students:
- Are not nominated to Surrey by their home institution but must make an application enquiry to the International Engagement Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Surrey themselves.
- Will be expected to pay tuition fees.
- Must identify an appropriate study abroad coordinator at their home institution to ensure their Surrey credit will be recognised at their home institution
- Must provide a letter of recommendation from an appropriate person at their home institution with their application.
- Must pick modules from just one Surrey degree programme.
Courses at Surrey are called ‘modules’ and most of our modules are worth 15 Surrey credits / 7.5 ECTS credits (equivalent to 3 USA credits). You will need to take 4 modules / 30 ECTS credits per semester.
Our Programme and Module Catalogue provides detailed descriptions of each degree programme and the modules that we offer.
Studying at Surrey
Alternatively, our online Programme/Module Catalogue provides detailed descriptions of all of the modules offered at Surrey, including the module content, the semester in which it is available and the method of assessment - please ensure you have selected the appropriate academic year.
On the Catalogue, modules are grouped within programmes by department and level:
- Undergraduate/Bachelor’s degree - Level HE1 (1st year), Level HE2 (2nd year), and Level HE3 (3rd year)
- Postgraduate/Master’s degree - Level M
- As we have a range of integrated Master’s degrees – eg. MMaths, MEng, MChem – if you are an advanced-level undergraduate student in your own system, we may be able to consider you for certain M-level modules – please consult your Departmental Exchange Coordinator before listing these on your learning agreement. You must have a subject-specific cumulative GPA of 3.0 or equivalent and a minimum of 3 years of subject-specific study.
As far as possible, you should try to select modules from one department, one-degree programme and one study level/year, as this will reduce the risk of timetable clashes. Timetables are not published until a month before the start of each semester so some students may need to choose one or two replacement modules just before or after their arrival.
Students wishing to take electives at Surrey and who have little or no background in the subject should select 1st-year modules. For electives in more technical subjects and modern languages, students will need to provide evidence of previous study in the subject, even for 1st-year modules, and may be tested in their first week at Surrey to ascertain the appropriate level for them.
Most modules are only available once a year, in either the first or second semester. You will need to be careful to only select modules that will be running in the semester in which you will be at Surrey.
On the Programme descriptions, the semester is indicated next to each module title, and on the Module descriptions, it is indicated towards the top under ‘Module Availability’.
Some modules are not available to exchange students or require prior study of another module (prerequisite) or must be taken alongside a related module (co-requisite) or have restricted numbers of students in the class and so may not be available. This will normally be indicated under 'Prerequisites/Co-requisites' in the module description.
The academic year at Surrey is divided into two semesters:
- Semester one (autumn) - starts in late September, with a break for the winter vacation and final exams from the middle to the end of January.
- Semester two (spring) - starts in early February, with a four week spring vacation in April (many exchange students take the opportunity to do some travelling), and final exams from late May to mid/late June.
All of our semester and vacation dates throughout each academic year are available on our Key dates page.
Taught courses are normally assessed by a mix of examinations and coursework - check out the module descriptions in the Programme and Module Catalogue for details.
You will be assessed at the same time and in the same way as the other students on their course, so if assessment is by examination, you must be able to stay at Surrey until the end of our exam period in January and June (see our key dates). Surrey exams can not be taken at a student's home institution.
Students who have a January semester start date at their home institution are advised to come to Surrey either for the full year or for semester 2.
Students on taught courses receive a formal Surrey transcript of results at the end of their stay, which their home institution uses to transfer their credits.
We run English Language Support Programme (ELSP) courses completely free of charge and you can register online for up to 3 courses per semester.
Courses include grammar and oral skills courses and English language courses specifically for students of management, economics, engineering and computing.
We also offer courses for native speakers who wish to improve their academic writing or presentation skills.
Classes last between 50 minutes and 2 hours. There is no homework or exams - at the end of each course and you can download an attendance certificate as evidence that you have completed the course.
If you wish to learn a modern language, other than English, the University provides:
- Evening Classes (fees apply)
- The Global Graduate Award Scheme (GGA) –The free GGA language courses are open to full-year students, who are awarded 7.5 ECTS credits for successful completion of the course. We offer 11 modern languages at different levels.
- The Language and Culture Exchange Scheme (LACES) – LACES enables students and staff to practice their oral language skills with a native speaker in a relaxed setting.
In addition to paying tuition fees (see fees above) you also will need to cover all your living costs, including accommodation, clothes, transport, books, food and entertainment, plus your travel to the UK.
Further information can be found on our additional costs page.
You will be eligible to apply for University of Surrey accommodation and we can usually offer accommodation to all or most students, but it is not guaranteed. Successful applicants will be sent their Surrey Student Number and a link to our online accommodation application form in July/November.
For full details see our accommodation page.
- A current full-time student at a higher education institution outside the UK
- Committed to taking the full academic course load at Surrey, which will be credited as part of your degree at your home institution (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits - generally 4 modules - per semester)
- A minimum cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 in the 4-point system, 5.0 in the 7-point system, or the equivalent
- For non-native speakers of English, a minimum English language level of IELTS 6.5, with at least 6.0 in each component / TOEFL 88, with at least 18 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 19 in Speaking and 23 in Writing / at least CEFR B2 and ideally C1, or the equivalent. Students coming for two semesters or wishing to work and study must submit one of our accepted English language qualifications with their study abroad application so that we can support their application for a Student visa. Students coming for just one semester may submit one of these qualifications or a range of other evidence.
- Able to attend for the full semester including exams - for further information, see our key dates page.
- Any other requirements as set out in the one-way study abroad agreement (if applicable).
As an occasional student, you are responsible for paying for your tuition fees, accommodation and other living expenses whilst at the University of Surrey.
One-Way Study Abroad agreement students pay fees as agreed with the home institution.
Independent Study Abroad students will be charged according to the degree programme they pick and full details can be found on our fees page.
Please note, fees quoted are for the full year – fees will be halved if studying for one semester only.
If you are interested in nursing, please contact the International Engagement Office (email@example.com) for further information, as there is a special programme and fees available, and different academic dates.
How to apply
The application process consists of three stages:
- Make an application enquiry
- Submit your application
- Accept your place
Please note: We send some important emails from a no-reply account firstname.lastname@example.org so please ensure you check your junk folder as well.
- 15 April for semester one (late September-late January) or full year applicants
- 15 September for semester two (early February-mid June) applicants.
Please note: We send some important emails from a no-reply account email@example.com so please ensure you check your junk folder as well..
If your initial enquiry is deemed suitable, you will be provided with information on how to submit a full application, which will then be reviewed by an academic in the relevant department and you will be informed if your application has been successful.
Please read the guidance you are sent carefully (this is aimed at exchange students but also applicable to occasional applicants). Please be aware that you are required to pick from one Surrey programme only and to submit a letter of recommendation from a suitable academic/equivalent at your university.
If your application is successful, you will have one month from your acceptance email to confirm your wish to accept your place at the University of Surrey.
If you choose not to accept your place here, or to withdraw, please email the International Engagement Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible stating that you are withdrawing and your reason for doing so.