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 as much detail in York and all of these factors can improve your chances in the international job market.

Year Abroad 

Our Year Abroad option offers you the opportunity to spend your third year studying at one of our partner universities, currently in France (Grenoble and Strasbourg), Germany (Jena), Spain (Valencia and Madrid) and Denmark (Aarhus). You can also study at one of a number of universities in Asia, North/South America or Australia, for example the University of Western Australia, University of British Columbia, or Tokyo Institute of TechnologyDuring your year abroad, you take a range of courses and can 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. before applying to study at one of our partner institutions during the second half of your second year.

How much does it cost?

You’ll pay reduced tuition fees (15%) to the University of York and nothing to the partner institution.

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. This means that we no longer define language prerequisites for studying in FranceGermany or Denmark where some or all of the courses are available in English. 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. We require a minimum equivalent of AS/A-level Spanish for studying in Valencia or Madrid. All students enrolled on the Year Abroad will have access to free language classes via the University of York’s Languages for All.

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.

Worldwide exchange

If you would like to study abroad outside of Europe, as a student in the Department of Biology, you can take part in the Worldwide Exchange. This is a replacement year at an overseas university which takes place during your second year. It may be possible for you to spend a year studying in the United States, Canada, Asia or Australia.

You will need to apply for a place during your first year at York. If successful you’ll spend your second year at your host university. Your assessment marks will be transferred for the second year to York, and you’ll graduate from York after three years.

There are also other opportunities to study abroad for various lengths of time such as through the International Study Centres and Summer Schools, read more about studying abroad.

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


Please note that for all of the above options, you can spend your second year as a replacement year overseas instead of at York through the Worldwide Exchange.