Short-term incoming (occasional) students

The University of Surrey welcomes small numbers 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). Their Surrey study credit can be transferred to their full-time degree at their home institution.

Types of occasional students

We receive two types of occasional students:

1. One-way study abroad agreement students

Occasional students where there is a one-way institutional agreement between Surrey and their home institution.

2. Independent study abroad students

One-off occasional students where there is no existing agreement between Surrey and their home institution. 

For general guidance about short-term study at Surrey, please visit our incoming exchange webpage

One-way study abroad agreements

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
  • Module choices will have been pre-agreed with the home institution.

Please ask your home institution for exact details.

Independent study abroad 

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 at Surrey themselves (see Application Process section below)
  • 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

Please refer to incoming exchange student website for other information e.g. important dates. 

Entry requirements and fees

  • 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 exchange/study abroad semester dates 
  • 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 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 for further information, as there is a special programme and fees available, and different academic dates. 

Application process

The application process consists of three stages:

  1. Make an application enquiry
  2. Submit your application  
  3. Accept your place

Please note: We send some important emails from a no-reply account so please ensure you check your junk folder as well.

Please complete our application enquiry form and email it to the International Engagement Office.

Enquiry deadlines:

  • 15 April for semester one (late September-late January) or full year applicants
  • 15 September for semester two (early February-mid June) applicants

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 as soon as possible stating that you are withdrawing and your reason for doing so. 

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International Engagement Office
University of Surrey