*Whilst we do not foresee any major changes to the information provided below, please be aware that some information may be subject to changes*
The handbooks contain information on departments, modules and credits and specific study information.
120 UK credits are approximately equivalent to:
Durham has 27 different academic Departments where incoming exchange students can study. Exchange students should choose modules from a maximum of three different subject areas.
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 if you do not meet the direct entry level. If English is the language of instruction at your home university the language test requirement may be waived, and the Global Opportunities Team will be in touch with your home university directly for confirmation if necessary.
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.
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 Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) - English Language Support.
TOEFL iBT (internet- based)
72 (scores no lower than: reading 16; listening 16; writing 20; speaking 20)
6.0 (no individual score below 5.5)
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 Global Opportunities 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 questions or uncertainty after checking the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) 'Do I need visa?' website 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:
Please, however, be aware that:
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. We recommend that you arrive in time to attend the Orientation Session, see above for further details.
Postgraduate Business students only, exams will take place in early January (Dates TBC) (Michaelmas Term) and early/mid May (Epiphany Term). These dates are only provisional and are subject to change.
The International Office will hold an in person compulsory Orientation Session for all incoming exchange students. All new incoming exchange students are expected to attend. The session covers important information such as registration, module enrolment and other practical arrangements.
University Induction Planner
Each student can create a personal induction planner to help you plan when, where and what you need to be doing in your first week. The university will release an Induction Planner nearer to the time of your arrival.
County Durham is one of the most affordable places to live in England but we recommend applicants consider costs when applying to study in the UK.
Study Abroad students would pay the visiting student rate of tuition. For 2023/2024 this will be £19,975.
While County Durham is one of the most affordable places to live in England, you should consider living costs (in addition to your tuition and 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.
The National Health Service (NHS) is the means by which healthcare is provided in the UK. The level of cover will depend on reciprocal arrangements with your home country.