Semester Abroad in Great Britain

Semester Abroad in Great Britain


In the university ranking of the most popular study countries, Great Britain has been among the top ten for years. Great Britain’s universities enjoy an excellent reputation in research and teaching, which is partly due to the internal and external quality assurance at British universities. They also offer an incomparable international flair and a variety of leisure activities – from traditional rugby and debating clubs to Bollywood dance.

In the United Kingdom, the history of the mighty monarchy is hidden behind every corner: the largest kingdom, England, has the gentile bathing beaches in the south, the multicultural megacities London and Birmingham in the middle and the former industrial strongholds in the north.

University landscape in Great Britain

Great Britain is one of the leading science and research nations. Currently can to 112 British Universities a study abroad be included. Those who complete their semester in Great Britain as an undergraduate, i.e. during their bachelor’s degree, can also choose between several colleges and institutes of higher education that specialize in certain fields.

Ancient and Civic Universities

The most prestigious universities in Great Britain include two of the oldest universities in the world: Cambridge University, founded in 1209, and Oxford University, whose origins are also dated to the beginning of the 13th century.

In addition to the Ancient Universities, the major Civic Universities that arose between the late 19th and early 20th centuries enjoy great recognition in the academic world. These include, for example, the universities in Birmingham and Bristol.

New Universities

The New Universities that have been founded since the 1960s, such as London South Bank University, the University of Sunderland or York St John University, are not quite as steeped in tradition, but offer a wide range of innovative and professional-oriented courses in a wide variety of subject areas .

Study system in the UK

The German and British higher education systems have some differences that need to be taken into account when organizing a semester abroad in the UK. In order to meet deadlines, detailed information about the course of the academic year at the British university of your choice is important.

The academic year in Great Britain

In contrast to German universities, the semester cycle starts earlier in England and the whole of Great Britain. In contrast to the German system, the academic year in Great Britain is often not divided into semesters, but traditionally into trimesters, the so-called Autumn Term, Spring Term and Summer Term. As the trimesters build on each other, a semester abroad in Great Britain usually starts in September.

Bachelor and Master programs

When studying in England or Great Britain, students have the choice between three different study programs: Those who want to study a single subject can opt for a single subject course. In the Joint Subject Course, two major subjects can be chosen and the Combined Subject Course enables the combination of a major and two minor subjects and thus a more flexible specialization.

If you complete the semester abroad during the Masters, as a postgraduate student, you should also note that the standard period of study is only one year.

Study Abroad Program in the UK

For all students who are interested in a semester abroad in England or Great Britain, there is also the opportunity to fall back on a Study Abroad Program. This is particularly useful for those who want or have to do a semester abroad outside of university exchange programs. This is the case, for example, if the home university has not signed a partnership agreement with the UK university of your choice.

The advantage of such programs is that students do not have to enroll in a course, but can choose specific courses. This means that the semester abroad in Great Britain can be perfectly coordinated with studying in Germany. The recognition of academic achievements made in England and Wales takes place in consultation with the university in Germany.

Planning the semester abroad in Great Britain

Planning a semester abroad in the UK should ideally be done at least a year in advance. At the beginning, it is important not only to clarify subject-specific questions about the respective field of study, but above all to be informed about registration deadlines, the financing options for tuition fees and any required language certificates.

Costs and financing options

Early advice is recommended, especially with regard to financing, because applying for grants and loans for a semester abroad usually takes a long time.

The cost of living is high compared to Germany. Rents are high, especially in the south and in the greater London area. It is therefore advisable to apply for a dormitory place on campus. In addition, a budget for travel expenses should be planned.

Semester abroad Great Britain: tuition fees

All universities in the UK rise for Study Abroad- student tuition fees, which are for applicants from EU countries much lower than for applicants from other parts of the world.

  • For undergraduate studies, tuition fees of up to £ 4,500 per semester must be budgeted for.
  • As a postgraduate student, tuition fees range from £ 1,300 per trimester to £ 4,500 per semester.

Scholarships and Loans – UK Semester

If the respective requirements are met, it is possible to apply for scholarships that cover either the full amount or part of the tuition fees. DAAD scholarship holders receive a monthly grant and usually do not have to pay any tuition fees.

There are also a number of separate loans available for a student to study abroad in the UK. In addition to foreign student loans, this also includes education loans.

Semester abroad in Great Britain: requirements

The requirements for a semester abroad in the UK vary from university to university. Therefore, students should contact the international offices of the respective university to find out about admission requirements and enrollment dates.

Universities often require that one year of study has already been completed in Germany. If the course at the home university does not include the Anglophone course or if it is designed as an international course, proof of language proficiency is required as an admission requirement.

Proof of language proficiency for one semester in Great Britain

The language level required for a semester abroad in England may vary depending on the degree program. Proof of English skills is usually provided through an internationally recognized language test, such as;

  • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • CAE: Cambridge Certificate
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Recognition of academic achievements as part of the semester abroad in Great Britain

Courses or even examinations can be recognized as part of a semester stay in England or Great Britain. The credit transfer of credits is made easier by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

A comparability of the study achievements is thus regulated in many cases without problems. Nevertheless, an agreement about the respective recognition procedure should be made with the Dean’s Office or with the Examination Office in advance.

Semester Abroad in Great Britain