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Durham University

Erasmus, Exchange & Study Abroad

Programme Information

Durham works with a variety of Partner Institutions across the world. In order to be considered as an exchange student, you should be a registered student at one of our Overseas Exchange partners.

*Whilst we do not forsee any major changes to the information provided below, please be aware that some information may be subject to changes*

This guide contains information on departments, modules and credits and specific study information. Please note that some module handbooks are awaiting update. If this is the case for your subject area, the 2021/2022 handbook will still be sufficient.

Overseas Exchange
Number of modules Full time students would usually take 6 modules across the academic year.
Number of credits A full time course load would be 120 UK credits.
Departments Students may choose modules from up to 3 departments.
Exclusions Classes within the English Studies department are limited so approval cannot be guaranteed.

Credit Equivalency Guidelines

120 UK credits are approximately equivalent to:

Country Credits
Australia 24
Canada 30
Europe 60 ECTS
USA 30-36 credit hours
Hong Kong 60 HK credits

As teaching at Durham is in English all students must be able to prove they have a sufficient level of English to be able to cope with the course from the beginning.

If you are not a native English speaker you will need to submit an appropriate English Language qualification and may need to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses depending on your scores. If English is the language of instruction at your home university the language test requirement may be waived,please contact the Exchanges & Study Abroad Team for further information.

Please find below a table detailing all English language requirements for students wishing to apply to Durham University as Exchange students.

For the majority of our undergraduate courses we ask for the following levels:


6.5 overall with no element below 6


Overall score of 92 with no component under 23

All qualifications must be taken within two years of the start of the academic programme.

More information can be found in the Learning and Teaching Handbook English Language Requirements pages.

English Speaking Partner Universities

Non-native English speaking students from partner universities that offer instruction in English will not need to provide an English Language qualigication. Students will be asked to provide some additional proof of English such as a letter from their home university confirming that they are from a univerity that offers this language instruction.

Parters include:

McGill University, National University of Singapore, Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Western Australia, University of Otago, Boston College, McMaster University, Queens University, University of Calgary, University of British Colombia, Zhejiang University and University of Melbourne.

Pre Sessional English Language Courses

If you do not have the required English language score for direct entry to academic courses then your current UKVI IELTS which must be a Secure English Language Test (SELT), taken at a UKVI approved test centre or TOEFL score will determine the length of the pre-sessional English language course that you must follow. All pre-sessional English language courses are offered by the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) - English Language Support.

Pre-sessional course

TOEFL iBT (internet- based)


10 weeks

72 (scores no lower than: reading 16; listening 16; writing 20; speaking 20)

6.0 (no individual score below 5.5)

5 weeks

80 (scores no lower than: reading 19; listening 19; writing 23; speaking 19)

6.0 (no individual score below 6.0)

Direct entry to academic course*

92 (writing score no lower than 23)

6.5 (no individual score below 6.0)

If you need to apply for one of the pre-sessional courses then you must complete a pre-sessional course application form which will be emailed to you from the Exchanges & Study Abroad Team.

* If you have obtained the relevant score for direct entry then it should not be necessary for you to undertake a pre-sessional language course.

We recommend that all exchange students visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) 'Do I need visa?' website to check whether you need a visa to study in the UK. Whether you need a visa will depend on your nationality, the length of your intended stay and other factors. Should you have any questions or uncertainty Durham's Student Immigration Service will be able to assist. You can contact them via the website if needed.

Two common visa routes for exchange students are:

  • the Standard Visitor visa for students undertaking a programme, which is less than six months in duration
  • the Student visa route for students staying for longer than six months

Please, however, be aware that:

  • these rules may change and will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Check with our Student Immigration Service
  • visas for visits above six months require a mandatory £470 Immigration Health Surcharge in addition to the cost of the visa application
  • students are unlikely to be eligible for the Short-term study visa, as this requires you to be specifically and only undertaking and English language programme, i.e. not an English language programme combined with another degree programme.

Some postgraduate programmes may require approval from the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Please be aware that if you are not an EU national, you will need to provide evidence of English Language proficiency in order to obtain a visa. Please use the guidance given here or in the main Learning and Teaching Handbook.

Should you have any questions please contact the Student Immigration Service

The academic year at Durham runs from October to June of each year. We recommend that you arrive in time to attend the Orientation Session. For students arriving in the Michaelmas Term (details will be confirmed in the Summer) and Epiphany Term arrivals (details to be confirmed in November).

Term dates for the academic year 2022/2023 can be found below.

Academic Year 2022/2023
Induction Week 26 September 2022 - 2 October 2022
Michaelmas Term 3 October 2022 - 9 December 2022
Epiphany Term 9 January 2023 - 17 March 2023
Easter Term 24 April 2023 - 23 June 2023

The university will release an Induction Planner nearer to the time of your arrival.

Term Dates

If you are an Overseas Exchange student coming from one of our partner universities, fees are waived under the exchange agreement.

County Durham is one of the most affordable places to live in England. In addition to your accommodation costs, we recommend a further £5,000 - £6,000 per year to cover the costs of books, clothing, socialising etc.

Approximate weekly/monthly living expenses are highlighted in the table below.

Weekly Monthly
Phone £10 £40
Travel £12.50 £50
Leisure / Sport £37.50 £150
Clothing / Shoes £12.50 £50
Misc. course expenses e.g. Books £12.50 £50
Social Activities £25 £100

The National Health Service (NHS) is the means by which healthcare is provided in the UK. Please see the guidance given here for more information.

It is necessary for the University to hold information on past, present and potential students. The information is processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information on individuals may be disclosed outside the University either at an individual's request or in furtherance of an individual's interest. Student information will be kept in line with the University's Record Retention Schedule.