Visiting students can choose from a wide range of courses across first, second and third year programmes in the College of Humanities and Social Science.
As a visiting student, you are expected to shoulder the same course load as a University of Edinburgh student. The standard number of credits is 120 for the full year, or 60 credits per semester. The majority of our courses are worth 20 credits although we do offer some 10 credit courses. In addition, some courses are offered over the both semesters, totalling 40 credits. Most visiting students will take three courses per semester and six over the academic year.
If you wish to take more than 60 credits per semester we will require approval for this in writing from your home university. Please be aware that we will pre-enrol you in a maximum of 60 credits per semester. Any additional courses would be arranged on arrival in Edinburgh.
We recommend that all visiting students take a maximum of 40 credits at honours (third year) level per semester, with a further 20 credits at first or second year level. We have found from experience that this course load suits visiting students who are adjusting to a new environment and teaching style where the focus is on self-guided study.
Please be aware, the following types of courses are generally NOT available to visiting students:
Students on the Erasmus exchange programme may have further restrictions on the courses they can choose.
Visiting students can choose from a wide variety of first and second year courses. A small number of courses are not available to visiting students.
Some first and second year courses have prior study requirements. These requirements are clearly displayed in the Visiting Student Course Finder. If you select such a course, your application must clearly indicate that you meet these requirements (usually by inclusion of an up to date transcript).
As a visiting student you are welcome to select third year honours level courses in most subject areas. Please note that within the College of Humanities and Social Science, fourth year honours level and postgraduate courses are not available to visiting students.
All honours level classes have strict prior study requirements. In some subjects, there are limited places available. For enrolment in honours courses, we require visiting students to have completed at least 3 previous courses in the relevant subject area (4 for English Literature and Politics/International Relations (IR)), achieving a grade B or above (or equivalent).
Honours courses in certain subject areas are very popular and there are limited places available. Third year courses in the following subject areas are particularly popular:
Entry to all other honours level courses will be managed by the Visiting Student Section in consultation with the individual departments.
You will need a good level of English to be enrolled in Honours courses. If you are a non-native speaker, you will need to prove that your level of English meets the following requirements by submitting an IELTS or TOEFL test obtained within the last two years:
The majority of the languages offered at the University are available at introductory level, requiring no prior study of the language. The notable exception is French. French courses all require some level of prior study.
For all language courses above introductory level, we will not be able to pre-enrol you. Entry is subject to a language test by the relevant subject area on arrival and at the discretion of the course organiser. If you need to take a language test on arrival, your Personal Tutor will be able to give you more information when you meet with them during your first week in Edinburgh. Please note that if your first language is not English, it will not be possible for you to take first or second year level classes in your first language.
You are welcome to choose courses from the College of Science and Engineering even if you are applying directly to the College of Humanities and Social Science. You may take up to 20 credits per semester in Science and Engineering. If you take two thirds or more of your courses in Science and Engineering your application will be amended to be administered by the Visiting Student Section in that College.
As with Humanities and Social Science courses, if there are prior study requirements, you must show in your application that you are qualified. If for any reason we cannot enrol you for the course(s) you would like, we will contact you to let you know.
If you have any queries regarding your courses, please contact the Visiting Student Office:
This article was published on Sep 30, 2011