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Students interested in studying abroad should visit the Outbound Study Abroad webpages.

Studying abroad

The College of Social Sciences and International Studies is keen to encourage its students to study abroad as part of their degree programme. Approximately 23% of our students are studying on a four-year degree programme that includes a year spent abroad.

We are working hard to make study-abroad available to all our students. 96% of our students are on programmes that either already include a period studying abroad or can be extended to include a year abroad. Year abroad versions of the remaining programmes may be possible through the Flexible Combined Honours degree.

At present Social Sciences students are able to study abroad at nearly 40 different universities, in 16 countries across four continents. Those studying Arabic or a language through the department of Modern Languages are able to take advantage of additional partenrship universities provided for these subjects.

So what is it about studying abroad that we believe is so beneficial for students?

  • Discovering a different culture. It is easy to visit other countries as a tourist, but when you study in a country for a year you can experience the culture as a local.
  • Seeing your own country and culture from a new perspective. Comparing your own society with others abroad helps you to question and examine assumptions, and to take an original approach to situations.
  • Developing self-reliance. It can be tough setting up a new life far away from friends and family. However, learning the skills to do this can be very rewarding and a great boost to students’ self-esteem.
  • Learning new language skills. Depending on where you go, you may find yourself learning a new language, such as Japanese, Korean, Swedish or Dutch (among others). Alternatively, you may choose to go to France, Germany, Spain or Italy to study entirely in their respective languages.
  • Meeting new people. As well as meeting other students from the country you visit, you will almost meet other exchange students. Many of our students spend the holidays after their year abroad travelling extensively to visit their new friends across the world.
  • Studying in a different style, or with a different focus. Universities and countries across the world take various approaches to learning. Studying abroad enables you to approach your own discipline in the way that it is studied at your host university – sometimes very different to the way we study at Exeter.
  • Studying courses in subjects areas not taught at Exeter. Studying at a partner university may enable you to take courses in subjects that are of interest to your degree studies, but are not usually taught at Exeter. By studying for an extra year you are able to expand your knowledge and understanding of the subject to a new level.

There are various different ways that you can study abroad as part of a degree within the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. Which approach you use will depend on your degree programme, and on the destination you wish to go to.

Here are the main ways our students study abroad:

  • Year Abroad - International Student Exchange and ErasmusMost three-year degree programmes in our College have a four-year equivalent programme in which the third year is spent studying at a university overseas.

  • IAIS Year Abroad - Some degree programmes within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies include a year spent at a university in the Middle East, for example, the MArabic.

  • Department of Modern Languages - Combined Honours programmes with Modern Languages include a year spent abroad. This year is overseen by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

  • Business School - Students on the Leadership & Politics or Economics & Politics programmes are able to spend a year studying abroad in Europe. This can either be overseen by the Business School or by Social Sciences. 

  • College of Humanities - Students on Combined Honours with the College of Humanities are able to go abroad through either the College of Humanities or through Social Sciences.

  • Postgraduate Erasmus exchanges - We currently offer exchange for postgraduate students as a part of a programme from the Centre for European Governance.

  • Flexible Combined Honours - Students on the Flexible Combined Honours degree programme have various options for studying abroad.

These webpages focus on the year-long and semester-long International Student Exchange and Erasmus programmes within the subjects of Criminology, Law, Politics, International Relations, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology.

More information about the many global opportunities available to you can be viewed on the Go Abroad website.


SSIS Study Abroad Handbook 2020-21

2nd Year SSIS Study Abroad Presentation 2019

Study Abroad Presentation for students going abroad in 2020-21

Penryn 2nd Year HUMS, SSIS and FCH study abroad presentation

Partnerships with European universities, via Erasmus, are normally between departments, rather than between whole universities. This means that the modules offered at the host university are considered to be a good fit for your academic programme.

Outside of Europe, partnerships are normally made at university-level. As a result several of the partners available for SSIS students may have been established with other subject areas in mind, and students from those areas may receive priority.

For any of the host universities listed it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the host university is offering sufficient modules to fit in with your programme of study. Your Academic Study Abroad Coordinator will be able to advise on this.

To view available options, please visit the Go Abroad webpage Where can I study Abroad?

Language requirements

Please consider that some partner universities only teach in their national language, and some offer English-taught modules. This is indicated by an astrix (*) on the partner university list on the Outbound page. If English modules are not offered you will need to complete the following steps:

  • have an AS-level (or equivalent) in the appropriate language
  • continue studying the language through the Foreign Language Centre up to Advanced level.

If you are a beginner in the language, you may have the opportunity to reach Advanced Level 1 by the end of your 2nd year. To be sure, please contact your Study Abroad Coordinator to confirm that you will be able to learn in a foreign language. 

While you are abroad, you will generally continue studying the same subjects as you do at the moment. However, since a year abroad is in addition to your normal three year degree course, there is a little more room for flexibility. Some students deviate a little from their usual area of study for the following reasons:

  • To study the language of the country they are visiting (we expect you to do this)
  • To study cultural aspects of the country they are visiting
  • To study a subject not available at Exeter

As a result of this, we allow a little more flexibility for students wishing to take some modules outside of their usual programme while they are away. Nevertheless, the majority of your modules should continue to reflect your main degree subject(s).


For the time that you are abroad, you will be registered on an Exeter 'Study Abroad' module. This will be one of the following modules depending on how long you are going for and your subject area:

SSI3999 Year Abroad This 120-credit module is for Crimonology, Politics, International Relations, Sociology, Philosophy or Anthropology students going abroad for a full year. The module mark is comprised of the credit-weighted average of your results from the partner university.
LAW3000 Year Abroad This 120-credit module is for Law students going abroad for a full year to a European destination. The module mark is comprised of the credit-weighted average of your results from the partner university.
LAW3000B Year Abroad This 120-credit module is for Law students going abroad on the LLB with International Study programme. The module mark is comprised of the credit-weighted average of your results from the partner university. Please note that students on this module must take a compulsory Law dissertation module (LAW3047A) in their final year in Exeter. 

Your Academic Study Abroad Co-ordinator must approve all the modules you are taking at your host university. If you do not have this approval, you may find that you do not receive any credit for these modules.

For information on how your marks are converted back to Exeter marks see .

Converting marks back to Exeter marks

For each partner university the College has a translation scale for converting your marks back. Each module mark will be converted back separately, and then these marks will be averaged with a weighting according to the credit value of each module. From academic year 2020/21 onwards, the Reflective Assignments no longer form part of the assessment for students going abroad, this means that the module marks will make up the whole of year abroad module mark.

The Effect of Studying Abroad on your Final Degree Award

With a four year programme, where the third year is a year abroad, the degree award will be based on years two, three and four. These years will be weighted in the following proportion respectively; 2:1:4. Therefore the year abroad will receive half the weighting of the second year, which in turn will receive half the weighting of the final year. In other words, the year abroad will contribute 1/7th to your degree award.

It is not permitted for Social Sciences students to receive more than 1/3rd of their degree award from marks obtained overseas.

Students who completed their year abroad in 2019/20

For students in Criminology/Politics/IR/Sociology/Philosophy/Anthropology the best 90 Exeter credits of your marks from abroad will make up one component of your year abroad module (worth 75% of the module mark). The remaining 25% of your module mark will be from your Reflective Assignments.

When you receive your final transcript (after graduation) from Exeter, your year abroad will show only as this one final mark. This will be the mark for the SSi3999 module which represents your year abroad.

If a student has taken more than the required number of credits, then their mark will be generated from the credit-weighted average of the best modules up to the required number of credits. E.g. for a Law student we would use the best module marks to the equivalent of 120 Exeter credits, for a non-Law student we would use the best module marks to the equivalent of 90 Exeter credits.

The Reflective Assignments (Evaluative Essay and Reflective Assignment)

The Reflective Assignments are a compulsory part of the assessment for all students undertaking a year abroad up until academic year 2020/21 for students in Politics, International Relations, Criminology, Sociology, Anthropology or Philosophy. These assignments are set by Exeter and count for 30 Exeter credits (15 ECTS credits). Students are therefore required to take only 90 Exeter credits (45 ECTS credits) at their host university.

Cost of studying abroad

The cost of studying abroad is a very difficult thing to estimate as it depends on many factors such as exchange rates. Obviously different students have different needs and will spend money at a different rate.

Some of the costs to consider for your year abroad include:

  • Insurance. This is an essential element of your preparations. We strongly recommend and expect that students will take out adequate travel and health insurance for their year abroad. This has to be a single policy that will cover you for the full time abroad as a student (so an annual multi-trip will not be suitable). Students going to Europe will have the benefit of some limited health cover as a result of their EHIC card, but they should take out complete travel and health insurance in addition to this. Some partner universities (especially in the US) may require students to take out a compulsory health insurance policy provided by that institution.

    There are several companies that offer specific student travel and health insurance for a year abroad. Students can also opt to join the University's insurance policy. To find out about this and obtain a quote please visit the Undergraduate travel insurance page.

  • Travel. Clearly the further you go the more it is likely to cost. We would recommend that you book your travel as soon as you have received confirmation of your placement from the partner university. We strongly recommend that you book flexible travel, for example, tickets that can be amended and changed without penalty.

  • Visas. If you are studying outside of Europe you are likely to require a visa. This is also the case for Turkey, even though it is part of the Erasmus programme. It is students' responsibility to research the requirements for their visa and to ensure they apply in time. The cost of a visa can vary from a nominal amount up to in excess of £300 for Australia.

  • Accommodation and Living costs. Partner universities are usually able to give students information on these costs. However, you can also contact students who have previously studied abroad for information on their costs.


Students are not required to pay tuition fees to their host institution, but some host universities may charge for additional non-complusory language teaching and/or nominal fees for travel, administrative or library services.

For the latest tuition fees, please view the Fees and Funding page on the Go Abroad webpages.

Grants and loans

Students going abroad are still entitled to maintenance loans/grants from Student Finance. We recommend that students contact Student Finance to see if they are entitled for any additional financial support. Some students may be eligible for a means-tested Travel Grant. For details on this please contact your Student Finance provider directly.

For those studying within Europe, the Erasmus scheme provides students with a grant to assist with the costs of their year abroad. The amount of this grant varies from year to year, but it is not means-tested. Information can be found on the Go Abroad website.

Other grants may be available. The Go Abroad site is the best place to start looking for information on these.

The John Usher Memorial Fund

We are delighted to invite applications for John Usher Memorial Fund, which will grant two scholarships to two exceptional students on the LLB with European Study programme. Each scholarship is worth £1000 and can be spent on expanding your cultural, social and career horizons

Find out more about the criteria and application here.

Contact us

If you are an Exeter student wishing to study abroad please contact the Outbound team:

  • Global Opportunities Officer - Lewis Davison
  • Global Opportunities Support Officers - Gemma York and Sarah Hector
  • 01392 725738

If you are a student from one of our Partner universities and wish to study at Exeter for a semester or year as part of your degree please contact the Inbound team:

  • Global Opportunities Officer - Ariana Sevilla
  • Global Opportunities Support Officer - Rhianna Skeates

The Global Opportunities Team are currently working from home, but are usually based in the Innovation Centre, 2nd Floor, Study Abroad Office - ask at Reception.

Alternatively, visit the Go Abroad website. 

Study Abroad handbook

It is recommended that all students considering a year abroad familiarise themselves with the ‌SSIS Study Abroad Handbook:

SSIS Study Abroad Handbook 2020-21

Student logs

You can find out what experiences previous students have had on their year abroad by looking at the learning logs and reflective essays on the SSI3999 ELE page.

Eligibility to Study Abroad


Many of our partner universities teach in English. However some of our partners in France, Germany and Spain teach in their respective languages.

If you are going to a university where you will be studying in a foreign language, you must be able to understand the language well enough to follow lectures and tutorials.

We expect students applying for these universities to have:

  • Studied the language at A-level (or equivalent)
  • Continued studying the language through the Foreign Language Centre and to have reached advanced level (Advanced Level 1).

If you are going to a country where the local language is not English (but teaching is in English), you may wish to study the local language as part of your programme there. We would encourage you to do this.

Minimum grade requirement

Students applying to study abroad should be getting marks averaging 60 or above. Usually this is a requirement set by the host university.

Research and preparation

It is absolutely essential that you thoroughly research your choice of partner university. As part of the application process we will want to see evidence that you have done this research, and have taken steps to prepare yourself for your year abroad. It is your responsibility to ensure that the partner university you apply for is somewhere that you want to study at for a year, and will teach modules that fit in with your programme and interest you.

There are various steps you should take to ensure you are well informed about the partner universities you are interested in:

  • Read the information on the Go Abroad website
  • Explore in depth the partner university's website
  • Read learning logsfrom past students
  • Contact students who have returned from their year abroad
  • Meet with students who are undertaking an exchange semester or year from your host university
  • Join the Erasmus Society

The Outbound Study Abroad team have produced a check-list of things you should research before going abroad:

Researching Your Placement Handbook 2020/21

Application process

Degree programme

How you apply depends on your subject.

Programme/SubjectHow to apply
Combined honours with Modern Languages If you are on a combined honours course with a modern European language, then you will already have provision for an Erasmus year within your degree, and the arrangements for your year abroad will be made by Modern Languages.
Single or combined honours including Arabic Students in IAIS will be contacted at the appropriate time by their department.
Politics, International Relations, Sociology, Philosophy or Anthropology Via the 'Apply' button on the Exeter Go Abroad website
Law with European Study Via the 'Apply' button on the Exeter Go Abroad website
Law with International Study Via the 'Apply' button on the Exeter Go Abroad website

For any questions or further information relating to SSIS Study Abroad applications, please contact

Information for Inbound Students

Welcome to the College of Social Sciences & International Studies! Our areas of study include Arab & Islamic Studies, Law, Politics, International Relations, Criminology, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology.

We invite incoming exchange students to take a range of our modules. This page aims to give you some guidance on how to choose these modules and put together your study plan.

Course units

One semester students must take 60 Exeter credits. This is equivalent to 30 ECTS credits. You cannot take TRM1&2 modules as these spread over both semesters.

Full year students must take 120 Exeter credits (60 credits per semester). This is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits for the academic year. One Exeter credit is worth 0.5 ECTS. 

Most of our modules are either 15 credits (if they run for one semester) or 30 credits (for a full year). You would therefore usually take 4 modules per semester.

Understanding course codes

The three letters at the start of each course code represent the subject area. In the College of Social Sciences & International Studies, these are:

  • ANT – Anthropology
  • ARA – Arab & Islamic Studies
  • LAW – Law
  • PHL – Philosophy
  • POL – Politics & International Relations
  • SOC – Sociology

The initial number indicates the level of the course unit – POL1019 is a first year module in Politics, LAW2132 is a second year module in Law, and SOC3092 is a third year module in Sociology.

Modules coded POC are Politics modules taught at the Penryn campus in Cornwall. Please only select these modules if you are studying at Penryn during your time here. You cannot study at both the Exeter (Streatham/St. Lukes) AND Penryn campuses.

Choosing modules

A full list of modules taught within the College of Social Sciences & International Studies can be found:

*Politics Undergraduate Modules 2020-21

*Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy Undergraduate Modules 2020/21

*Arab & Islamic Studies Undergraduate Modules 2020/21

*Law Undergraduate Modules 2020/21

 Modules for the next academic year will be updated mid-March. You may also choose modules outside of the College. Please contact the relevant contact here for further information.

However, please note the following guidance concerning limitations in module space:


  • Core Law modules are not available to inbound students. 
  • Law modules are only open to students who have studied Law for the past 2 years, as most of the modules on offer are at level 3. If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible to take a Law module or not, please email for clarification.

Arab and Islamic Studies

  • Language modules (Persian, Turkish, Arabic and Indonesian) have very limited space

Politics & International Relations

  • There is very limited space on level 2 and level 3 modules (coded POL2XXX or POL3XXX)
  • We therefore suggest that students select level one modules (coded POL1XXX)

Sociology, Philosophy & Anthropology

Core modules are likely to have the most available space. Please follow the below links for details of which modules are core (listed as ‘compulsory’ on these pages)

 Criminology-related modules can be found under this department.

 Hopefully the information on this page will give you an indication of the modules available within the College. However, please be aware that the availability and specifications of modules may be subject to change between now and the start of teaching. The timetable is not finalised until near the start of term, so it is not possible to confirm the exact timings of classes until then.

If a module you are due to take does change, or you have clashes on your timetable, don't worry! You have a short period of time (2 weeks) when you arrive in Exeter where you can change modules - speak to your Study Abroad Co-ordinator for more information and to discuss your options.

Inbound Handbook 

Please take the time to read the SSIS Inbound Student Handbook before/on arrival. This Handbook covers topics such as mitigation, module selection and contact details. 

For students arriving in 2019-20: Inbound Study Abroad Handbook 2019-20

For students currently studying at Exeter:Inbound Study Abroad Handbook 2018-19

Alternative Assessments

Semester 1 only students are automatically given alternative assessments for modules in this college, so that they do not have to return in January for the exam period. If you wish to take the exam, you will have to inform the department when you arrive in Exeter.

Please note: this is not the case for all colleges, therefore do not book your return flights until you have spoken to each college that your modules are based in. 

If you have any questions please contact the Global Opportunities Team at -

The above information is specific to the College of Social Sciences and International Studies.  For generic information for inbound students, please refer to the Inbound Study Abroad webpages