Accessibility statement

Rebecca on her study abroad year at Háskóli Islands, the largest University in Iceland.

Year abroad

Spending a year abroad is an excellent way to enhance your degree and develop yourself both personally and professionally. You’ll gain self-confidence and develop your organisational skills, immersing yourself in a different culture and improving your language skills. There is the opportunity to take lectures and courses on topics that are not covered in York and all of these factors can improve your chances in the international job market.

Year Abroad (additional year) 

Our Year Abroad option offers you the opportunity to spend your third year studying at one of our partner universities, currently in France, Germany, Spain and Denmark. You can also apply to study at one of a number of universities in Asia, North/South America or Australia through the university-wide exchange partnersDuring your year abroad, you will take a range of courses and can opt to carry out a project to complement your studies at York.

When to apply

Our Placements Coordinator will contact you towards the end of your first year, asking if you would like to express an interest to spend a Year Abroad for your third year. You’ll have regular contact with the Placements Coordinator throughout your second year, learning more about the Year Abroad options and will need to complete the Study Exchange application through the Global Programmes team in the first semester of your second year. 

How much does it cost?

Please refer to the Global Programmes’ finances and funding webpage for more information. 

Are there any prerequisites?

This option is available in all of our programmes. You will need to achieve a 2:2 or above in your first year to qualify for the Year Abroad option.

Increasingly our partner universities are offering more courses in English. However, please note that the range of courses available may depend on your language abilities. Therefore we strongly encourage students who wish to study in these countries to have some relevant language training even if they plan to take all of their modules in English. Students intending to go on Year Abroad will have access to language classes for the country in which they intend to study via the University of York’s Languages for All* and should check the language requirements for an individual partner on the Biology webpage. A Languages for International Mobility (LFIM) programme in York before you go abroad can also help you get ready to go global.


*Students will be refunded the cost of the course when they have confirmed a Year Abroad in an appropriate country

What support is available to students while they are completing their year abroad?

Currently we have regular virtual drop-ins with students away from the department which work really well; you have regular contact from your academic supervisor and our placement coordinator. You also get a whole heap of support from your host and we are in touch with them to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Credit- replacing exchange

If you would like to undertake a year of study abroad without extending your degree, you can apply in the first semester of your first year for credit-replacing exchange. For more information visit our University-wide Exchanges webpages. 

There are also other opportunities to get international experience in the summer, read more about summer abroad programmes.

Contact us

If you have any questions concerning studying abroad, please contact:
Phil Lang, Biology Placements Coordinator
Tel: +44 (0)1904 328 540

Ben (BSc Biology) spent his Year in Europe at Aarhus University, Denmark.


Year abroad with an integrated Masters?

All of our undergraduate programmes, including integrated Masters, are available with either an optional extra year in industry or abroad. Read more about the Year in Industry and integrated Masters

The options for how your degree might look with an integrated Masters and/or a Year in Industry or abroad are as follows:

Option 1

(3 years) 

3 years at York, graduating with a BSc degree

Option 2

(4 years)

3 years at York, plus 1 year in industry or year abroad, graduating with a BSc degree


Option 3

(4 years)

3 years at York, plus 1 year Masters level study, graduating with a Masters degree


Option 4

(5 years)         

3 years at York, plus 1 year in industry or year abroad, plus 1 year Masters level study, graduating with a Masters degree


Find out more about options for Biology students to study abroad.