Student exchanges

Selection criteria and accepting a place

The main selection criteria for participation in our exchange programmes.

Selection criteria

Academic requirements

Our exchange programmes are competitive. An exchange place is not guaranteed, even if the minimum grade requirements are met or exceeded. 

The volume and level of applications received varies from year to year. With this in mind, it is impossible to advise on what the chances are of an application being approved before all applications have been received and considered. 

As the application process for both types of exchange takes place in Semester 1 (November) of the second year, only first year results will be taken into consideration. 

Motivation and ambassadorial qualities

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application - this gives applicants the opportunity to:

  • outline their academic motivation for applying
  • explain why the qualities they have would make them a good representative of the University of Edinburgh
  • demonstrate what they can offer the host university
  • explain how the opportunity would benefit them personally

The motivational statement will not be sent to the host institution – it is for internal selection use only.

Added value for the student

Particular consideration will be given to applicants who may be expected to benefit most significantly from the opportunities provided by an exchange period, and who may not previously have had access to similar opportunities.

Accepting a place

Successful applicants will be contacted in December/January with details of where they have been allocated a place. Those who have been unsuccessful or who are on the reserve list will be informed after the Christmas vacation.

If successful, and after you have formally accepted your place, we will inform the partner institution of all nominated students.

You will then begin the application process to your host university. This is usually a formality but is absolutely necessary - your exchange place is provisional until you have successfully completed your host university's admission process. 

Failure to complete your host's application process fully and on time may result in your exchange place being forfeited.

Conditions of your acceptance

Once your application has been received in full by your host university, they will usually send a letter of acceptance or similar, confirming your exchange place, course of study and study dates.

Your offer is subject to the availability of courses appropriate to your degree programme at the host university, and also subject to the successful completion of the academic year at Edinburgh prior to your departure.

The following requirements must normally be met in order for you to take up your exchange place:

  • Successful completion, at first sitting, of all exams during the academic year prior to departure, and completion of full academic credit up to point of departure
  • Completion and submission of your host university's application by their deadline
  • Completion and submission of all documentation requested by the Study and Work Away Service at Edinburgh

Refusing a place on exchange

If you decide to withdraw from the programme before departure, you must notify the Study and Work Away Service and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor as soon as possible, in writing.

The Study and Work Away Service will inform your host university of your withdrawal and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor will advise you on registering for courses at Edinburgh.