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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Studying Abroad

Further study in a different country is an exciting option to consider and one that can provide additional benefits in terms of cultural experience and personal development. Opportunities for study include undergraduate and postgraduate level study but also a diverse range of short courses and training programmes. If you are considering something as involved as a masters or doctorate then it will need all of the research and thought that you'd apply to studying in the UK, but with equal care and attention given to all of the additional variables raised by the prospect of studying in a different country.

Key issues to consider include:

  • fees and living costs
  • language and culture
  • the quality and relevance of the programme
  • the transferability of the qualification, particularly if it also confers a professional award.

It is important that you explore all of these issues carefully before committing to any programme of study or training.

International postgraduate study

For a general introduction to studying abroad, look at the Prospects website. Targetjobs provides country-specific information on studying abroad including how to apply, fees and visa basics.

The following websites may be helpful in searching for courses worldwide:

Find a Masters

Masters Portal

Find a PhD

Explore institutions and their rankings

The resources highlighted below are a starting point in terms of researching international institutions. It is strongly advised that you undertake independent research and speak directly to relevant contacts within international institutions to find out specific details about the programme of study or research and associated factors e.g. facilities, academic and pastoral support, accommodation and fees.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings
Search by ranking, institution or country for the top 400 universities in the world.

QS Top Universities
Useful resource to research global universities by discipline or location.

Entry Requirements

It is necessary to establish the acceptability of your existing qualifications, particularly as British undergraduate degree programmes can be shorter than elsewhere. Taking an admissions test, such as the GMAT (Graduate Admissions Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), is often integral to the application process in respect of international institutions. The tests can be general or subject specific but it is possible to prepare for them in advance. GMAT and GRE guides and practice resources are available in Durham University libraries and you can search for and reserve these via the Library Catalogue Portal. Also see the links below for additional resources:


As you might expect the cost of postgraduate study overseas varies dramatically. In Sweden there are no tuition fees (for students from EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland) but this is tempered by the expensive cost of living; fees are expensive in the USA but the cost of living is lower than it is in the UK. Useful links to explore funding include:

Studying in the USA

Further study in the USA is a popular consideration for students at Durham University. Masters programmes, which tend to be academic or professional in nature, last between one and three years. Doctoral study can take between five and eight years to complete. Entry requirements are high, encompassing entrance tests such as the GRE or GMAT. It is necessary to commence your research at least 18 months in advance and advisable to submit any application 2 -3 months prior to the deadline, which normally falls between July and January. Fees are expensive but support, in the form of grants, scholarships, fellowships and teaching assistantships, is available through individual institutions. The Fulbright Commission is an example of an organisation that offers a very small number of scholarships to UK students but it is also a crucial source of advice and information for anyone considering study in the USA.

Studying in Europe

Postgraduate study within Europe is a realistic opportunity for Durham students. There is a huge variety of courses on offer, although it is important to check that qualifications (especially professional awards) will be transferable. Tuition fees vary widely from one country to another, as does the cost of living. In some countries it is possible to have tuition in English.

General Information

Specific Countries

Studying in Australia and New Zealand