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 Outbound Student Exchange Programme at Queen Mary: Terms and Conditions Outbound Student Exchange Programme [PDF 462KB], 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 within the School of Business and Management also currently have the option to spend an optional year abroad during the entire second year of their three-year degree programme (this option is not available to students from other academic schools).
Students are not able to spend the spring semster 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 creditload, which is equivalent to 60 Queen Mary credits per semester/120 Queen Mary credits for a full year abroad; this is absolutely essential in order to receive full recognition of your studies.
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 School/Department Coordinator as soon as possible.
If you fail to pass the number of credits and have to take re-sit your exams, these resits will not form part of your study period abroad. You will need to register separately for your resits and pay any required resit fee directly to your host institution.
Please consult full Terms & Conditions via link available near top of page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.