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Home>Study at York>International students>Applying>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 2023/24.

You can come to York for one or two semesters (a full academic year).

  • One semester: start in September or February
  • One academic year (two semesters): start in September 


Teaching usually 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 collaborative group exercises 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 be laboratory work, fieldwork 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 advise on study methods and planning your studies. Study skills courses are also available.


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

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


At York, a full workload is usually represented by:

  • 120 credits for a full academic year
  • 60 credits for one semester

One semester equals 60 credits (30 ECTS), and a full academic year equals 120 credits (60 ECTS). All modules will be equally weighted at 20 credits (10 ECTS) per module.

Credits can be taken in academic departments and by studying a foreign language through the Languages for All programme or our Centre for Lifelong Learning. Depending on the number of credits taken or the programme taken in York, some students may be charged for these courses, and some may not be eligible for academic credit.

When choosing modules you will need to consider any entry requirements and be sure that your home university will give you credit for the course. You are also responsible for ensuring that you meet your home university's required credit load for your study period at York.

If you need a fuller description of any course, please contact the relevant departmental contact through the courses tab below.

ECTS scheme

Please note that ECTS are half York credits eg 20 York credits are 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

Visiting Student Team

Your steps to joining us

Contact us

Visiting Student Team