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School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Incoming Erasmus Students

Incoming Erasmus Students to Durham MLAC

Welcome to Durham School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Erasmus applications are processed at your home university. You will only be able to apply to study in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham if you study at one of the following universities:

In Belgium
Marie Haps Institute, Brussels

• In France:
Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand;
Université de Bourgogne, Dijon;
Université de Limoges, Limoges;
Université de Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, Toulouse;
Université François Rabelais, Tours.
Université de la Sorbonne IV, Paris
Université Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris

• In Germany:
Albert Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
Universität zu Köln, Köln
Eberhard Karls-Universität, Tübingen
Universität Konstanz, Konstanz
Universität Regensburg, Regensburg

• In Italy:
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena
Università degli Studi 'S Pio 5' di Roma, Roma
Università di Catania, Catania
Università per Stranieri di Siena, Siena
Università di Pisa, Pisa
Università di Chieci, Pescara

• In Russia:
Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Olomouci, Czech Republic

• In Spain:
Alcalá de Henares (Filología),
Cádiz (Humanidades),
Granada (Sociología y Política),
Pompeu Fabra (Traducción),
Salamanca (Filología),
Santiago de Compostela (campus de Lugo) (Humanidades)
Universidad de Vigo (Traducción, Filología).
Universidad de La Laguna, San Critóbal de La Laguna

• In China: (tba)

• In Japan: (tba)


Please note that if your home institution is not appearing in the above list, you will not be entitled to study at the School of Modern languages and Cultures.

If your home institution has an Erasmus exchange programme with other Durham University Department, you will find the relevant information in the Durham International Office:

The application process varies in each university, but you should contact your Erasmus coordinator for Durham in your home department in the early part of the previous academic year to express interest and comply with your Home University application procedure.

Once you have been accepted, you will be asked to fill in a Durham Erasmus application form available in the following website address:

This application form will have to be endorsed by your home department's Year Abroad Coordinator or your home university's international office, who will then forward it to Durham (please do not send any forms separately to Durham yourself). Your institution will provide Durham International office with a list of students and you should receive a Durham information pack at your home address during the summer prior to your arrival.


Please tick the following link for Information on Durham and Durham University :


Durham International office will manage your Erasmus Exchange programme application and will liaise with the respective department. They will send you all the information that you need prior to your arrival and will also offer help and advice with registration and accommodation, especially during the Induction week.

Mrs Emma PEARCE is the Erasmus Institutional Coordinator. Mrs Claire DALEY is the Study Abroad Officer.
For more information, please visit the International Office website: and look especially at the ECTS Guide for incoming students


Information on arrival and induction can be found in the following website:

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures organises an incoming Erasmus students' induction meeting on the Wednesday of the 1st week of October, early afternoon. You will meet the person who has been in contact with your home University, your Year Abroad departmental Officer (also called Erasmus Departmental Co-ordinator). He/she will help you to finalise your programme of studies and register to the modules.

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures in Durham has over 700 highly-qualified undergraduate students and some 40 postgraduates in six Departments, of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian (including Serbo-Croat) and Hispanic Studies (including Catalan). There are around sixty members of teaching staff (including fifteen language specialists) and seven dedicated administrators. Recent tables show Durham Modern Languages Departments always figuring in the top ten of their disciplines nationally.

The School also aims high in research. In the last Research Assessment Exercise staff research in French was rated as internationally excellent, in German and Spanish as excellent, and it is our policy that all departments will be assessed as producing research of international excellence in 2008. For more information, please visit the School website:

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures also includes the CFLS (Centre for Foreign Language Study), which offers a wide range of credit bearing foreign languages modules for non language specialists and also a wide variety of non-credit bearing language classes organised in the evenings and Wednesday afternoons (language For All classes) (arrange link).


The Year Abroad Departmental Officers (also Erasmus Coordinators) for each Language Department at Durham School of Modern Languages and Cultures are as follows:

MLAC School Year Abroad coordinator: Mr Roger Ravanelli

They will be your Year Abroad Departmental Officers from your arrival at Durham, you will meet them during the MLAC induction meeting on the 1st Wednesday of Michaelmas Term (1st week of October) and they will offer advice and support on academic issues such as registration, changes to the original learning agreement or course choices, etc.

They will also offer advice if you were to encounter any problems that could affect your academic performance while at Durham and will liaise with your home University when necessary.

However, the Year Abroad Departmental Officer is not responsible for personal issues such as accommodation, although he/she will try to ensure that you are well integrated within the School and that you have opportunities to meet Durham students.


Durham University has a term structure. The academic year is divided into three terms: Michaelmas (October to December), Epiphany (January to March) and Easter (April to June). Most of the teaching takes places during the first two terms (between 9 and 10 weeks each) whilst the third term is used for revision and assessment. You are expected to be in campus during term dates but not during the Christmas (4 weeks) and Easter (5 weeks) vacation. Please note that college rooms have to be vacated during the vacation periods. If you want to stay you will have to let your college know and arrange payment for the extra stay.

Term dates for 2017/18:


Please refer to the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Only the modules listed in this ECTS guide are available to incoming Erasmus students.

Please note that you should discuss your programme of studies (re: Learning Agreement form) with your Year Abroad Departmental Officer at the MLAC Induction meeting before finalising your choice of MLAC modules. He/she will be the person signing your Learning Agreement form.

Please note as well that some courses might be full (especially Level 3 modules, which usually take a maximum of 30 students).

Most incoming Erasmus students take a maximum of 6 modules in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures for the full academic year, which corresponds to 60ECTS. This is divided by 2 for the students staying only one semester.


Please note that all modules at Durham run for the full academic year.

Most courses are single modules and are worth 20 Durham credits (equivalent to 10 ECTS) and double modules are worth 40 Durham credits (20 ECTS).

It is very important that you discuss validation of Durham modules with your home institution coordinator to ensure that all the modules that you choose are validated when you return home. Durham academic staff is not responsible for your choices, or for the outcome of any validation boards at your home university.


One of the aspects of the British educational system that Erasmus students appreciate the most is the size of the classes. Most modules will be taught by means of large-group weekly lectures (between 30 and 100 students) and a fortnightly small-group discussion seminar (between 12 and 15 students) in which you can discuss concepts learned in the lecture and set readings.

Whilst attendance at your home institution might not be compulsory, please note that attendance to all lectures and seminars is compulsory and closely monitored at Durham and you must make sure that you attend every class and that you contact the School secretary (334 3420) in case of illness. You must prepare yourself for seminars by doing all the set readings. You may have to do a short individual or group presentation based on the set reading (the lecturer will give you plenty of notice and in most cases you will be able to choose the topic from a list). It is expected that you participate actively in seminars. Tutors often direct specific questions to students and you will have to take an active part in small-group discussions. Reading lists and information about lecture and seminar programmes will be available from the start of term. You will have to purchase a course dossier for most courses (which will include important information about teaching and assessment as well as some class materials). For some courses further documentation and materials will be made available in electronic format via the university intranet environment (DUO - Durham University Online).


Assessment information is provided on the Faculty Handbook. This handbook can be consulted at the following address: ,. You will need to type the module code to have access to the module information.

Module information and Assessment requirements will also be available on the MLAC website and the School Handbook, which can be found on our intranet network called DUO (Durham on Line) once you are effectively registered.

Please read the School handbook and module guides included in each course dossier carefully at the beginning of the academic year and consult the respective Module Convenor in case of doubt or if you have any concern about deadlines.

Please note you may find differences in teaching and learning approaches between your home country university system and the British one. In the UK you will probably study fewer set texts but in more depth, there will be less emphasis on general study of periods and movements, but more emphasis on detailed analysis and on critical thinking.


The University has the following country-specific societies within the School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, as well as an International Students' Society.

These societies provide plenty of opportunities for Erasmus students to mix with other international and British students and to take part in many social and cultural events throughout the academic year. Your college and various cultural or sports societies that you can join as a Durham student will also help you build contacts and friendships in the university.

A Tandem programme is also organised by the CFLS to encourage students wishing to practise their foreign language with a native speaker.

Further information will be given during the Induction meeting.


Most of the information provided in this document is a summary of the documentation included in the International section of the Durham University website, plus specific information about the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Please refer to the main International page for further information in English:

You can also consult a university map here:

If you require any further information about the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, please contact the above-listed language respective Year Abroad Departmental Officer. You may also contact Mr Jonny Moore, the School Manager and Mr Roger Ravanelli, the MLAC School Year Abroad Co-ordinator.