Visiting Student Office

How we can help you

The Visiting Student Office can help you with any query you may have during your time at Edinburgh

Information about the remit of the Visiting Student Office.

We'll help from your first enquiry, through the application process, to your time in Edinburgh and life beyond as a visiting student alumni.

  • Offer guidance on choosing courses to study at Edinburgh
  • Enrol you on your chosen courses, in accordance with your eligibility, prior study, and requirements at your home university
  • Provide support on any issues you may encounter, especially those personal or health issues which may affect your ability to study effectively and, if required, assist you in submitting a Special Circumstances case
  • Issue your Letter of Acceptance, Academic Guide and other useful information prior to your arrival in Edinburgh
  • Present the Visiting Student Welcome Meeting during Welcome Week and January Orientation, these meeting include an essential introduction to academic norms at the University of Edinburgh
  • Sign and verify any documentation you require for your home university (for example, Learning Agreements)
  • Process any programme change requests. For example, withdrawals, extensions or even transferring to complete your degree here

Support from the Visiting Student Office

In the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS), the Visiting Student Office (VSO) should be your first point of contact, as they are the Student Support team for visiting students.

The VSO can advise you on any administrative matters relating to your studies, and can also offer guidance and referral if you are having personal, health or other issues that are affecting your work. We strongly recommend that you talk to a member of the VSO as soon as you feel your circumstances are having a negative impact on your studies.

The earlier the VSO is aware of any problems, the more they can do to help.

The VSO allocates all courses to visiting students in HSS. You should visit the VSO to have your attendance confirmed on arrival in Edinburgh

Special Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances affecting performance in any assessments should be registered with the Board of Examiners, via the Visiting Student Office (VSO).

If you are having problems that you feel are having a negative impact on your studies, talk to your the VSO as soon as possible.

Procedures exist to highlight these circumstances and seek consideration of them in evaluations of academic performance.

We expect you to notify the University of Special Circumstances affecting your work, but also ask them to use common sense in deciding what circumstances can truly be considered ‘special’.

For example, valid special circumstances include:

  • Serious or acute physical illness
  • Depression or mental illness
  • Bereavement or serious illness of someone with whom you have a close personal relationship
  • Serious personal difficulties
  • Unanticipated and severe financial difficulties

Further information can be found on the Edinburgh University Students' Association's website:

Visiting Student Office

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact details



The University of Edinburgh
57 George Square

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