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Global Opportunities


Studying abroad on exchange at one of our partner institutions offers you an incredible chance to enrich your life and career prospects by meeting different cultures, people and work in different environments.

You will experience academic life in a foreign country and different teaching and learning methods, giving you a broad, international perspective on your studies.

Please consult full Terms and Conditions for the Student Exchange Programme at Queen Mary: Terms and Conditions Student Exchange Programme [PDF 441KB], as well as the General Conditions of Participation on the Terms and Conditions webpage.

When you can go abroad on exchange depends on your degree programme. To find out more about your options, please:

  • Consult the partner institutions available for your academic department and intended duration abroad by visiting our Where can I go? page and typing in your academic department into the search bar for a filtered list of destinations; 
  • Get in touch with your academic School/Department Coordinator to discuss your preferred options and learn if they may make any recommendations based on your field of study.

"With a year abroad" (WAYA) degree programmes

Most of Queen Mary’s regular Bachelor programmes are available "with a year abroad" (commonly referred to as WAYA degree programmes), in which case you would spend your entire third year abroad of a four-year programme. If you are not enrolled on a programme with a year abroad but would like to spend an entire year studying abroad, speak to your academic School about a programme transfer.

Students already enrolled on a Four-year Integrated Masters programme, or a degree programme with a year in industry, that does not already include a year abroad would need to transfer to a five-year "with a year abroad" (WAYA) version of their programme in order to go abroad for a full year. Please consult with your academic department for information on how you will be able to study abroad during your degree programme at Queen Mary.

Optional semester abroad

As a first-year undergraduate student on a three-year degree programme, you may be eligible to spend the autumn semester of your second year abroad. Please check with your School if your degree programme has the autumn semester-only option.

(Please note that students from the School of Economics and Finance also have the option to spend the autumn semester of their third year at some of their European partner institutions. This option is not available to students from other departments.)

Students are not able to spend only the spring semester abroad, unless this is part of a full academic year exchange.

Transferable academic credits (see below) only apply to studies that are part of your host institution’s curriculum; Queen Mary must be satisfied that your programme of study is integrated into your current degree course, so the approval of your School/Department Coordinator is essential.

Please ensure that you choose modules that are equivalent to a full credit load, which is equivalent to 60 Queen Mary credits per semester/120 Queen Mary credits for a full year abroad; you also need to received a grade for each module and cannot take any pass/fail modules - this is absolutely essential in order to receive full recognition of your studies. 

To know how many equivalent credits you are required to enrol on and follow at your destination, consult the required credit load for your host institution here: Student Exchange Programme - Required credit loads at partners [PDF 215KB]

You should meet with your academic School/Department Coordinator to discuss your module choices for your forecasted exchange. You then will need to include your final selection of modules in your Learning Agreement to be signed by yourself and Queen Mary as "Sending institution" (and for European destinations, also the "Host institution" where you will be studying would sign as the third party). This ensures that your studies abroad will be fully recognised by Queen Mary - see the Credit transfer and grade conversion page.

Students should take note where restrictions on module availability are advertised on the host institution's webpages and/or our Where can I go? page. Students should not select study abroad destinations where restrictions would prevent them from meeting any of their degree requirements.

If you make any changes to these modules during your studies abroad, you must complete the "During the mobility" section of your Learning Agreement and obtain signatures again from all relevant parties. This will ensure that what appears on your final transcript of records matches what was agreed in your Learning Agreement, so that you can obtain the appropriate credit for the approved modules; once again, see the Credit transfer and grade conversion page.

The European Credit Transfer System (or ECTS) was developed by the Commission of the European Communities to standardise the academic recognition of studies abroad. It allows universities to measure and compare your learning achievements, and transfer your module credits from one academic institution to another.

For reference, 1 Queen Mary credit = 0.5 ECTS. 30 ECTS are equivalent to 60 Queen Mary credits. Therefore, you need to take a course load of 30 ECTS for each semester you spend abroad, or 60 ECTS if you are spending an academic year abroad at a European partner.

Please talk to your academic School/Department Coordinator at Queen Mary to find out what modules you need to take abroad at your host institution. Usually, you will look at the modules you would be taking at Queen Mary if you stayed here for that period and need to find an equivalent at your host institution. You must check that each proposed module will count towards your Queen Mary degree.

Please ensure that you choose modules worth 30 ECTS per semester, as this is equivalent to a full credit load; this is absolutely essential in order to receive full recognition of your studies (see section above).

Very rarely, some students find themselves unable to complete their study abroad period for a variety of reasons.

Please be aware that if you fail to attend your classes or fail to gain sufficient credit on your placement, there can be implications for your academic progress at Queen Mary. For this reason, if you have any problems or difficulties during your placement, you should contact your Queen Mary Go Abroad Coordinator as soon as possible.

If your results from abroad fail to meet Queen Mary required for the semester/year exchange, you should resit the failed module(s) at the host institution where they offer resits and where attempts remain for you. The standard reassessment provisions of your host institution will always apply, which in some cases will mean no reassessment is offered. However, any resits abroad do not form part of your mobility period; you must register separately for these and pay any resit fees directly to the host institution. 

If either no resit opportunities are available, you elect to not take these or you fail the resits themselves and do not pass the number of credits required by Queen Mary, then you would be moved down to the standard degree that does not include a year abroad if you go abroad for a full-year as part of a 'with a year abroad' (WAYA) degree programme. If you go abroad for an optional exchange as part of a three-year degree programme and fail to obtain the required credits, you would fail that year and be required to repeat the year. If you fail to obtain required credits during your exchange abroad, you will not be permitted to overload at your host institution abroad or back at Queen Mary during the next academic term(s) to attempt to make up for the failed credits.

Requirements and progression vary by degree programme, so it is important for you to know the requirements for your degree by consulting our full Terms and Conditions (including the Appendix) and by speaking with your Queen Mary Go Abroad Coordinator.

We want all of our students to be able to enjoy the international opportunities we offer and get the most out of their placements abroad.

If you think you might need additional support – of whatever kind – please let us know when you are considering your application so that we can help you with your options. You can contact us at to discuss your application.

As soon as possible, it is a good idea to discuss all kinds of additional support you might need to go abroad with our Disability and Dyslexia Service. With your permission, they can get in touch with our office and you to see how you might be best supported if you are interested in going abroad.

If you think you will need any extra support on an outbound placement (exchange or traineeship/work placement), we strongly recommend that you discuss your application with us as soon as possible and plan ahead: depending on your host organisation, any adjustments you might need on your placement may take some time to arrange.

Please know that these discussions in no way affect the merit of a future mobility application you may submit, but rather discussing in advance will help us to best advise you on optimal destinations or plan ahead to see what support may be available at a potential destination that you are interested in.

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