As a visiting student at Royal Holloway, you can choose from a wide range of courses. And at the end of your stay, you can transfer the credits that you’ve earned back to your home university.
Before you starting choosing your courses, it’s important you read the following information about course units, course levels and course unit selection.
Need to improve your English?
Our Pre-sessional English language programmes can bring your English up to the level you need to join us at Royal Holloway.
Need guidance choosing your courses? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you.
Course options that are available for visiting students in each academic department are displayed in the links below (to view these you will need a PDF viewer).
Geography including Globalisation and Development
Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures including Comparative Literature and Culture, French, Italian, German and Spanish
Politics and International Relations and Philosophy
Psychology (Psychology Majors and Minors only)
Service Based Learning (Credit-bearing voluntary service). This is not available to Erasmus students
Please note that all courses are subject to timetabling considerations and there may be changes in availability from year to year.
- Credits at Royal Holloway are known as course units. A course unit is a highly structured course which provides thematic consistency; defined content and contact hours; learning outcomes; and assessment procedures.
- Some course units are defined as ‘whole units’ and some as ‘half units’, depending on the intensity, duration, or content of the course. A ‘whole’ course unit will consist of about 300 study hours in total, including lectures, seminars, and independent study.
- Course units equate to credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and to US semester hours as follows:
- 0.5 course unit = 7.5 ECTS = 4 US semester hours (approx.)
- 1 course unit = 15 ECTS = 8 US semester hours (approx.)
- As a visiting student, you must enrol on a full-time basis and maintain full-time status throughout your stay. Full-time study at Royal Holloway consists of:
- At least 2.5 course units (37.5 ECTS) or a maximum of 4 course units (60 ECTS) if you are here for the full academic year.
- At least 1.5 course units (22.5 ECTS) or a maximum of 2 course units (30 ECTS) if you are here for Term 1 only OR for Terms 2 and 3.
- Your home university may require you to take the maximum number of course units that you are eligible to take - 4 course units (60 ECTS) if you’re here for the year or 2 course units (30 ECTS) if you’re here for Term 1 only or Terms 2 and 3. Check with your International Office or the exchange/Study Abroad co-ordinator at your university.
- Course units at Royal Holloway come in three different levels, depending on whether they are suitable for first, second or final-year students in the UK.
- Course codes starting with a 1 are first level, course codes starting with a 2 are second level, and course codes starting with a 3 are final-year level.
- Please be aware that UK students attend school for 13 years and specialise earlier than in many other countries. This means that a level 1 course is approximately equivalent to a 200 level course at an American university; a level 2 course is approximately equivalent to a 300 level course; and a level 3 course is approximately equivalent to a 400 level course.
- When you’re choosing your courses, bear in mind that:
- Level 1 courses are suitable if you have little or no previous knowledge of the subject.
- Level 2 courses are suitable if you have some previous knowledge of the subject and want to build on this.
- Level 3 courses are suitable if you have advanced knowledge of the subject and very strong academic performance. Due to the demanding requirements, we strongly discourage visiting students from taking more than one level 3 course per term.
Course unit selection
- You can apply for courses in up to three academic departments. However, please be aware that taking courses in several departments may lead to timetable clashes.
- Also, bear in mind that some courses are more popular than others and we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to get a place on all the courses you request. (Individual academic departments make the final decision.)
- For this reason, if you want to join us for a full year, you should choose courses that total at least 5-6 course units. If you’re joining us for just one or two terms, you should choose courses that total 3-4 course units.
- If you’re an Erasmus exchange student, you also need to be aware of the particular restrictions that you face when choosing courses. See Applying for Erasmus for more information.
Study plan check list
- Choose courses from a maximum of three departments. However, we recommend you choose courses from only one or two departments (to minimise timetable clashes) -
- List your choices by their course code in your order of preference.
- Only select courses that run during the appropriate term. For example, if you are only staying for Term 1, you can select Autumn term courses. You can’t choose courses that run in the Spring or Summer terms.
- Make sure you are choosing courses that are appropriate to your study level.
- If you apply for a course that is full or unsuitable, we will ask you to choose another course.