Visiting and exchange students

Information about studying at the University of Manchester as a visiting or exchange student can be found below.

How to apply

If you would like to spend one or two semesters studying within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures via the Erasmus exchange programme you should:

  • contact the Erasmus Coordinator or International Office at your university to confirm that they have established an exchange with the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester.
  • ensure that your university contacts Manchester to nominate you as an Erasmus student.

Once you have been nominated you will be sent an application form and details of semester dates, accommodation application procedures, orientation etc., by the University of Manchester's International Programmes Office.

Your Erasmus Coordinator will write to you confirm that they have accepted your application and highlight any potential problems with your course units. 

If you would like to take course units in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and your university has a non-Erasmus exchange agreement with the University of Manchester or your university doesn't have an exchange agreement of any kind with Manchester then you should apply via the International Programmes Office.

Course unit selection

As part of your application you will be asked to complete a learning agreement form, listing your course unit choices for the semester(s) you plan to spend in Manchester. Any choices you make on this form are only provisional and can still be changed.

Strictly speaking, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures incoming Erasmus students are only entitled to take course units in the academic subject area specified in the Erasmus agreement signed by your home department and by us. This basically means that you only have a right to take those course units whose codes begin with the letters FREN, GERM, ITAL, LALC, LELA, MEST, RUSS, SPLA and UL.

Please note that for most of these courses only a limited number of students are admitted and that we cannot guarantee that there will be places, although we endeavour wherever possible to accommodate Erasmus students.

Courses at Level 3, ie those with a code number beginning with a '3' (eg GERM30342, ITAL30251) are open to Erasmus students only with the written permission of the person running the course, often referred to as the 'course convenor'. To get this permission, all you have to do is to send an e-mail in English to him/her, asking to be allowed to take the course, briefly explaining your reasons for wanting to do so and giving a rough indication of how much you know already about this subject area (eg by listing any relevant courses you may have taken at your home university).

It may be possible for you to take course units from other Schools within the Faculty of Humanities. You may take up to 20 UK (10 ECTS) credits outside the School during each semester. 

Please note that only a limited number of English and American Literature course units are open to Erasmus students (course codes starting with ENGL or AMER) and that places are only offered to those with the necessary prerequisite knowledge and level of competence in English. You must include these course units in your initial application if you wish to be considered for this. All Erasmus students wishing to take an ENGL course must take part in the English Language Proficiency test which is held at the University of Manchester in the week before the beginning of the relevant semester. Unless you take this test and achieve a mark of 75% or above, you will not be permitted to join your chosen ENGL course and will be required to opt for a course in a different subject area instead.  

If you are interested in Business Studies, please note that only the courses listed under the BMaP (Business and Management for all Programmes) heading are open to Erasmus students. A list of those courses is available via the link below. In order to register for one of these course units you must email

Russian language

All Erasmus students registering for Russian Language course units will be required to take a Russian language placement level test prior to registration.

History course units

Please note that the following History course units are unavailable to Arts, Languages and Cultures Erasmus students because they are skills training courses or due to lack of available places: HIST10152, HIST10292, HIST10622, HIST10812. Also, level 3 History course units are only available in special cases where a student can demonstrate substantial experience of historical methodologies.  Email the History Exchanges Coordinator via if you feel that this applies to you. Dr Jerram will hold a compulsory meeting for Erasmus students registering for History course units at the beginning of the semester. Details of this meeting will be emailed to you as soon as they become available.

Law course units

If you are interested in a Law course unit you must email the Law Exchange Coordinator via for permission before you register. Dr Schammo will want to know that you meet the prerequisites for the relevant course.

Your Erasmus Coordinator will email you with confirmation that the courses you listed on the Learning Agreement element of your application are provisionally accepted. If you have not heard anything from them then you should assume that your course choices are acceptable. The next step is for you to complete online course unit registration. 

This applies to all School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Erasmus students but not to students who are based in other Schools and Departments at the University.

You will be able to register for course units from mid July online (you will be emailed detailed instructions once your application has been approved).

You will automatically be allocated to the first available tutorial/seminar for each course unit. You will be able to check your timetable by logging into the student portal. If you would like to make changes to tutorials/seminars please contact the relevant Undergraduate Support Officer via email or in person.

Do not worry you can change your mind within the first two weeks of each semester. However, any change that you make should be approved by the relevant Erasmus Coordinator before it is registered.

Your workload should be 25-30 ECTS credits (= 50-60 UK credits) per semester. The number of credits given as part of the information on each course unit is the number of UK credits the course unit is worth. Simply halve this to arrive at the number of ECTS credits.

Your workload should be 25-30 ECTS credits (= 50-60 UK credits) per semester. The number of credits given as part of the information on each course unit is the number of UK credits the course unit is worth. Simply halve this to arrive at the number of ECTS credits.

Understanding the course unit codes

What do the course unit codes mean?

The first four letters of the code identify the subject discipline, for example:

GERM10221 = this course unit is offered by German Studies

  • The FIRST of the five digits tells you the level of a course unit. (1 = introductory, 2 = intermediate, 3 = advanced).

GERM10221= this course unit is at an introductory level

  • Whether course units run in Semester 1 or Semester 2 is indicated by the LAST digit of the five-digit number which is part of every course unit code:  '1' indicates the course is on offer in Semester 1, a '2' is reserved for courses taught in Semester 2, and a '0' says that the course unit extends over the entire academic session (Semester 1 and Semester 2)

GERM10221= this course unit is offered in Semester 1 only.

Once you have settled into your course units here in Manchester, contact your Erasmus Coordinator if you need to update your ECTS Learning Agreement form. Please note that Erasmus Coordinators generally do not have originals of Learning Agreements, which you will need to obtain from the International Programmes Office first.

English language proficiency tests

English language proficiency tests are recommended for all

We would strongly suggest that you take the English Language Proficiency Test, which may be voluntary (for your own information) or compulsory if you are planning to take LEAP/Language Centre course units involving English or English Literature.

Further details of this test will be circulated via email.

For further information on the English Language Proficiency Test service please visit the University Language Centre's testing service via the link below:

Academic conventions in Manchester

  • Arriving on time: Lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. all start punctually on the hour and normally last for 50 minutes.
  • Addressing academic staff: This is usually done by title and surname, eg "Dear Professor Jones" or " Dear Dr Smith", where the academic title (if the person concerned has one) replaces titles such as Mr, Mrs or Ms.
  • Writing essays: Write in clear English and develop your argumentation carefully. Independent thinking (provided that it is backed up by sound arguments and evidence) is highly valued and will earn you better marks than mere repetition of what someone else (however famous!) has already said.

Take particular care to avoid plagiarism. Erasmus students are penalised for the theft of intellectual property in the same way as UK students.

Be aware that Erasmus students are normally expected to take the same assessments (essays, exams, tests etc.) as UK home students and that exceptions to this general rule can rarely be made.

Transcripts of results

Getting your marks: you are normally expected to take the same assessments as home students. Inform each course unit's convenor that you are an Erasmus student and send him/her an email roughly three weeks after you have taken your last exam or handed in your last piece of coursework, and ask the convenor to send your mark to the relevant Undergraduate Support Officer. If you fail to do this, we may not receive the mark for a particular course unit and your transcript will be delayed (perhaps by several months) or it may contain errors.   Please note that we reserve the right not to provide you with an amended transcript of results if you have failed to keep us informed of your course choices.

After Exam Boards have ratified marks in the Summer, all students will be able to access an Official Transcript online through a secure digital portal. You will be able to give sharing permissions to advisers at your home university so that they can also view your grades. Transcripts are available via this method from late July onwards.

Assessed essays

Assessed Essays should be submitted in accordance with the instructions given by the convenor of the relevant course unit. Please keep copies of all work you submit, as we may not be able to retrieve essays once you have left Manchester. If you require feedback on your work, contact the relevant lecturer before you leave and make arrangements for the marked piece of work to be sent to you.

General information on assessment

Be aware that Erasmus students are normally expected to take the same assessments (essays, exams, tests etc.) as UK home students and that exceptions to this general rule can rarely be made.


Communication and contact with Erasmus Coordinators

The staff pigeonholes, a useful means of communicating with Erasmus Coordinators can also be found in room S3.8, Samuel Alexander Building.

Erasmus student pigeonholes can be found in the seating area between the South and West wings of the 3rd Floor, Samuel Alexander Building.