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Durham University

Department of Physics

Information for students from non-UK universities

Every year, the Department receives a number of students from non-UK universities coming to Durham to attend courses or to work as an intern.

Studying in Durham

You can study here for up to a whole academic year either as an exchange student, within the Erasmus programme or another exchange framework, or as a (fee-paying) visiting student within our Study Abroad Programme. Students from abroad interested in doing a whole undergraduate degree in Durham can find general information about this in the University web pages for prospective international students and specific information about the Physics degree programmes in the Undergraduate Programmes pages of the Department.

The Study Abroad Programme is open to any qualified student registered as an undergraduate at a university or college based outside the European Union. It is a full year programme, running from October to June. Please contact the Exchange Coordinator for Physics if you have any query about taking Physics module within this programme.

As far as study placements are concerned, exchanges are restricted to students registered with one of our partner institutions. Study placements can be as short as one term (with permission) or as long as a whole academic year. Exchange students can choose from a broad range of undergraduate modules (see, for example, the University ECTS Guide for Incoming Students). Depending on their qualifications, they might also have the possibility of attending some of the postgraduate lectures organised by our research groups. If you need to be assessed in Durham, please be aware that all our undergraduate lecture courses are examined in May or early June, not at the end of each term. For some modules, resit opportunities are offered in August.

Please contact the International Office or Erasmus Coordinator of your own university if you wish to know more about the possibilities open to you in regards to a study placement in Durham. It is essential that you contact the Exchange Coordinator for Physics before committing yourself

  1. if you need to be assessed in Durham but cannot stay for the whole academic year;
  2. if you consider registering for our level 4 (final year) project module or wish to do other project work whilst in Durham;
  3. if you would like to attend a postgraduate lecture course.

Work/Training Placements and Internships

The Physics Department routinely hosts interns from abroad working in one of our research groups for periods ranging from a few weeks to several months. Internships may be offered within established programmes, such as IAESTE or, more commonly, through personal contacts you or your supervisor would have with members of the academic staff - enquire about possibilities directly with the research groups of interest, making sure that you give all the relevant information on your qualifications and on your motivations.

Internships contributing towards or required by your degree programme will normally be subject to a training agreement between you, the Department and your home institution. If this is the case, and you will stay in Durham for at least two months, and moreover you are registered with a university based in the EU (outside the UK), then you might be able to receive funding towards your placement through the Erasmus programme of the European Commission. (The relevant scheme here is that supporting work placements, which differs from the scheme supporting study placements in various ways; in particular, work placements do not require a bilateral exchange agreement between your institution and Durham.) Please enquire with the International Office or Erasmus Coordinator of your home institution for more information.

Although students on work placements are not registered as Durham students during their stay here, they may be able to find accommodation in one our residential colleges - please click here for the relevant information. However, when making plans, you'll need to bear in mind that vacancies in colleges are rare or non-existent during term time, particularly from October to December.

Coming to Durham to work as an intern may have the consequence that you'll need a work visa, rather than a student visa, to enter and stay in the UK. (Most EU nationals and nationals from a few other countries won't need a work visa or work permit. Information about proof of eligibility to work in the UK is available at Authoritative immigration information can be found on the web site of the UK Border Agency.) If you have been offered a placement and may need a visa, our Exchanges Coordinator will be able to advise you about who to contact within the university for information about immigration issues.