Skip to main content
Find out more

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 and European Student Exchange - Most 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 International and European Student Exchange 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.


‌SSI3999 ELE page:

SSIS Study Abroad 2022-23 Presentation to Year 2

Global Opportunities Outbound SharePoint

Partnerships with European universities 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.

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. A full workload is 60 ECTS credits for the year (or equivalent), which is the same as 120 Exeter credits.  There is an option to complete a reflective essay in certain circumstances, please refer to the SSI3999 ELE page for details.

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.

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 GHIC 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. Since Brexit, you will require a visa for most study abroad destinations.  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 and can be 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.


Information regarding any scholarships that are available are 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 - Phoebe Jeffries, Harry Canham, Leanne Bisatt and Callum Youd

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 Officers - Bela Coelho-Knapp, Alex Westlake and Fintan May

The Global Opportunities Team are working on a hybrid basis from home and in person in the office and are 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.  The updated handbook for 2022-23 will be available shortly.


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 logs from 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

The Outbound Study Abroad team have produced resources to help you check what you should research: Researching your placement

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