Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
- Homepage: Click to visit
About the University of Edinburgh
Acceptance is competitive
There is a limit on the number of UR students studying at any one location, so applicants must indicate a 2nd choice program (including a well-considered list of classes) and must be prepared to go there. Competition is considerably higher in the fall than in the spring.
Most subjects are available, but Edinburgh is particularly strong in English literature, history, political science, economics, and the sciences (no laboratories for pre-med students). Some subjects are more competitive than others in terms of placement and course availability. More competitive ('high pressure') subjects include art, design, English literature, history, politics, law, philosophy, and art history. When a subject is considered 'high pressure,' a deep background in the subject (3-4 courses) may be required to enroll, so check each course description for pre-requisites required.
Special note for Healthcare & Society/Public Health Students: Edinburgh has a program titled Health-Science-Society that started in 2014 that is open to visiting/exchange students, so this might be a good match for students studying this subject area. Note: Don't let the 'MA' designation of this program deter you--this is an undergraduate program (4-year honours degrees in Scotland are traditionally called MA to distinguish them from 3-year degrees).
Lectures and tutorials
Courses consist of lectures, tutorials (seminars) and, where appropriate, laboratory classes. Lectures are larger than the tutorials, which typically have only 10-15 students. Students may wish to avoid first year classes, which tend to be very large. The tutorial is the traditional strength of the Scottish university system. Participation in the tutorial is very important and can count for a significant part of the total grade. In most classes, students prepare and present a seminar paper.
Course offerings are published in the Visiting Student Guide (click on "Courses & Credits" and then "Course Finder"). Normally, you will need to make your course selections from the current year's offerings, but the same courses are usually offered from one year to the next. An updated catalogue usually becomes available in April of each year.
Internship with Scottish Parliament
The University of Edinburgh offers visiting students the opportunity to serve as interns to members of Scottish Parliament in a semester-length program. Click to go directly to the Parliamentary Programme website.
Part year or full year
If you will be abroad for one semester only, you must look for part-year courses designated for semester 1 or semester 2. Full-year students should look at the full year list. Part-year students are not allowed to take courses designed for the full year.
Students who wish to take honours courses must be majors in that subject area and must have completed at least three-four major courses with a grade of B or better. Scottish students specialize in a specific subject rather than fulfilling requirements in a broad range of subjects; therefore, you may find levels 100 and 200 to be more advanced than first- or second-year courses at UR. In general visiting students may take anything from year 1 to year 3 coursework if they meet the pre-requisites (year 4 and post-grad courses not available to visiting students), but for much more detail, see here. Note that it is not recommended for visiting students to take more than two honours courses per semester.
Course load and credits
At Edinburgh, a full year's worth of credit is equal to 120 Edinburgh credits; one semester equals 60 Edinburgh credits. The normal course load consists of three 20-credit courses per semester. However, certain faculties (departments) have begun offering 10-credit courses, so students should adjust their course load accordingly. The minimum course load for a Richmond student is 50 Edinburgh credits per semester. While this may be fewer courses than you are used to with less contact time (class time) per course, there is greater emphasis on independent learning at Edinburgh and it is expected that you should put in 200 hours of study (13 hours per week) per 20-credit course.
Credit conversion to units
Coursework taken abroad will be transferred back to the student's Richmond record under the Conversion to Units system. The chart below shows how Edinburgh credits are converted to Richmond units.
Edinburgh Richmond one 10-credit course 0.8 units one 20-credit course 1.5 units one 40-credit course 3 units
Edinburgh Description UR Equivalent 70-100 An excellent performance-very rare A 65-69 A- 60-64 A very good performance B+ 55 - 59 A good performance B 50-54 A good performance B- 40 - 49 A satisfactory performance C 35 - 39 A marginal fail D Not eligible for transfer credit 0 - 34 F
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING GRADING: At Edinburgh, each course is comprised of at least two if not three or more course components, and each component must be passed successfully in order to receive a passing grade for the entire course. For example, if a course has 10% of the grade for class assignments, 20% for a paper (essay), and 70% of the grade for the exam, each of the three components must be passed successfully in order to receive a passing grade (equivalent to a 'C' or better) for the course and to achieve transfer credit. This is regardless of the overall mark. Therefore, even if a student receives a perfect score in two of three course components, if the third component is not successfully passed, the student will not receive academic credit.
Students who meet stated deadlines are guaranteed on-campus housing. Richmond students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own accommodations. All residences are equipped with kitchens and lounges on each floor. The kitchen area often becomes a social area for the hall residents. Options include a residence hall with a meal plan (Pollock Hall) or a university flat. Flats are self-catered (residents prepare their own meals) and offer no meal plan.
Dates and Costs
See here for program dates and a budget sheet for Edinburgh.
Click here for Edinburgh's online calendar.
See UK Visa Requirements and the British Council website. The preferred option for single-semester U.S. citizen students is to enter the UK with short-term student visitor status (no cost, and no advance application required). Typically only yearlong students or students accepted to the Parliamentary Programme should apply for the full Tier 4 student visa (as it is required for yearlong students and for students who work/intern). Non-U.S. students will need to check the requirements for their home country here to determine whether they need to apply for the full UK student visa. IMPORTANT: Students should not arrange flights through the Republic of Ireland, as they will not receive the correct visa stamp upon entry to the UK.
For More Information
For additional information about this program, contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education.
|Culturally, Scotland is close enough to the US experience that I didn't get culture shock as much as homesickness for the first month or so. The thing that I think most international students forget when in Scotland is to actually really delve into the host country. I had many friends that spent their breaks traveling to the continent or to England/Ireland, and ended up leaving Scotland without a feel for the rest of the nation outside of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is an amazing city, but it is unique to the Scottish experience. Make sure to visit other places outside of urban areas. Make use of the International Student Centre in Edinburgh. They have trips every weekend to Scottish castles and natural areas that would be near impossible to access without one's own car. The prices are ridiculously cheap and UR will generally cover the cost of the trips! Scotland is a rustic and naturally austere, but breathtaking country. Don't get stuck in the Lowlands the whole time! Explore. Also go to a ceilidh fully kilted. I completely missed out on this experience and regret it to this day. Also listen to the Gaelic radio station once in awhile. There is nothing like Gaelic music as you ride through the Highlands.|
|— Spring, 2013 Participant|
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