Studying at Surrey

Find out about the courses you can take while at Surrey.

What can I study?

Courses or study units at Surrey are known as ‘modules’. Depending on whether your home institution has a subject-specific or university-wide exchange/study abroad agreement with us, you may study one or more of the modules listed below. For a list of modules by department and level, and full module descriptions, see our module catalogue.


Subject areas available to exchange students

Module Catalogue code

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

Business (Surrey Business School)

MAN [1]

Dance (Guildford School of Acting)

DAN [2]

Digital media




English and languages [3]:

  • English language
  • English literature
  • Film studies
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Translation studies


  • ELA
  • ELI
  • MFC
  • FRE
  • GER
  • SPA
  • TRA

Hospitality and tourism management


Law (School of Law)

LAW [4]


MUS [5]



Sociology, criminology, media


Theatre (Guildford School of Acting)


Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS)

Chemical and process engineering

ENG [6]



Civil and environmental engineering


Computer science


Electrical and electronic engineering




Mechanical engineering sciences




Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS)

Biochemistry, biological Sciences, biomedical Science, biotechnology, microbiology, veterinary biosciences

(School of Biosciences and Medicine)

BMS [7]

Nutrition and food science (School of Biosciences and Medicine)


Nursing studies (School of Health Sciences)

NUR2166, 2167 and 2168 only [8]


PSY [9]

[1] As the ‘MAN’ route code is used by two separate departments (Business and Hospitality and Tourism), please make sure you only choose modules from your own department by selecting from the ‘View Modules by Department and Level’ section of the catalogue.

[2] Guildford School of Acting modules with codes starting ACT, AMT, CPD, MUT, POV, PRO or TDL are not available to exchange students. Theatre Studies applicants will be invited to do a 15-minute Skype interview with the Admissions Tutor as part of the application process.

[3] Some English literature modules have capped numbers and so places may be limited. Global Graduate Award languages modules are only available to students coming for the full academic year and cannot be taken as one of your 4 modules for the semester. Liberal Arts degree modules – codes starting ‘LAS’ – are not available to exchange students.

[4] When choosing law or economics modules, students should be particularly mindful of pre-requisites/co-requisites.

[5] Some music and digital media modules i.e. Creative Music Technology, Sound Recording (codes: CMT, FVP, TON) are not available to exchange students. Students applying to take Music performance and theory modules must provide evidence of proficiency and prior learning ie. a recording or reference letter, music practical certificate, music theory certificate/transcript.

[6] Engineering timetables are complex due to the laboratory sessions, so students are advised, if possible, to select modules from just one degree programme to avoid timetable clashes - see degree programme content on undergraduate and postgraduate course pages.

[7] Short, intensive masters-level professional development modules (e.g. PHMM, PHAM…) are not available to exchange students.

[8] Other nursing and midwifery modules are not available to exchange students and the nursing modules in this table are only available under our nursing exchange agreements.

[9] Some 3rd year undergraduate modules (PSY3…) have capped numbers and may not be available - please check with Psychology Exchange Administrator Criminology modules are not available to exchange students.

Most modules are worth 15 Surrey credits / 7.5 ECTS credits (equivalent to three USA credits).

Exchange students are expected to study full-time at Surrey. A full workload is 60 Surrey credits or 30 ECTS credits per semester, which is normally four modules.

You may not take more than four modules. In rare cases, a student may need to take a distance learning module from their home university whilst they are at Surrey and in this instance they would be allowed to take just three Surrey modules. 

Undergraduate exchange students can choose modules from our undergraduate degree descriptions and masters-level students from our postgraduate degree descriptions.  

Erasmus+ exchange agreements and some business, hospitality and tourism, and sociology exchange agreements are subject-specific and students should only choose modules from the department of the exchange agreement, while students from university-wide exchange partners may choose modules in any of the subject areas listed above at an appropriate level.

As far as possible, you should try to select modules from one department, one degree course and one study level, 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 new 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 first-year modules. For electives in more technical subjects and languages, students will need to provide evidence of previous study in the subject, even for first-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. The relevant semester is indicated at the end of each module title ('Semr1' and 'Semr2') and towards the top of each module description under ‘Module Availability’.

Semester 1 (our autumn semester) runs from late September to the end of January; Semester 2 (our spring semester) runs from early February to mid/late June. Exams are always in the last two weeks of January and the last week of May to the middle of June.

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 capped numbers and so may not be available. This will normally be indicated under 'Prerequisites/Co-requisites' in the module description.

Each academic department has a departmental exchange coordinator who can advise you on module content and whether you meet any pre-requisites.There is also a Departmental Exchange Administrator, who acts as the first point of contact and will finalise your study timetable and enrol you on your chosen modules. If you have difficulty contacting your Coordinator or Administrator, please email our Incoming Exchanges Team,

Academic calendar

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.

For 2019/20 semester and key dates, see our key dates page.

How will I be assessed? 

Exchange and study abroad students on taught courses are normally assessed by a mix of examinations and coursework - check out the module catalogue for  website for details.

Exchange and study abroad 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.

English language classes

Exchange students can take up to three of our English Language Support Programme courses completely free of charge. English language study is in addition to your academic subjects and includes courses from pronunciation and grammar, through to assignment writing and presentation skills. 

Studying in the UK

The University's International Study Centre can help familiarise you to studying and living in the UK and our study support services can help you to get the most out of your studies and achieve your goals while you are here. 

A group of students are walking by the campus on an autumn day.

How to apply

Check your eligibility and find out how to apply.