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Home>Study at York>International students>Applying and study>Visiting students>Teaching and assessment

Find out how you will be taught and assessed as a visiting student at York.

Term structure and dates

The University of York is moving to a semester system in the academic year 2023/4.

You can come to York for one, two or three terms.

  • One term: you can start in September or January
  • Two terms: you can study from September to March or January to June
  • Full year (three terms): start in September

From September 2023, you will be able to study for a semester or a full academic year.

  • One semester: you can start in September or January
  • One academic year: start in September


Teaching normally involves a mixture of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and for some courses, laboratory and practical work.

  • Lectures provide the backbone to the whole unit of study and act as a stimulus to further reading and research.
  • Tutorials involve a discussion lasting an hour or more between a tutor and one or a small number of students, often focused on an essay or problem.
  • Seminars are a collaborative group exercise involving five to fifteen students meeting with a tutor to discuss one or more short presentations usually prepared and delivered by the students.
  • Practical work may take the form of laboratory work, field work or computer assignments.

Studies at British universities, particularly in arts and social science subjects, may involve relatively few formal contact hours each week, since they are intended as a starting point and focus for individual study.

You're expected to be able to take a high degree of responsibility for your studies and to organise your own time effectively. Supervisors and course tutors are always ready to give advice on study methods and planning your studies and study skills courses are also available.


Methods of assessment vary between departments and from module to module. The most common methods are essays written specially for assessment, assignments written during the module and closed examinations.

Seminar performance and class contributions may also be taken into account. In some cases (for example if you leave York before the examination for a particular module takes place) a special assessment will be provided.


At York, a full workload is normally represented by:

  • 120 credits for a full academic year
  • 60-80 credits for two terms
  • 40-60 credits for one term

In some departments a single module normally occupies a student full-time for a whole term; such modules therefore carry a value of 40 credits.

In other departments the material is taught in smaller units which carry lower credit values.

Students usually take 40 to 60 York credits per term (20-30 ECTS). Credits can be taken in the traditional departments, but also by studying a foreign language (apart from English) through the Languages For All programme (credit is only available for full year students). It is also possible to take modules for credit through our Centre for Lifelong Learning and our Writing and Language Skills Centre. Depending on the number of credits being taken or the programme on which you are attending York, some students may be charged for these courses.

Once York moves to semesters. One semester will be equal to 60 credits (30 ECTS) and a full academic year will be equal to 120 credits (60 ECTS). All modules will be equally weighted at 20 credits (10 ECTS) per module.

In choosing modules you will need to consider any entry requirements and to be sure that your home university will give you credit for the course.

If you need a fuller description of any course, please contact us at

ECTS scheme

For Erasmus+ students, ECTS are half York credits, eg 20 York credits is equal to 10 ECTS.

Supervision and support

At York, you will be assigned to a supervisor who is responsible for your academic progress and personal welfare. The supervisor helps to draw up a programme of modules on arrival which suits your academic interests, needs and capabilities and which represents a full workload.

We know that studying in a foreign country can be daunting but don't worry we have lots of support in place to help get you settled in.

Contact us

Centre for Global Programmes

Your steps to joining us

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Centre for Global Programmes