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Frequently asked questions

Please take some time to explore our webpages which should answer most of your questions and queries.

You will also be given information before your arrival in York either via your home institution (Short courses) or via one of our staff (YorkCourse and Masters courses). On arrival in York all students attend a ‘welcome meeting’ where you are given lots of further information relevant to your stay. Furthermore, staff are always on hand to help you.

Below is a list of some of the commonly asked questions. If you can’t find the answer to your question contact us.

Who are short courses for?

Our short courses are normally for students of English and teacher-trainees studying at the Universities and Colleges in Norway and for practising teachers of English in Norway. However we also offer specialised courses for other interested groups based in Norway.

What is the content of the short courses?

The content of the short courses varies depending on the requirements of the visiting group. Typically they focus on English Language in Use, British Culture, English Literature, and where appropriate Education and Teaching English.

Should I bring my laptop?

The university has Eduroam-provided Wifi access around the university campus - including the NSC - enabling you to get online using a University of York computing account. If you are a short course student you will be issued with a temporary university account on arrival in York. If you are a YorkCourse or master's student you will be issued with your own university account and university email address.

University accounts allow you to make use of computer rooms on campus as well as Wi-Fi - so whether you bring a laptop or choose to travel light you should be able to make the most of the computing facilities at York.

How can I get cheaper train tickets?

The British train system is complex and confusing, with multiple service operators and types of tickets. In the system flexibility is generally expensive (although if you opt for inflexible travel arrangements, it can also be expensive if flight delays, for example, mean you miss your train).

You may save money on train fares by:

  1. travelling off-peak (normally after the 9am rush hour, although definitions can differ (particularly with trains into or out of London))
  2. booking ahead on "Advance Single" tickets, which are only applicable to the train you specified and offer no flexibility
  3. specifying the times/trains on which you’ll travel, rather than opting for an "open return"
  4. using a split ticketing app, such as "TrainSplit", which can reduce the cost of a fare by splitting your journey into tickets for different sections (often on the same train)
  5. using a railcard (for YorkCourse and master's students, various restrictions apply to each type) 

MoneySavingExpert offers a guide here.

What if I am ill when in York?

You will be given full details of who to contact and how to contact them when you are in York. However, health care is provided by Unity Health on campus, the NHS urgent care centre at York District Hospital and various chemists, dentists and opticians in York. You should note that there are long waiting lists for free dentists and unless it is an emergency or you are prepared to pay for private treatment, it is unlikely that you will be seen.

The Unity Health Kimberlow Hill Surgery is available for your use during your stay. This is on the Heslington East campus, which the 66 bus goes to. You do not have to pay to see the doctor if you have a Europeisk helsetrygdkort, but you will need to pay for medicines prescribed.

The Kimberlow Hill Surgery is open:

08:00 – 20:00 Monday to Thursday
08:00 – 18:00 Friday
09:00 – 13:00 Saturday

Tel. 01904 754900

You can make an appointment using the telephones at the NSC.

You can also access urgent health advice through the NHS 111 service by dialling 111 or go to the York NHS Urgent Care Centre which is located at the York Hospital next to the Emergency Department.  The Care Centre is open 24/7. The care centre can deal with a range of minor injuries and ailments that require urgent attention or advice. There is no need for an appointment or registration – just turn up and wait.  

In an emergency call 999 for an Ambulance or go straight to the York Hospital Emergency Department.

For the most up-to-date details please see:

Who should my friends/family contact in an emergency?

If relatives or friends need to contact you on the phone and do not speak English, they can ask to speak to the Director, Erik Tonning. For numbers see our staff contact page.

Should I get travel insurance?

Yes - after all it's better to be safe than sorry.

Where should I go when I arrive in York?

Short Course students staying in Eden’s court should report to Derwent College Reception to collect their keys. If you are staying elsewhere then you should go directly to your accommodation. For all teaching, all students should come to Quantum House. To find the locations on campus please click here.

Who can take the NSC's YorkCourse in English?

Usually our YorkCourse students are a mixture of Norwegian undergraduates and postgraduates, qualified teachers and others who meet the basic entrance requirements.  The course currently operates at the 200-level (undergraduate) and the 300-level (postgraduate)

The prerequisites for undergraduate admission are:

For those currently studying at a Norwegian University or College:

  • 50 credits (or more) of English Studies from a University or College with an average of a good C or over.
  • Alternatively between 30 and 50 credits of English Studies from a University or College with an average of a B or over.

For Norwegian nationals and other nationals residing in Norway who are not currently studying, e.g. teachers, these entrance requirements may be modified. Please email us with brief details of your experience and qualifications before applying.

The prerequisites for postgraduate admission are that you must be registered on a masters course in English Studies at a Norwegian Institution.

We strongly encourage undergraduates, postgraduates qualified teachers and others who meet the basic requirements to apply. If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to apply, please contact our Director to discuss your options via nsc-director@york.ac.uk.

What level are YorkCourse Modules?

Currently the three modules offered each semester are each worth 10 ECTS credits each (30 in total) and are taught at the 200-level (undergraduate) or the 300-level (postgraduate).

Is it possible to stay for more than a semester?

If you are an undergraduate student, it is possible to stay for a whole year by taking both of our YorkCourse programmes as the modules each semester are different.  If you are a postgraduate student, this is not normally possible due to the requirements of your home institution.

Any undergraduate student who applies for one semester and then later decides that they wish to stay for a second semester, may apply for a second semester when in York.

Can I get a part time job when studying on the YorkCourse or master’s programme?

As a student at the University of York, it is possible for you to work in the UK without a work permit. There are lots of part-time jobs at both the university and in the city centre, but as you will be very, very busy with your studies, we recommend that you do not plan to find part-time work whilst here.

Can I bring my family/children/partner to York if I want to study the YorkCourse?

Bring them with you or escape from them – the choice is yours!

If you choose to bring family/your partner with you then you should be aware that the cost of your accommodation will, of course, be considerably more than a single room. Anyone over 18 who is not in full-time education will also be liable to pay for council tax in addition to rent and other bills.

Children over the age of 5

York schools are happy to take Norwegian pupils (over the age of 5) and we can help make arrangements for this – but beware – often the children don’t want to leave! Also beware that teaching at the NSC may be scheduled to take place anytime between 0915 and 1815, Monday-Fridays and that this is a longer day than most schools (which finish between 1500 and 1600). This may mean that you need to make provision for children beyond the school day by enrolling them in an after school club (for which there may be a charge).

Children under the age of 5

It's trickier with pre-school children (but nowhere near impossible) as you would probably need to pay for day-care for them whilst you were studying unless your partner were able to look after them during those times. There are lots of day-care options for the under fives and it may be possible to get some help with the cost of this (up to 15 hours) if your child is three or over.

If you are thinking of bringing family with you and would like more information then please contact us providing some brief details e.g. the ages of children.


Ingeborg studied on the Autumn 2008 course and her husband and two children came with her. Here is what she had to say about the experience:

Coming with my family was much easier than I had expected. Felicity helped us, so we had a house, and the kids had schools before we left Norway. My 12 year old daughter went to a secondary school and now speaks English with a Yorkshire accent! My 5 year old son, who knew no English before we came, plays in English both alone and with other kids. This semester has given us all a great experience which we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

What can I do with my kids when I’m studying the YorkCourse?

York is a great place to bring children of all ages as there are lots of things to see and do. Alongside the many museums, you might consider:

1. The local libraries. Have a look at the libraries's website for details of locations, joining, opening hours and also events. All of the libraries have free story times for the under fives as well as areas of the library specially designed for young children. For older children then the libraries often arrange events, particularly in school holidays.

2. The Family Information Service have lots of information for parents of kids under 10 including lists of groups and when they meet, so it's probably worth contacting them.

3. Go to a park/open space. Have a look here for where there are parks and where there are play areas.

Who can apply for the master’s programme?

If you are registered on a master's course in English Studies in Norway you can apply to study at the University of York for a term/semester.  There are two options:

1) A one-term master’s course administered by the NSC but taught and assessed by either the Department of English and Related Literature or the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. Fees apply. Spring term only.

2) the NSC's semester length YorkCourse at the 300 level in English studies. No study fees. Autumn or Spring semester.