This page contains information for current students entering our Study Abroad Programme, either as part of an outbound exchange or as a visiting student to Imperial College London.

Outbound exchange

Imperial undergraduates have the option to spend ~8 months of study at an overseas partner University when registered to the Chemistry with Research Abroad (F101/F104) and Chemistry with a Language for Science (F1RX) degree programmes.

Study abroad placements can only be hosted at higher-education institutes where an approved Exchange partnership already exists.

Eligible students are generally matched with one of their preferred destinations however places are limited, are not guaranteed and may be dependent upon a reciprocal incoming exchange student being nominated to study at Imperial College.

You can find comprehensive information about student exchanges on the College placements website.

Research abroad

How to apply for a study year abroad?

The departmental exchange coordinator will be responsible for selecting and nominating exchange students to partner insitutes in spring term of Year 3.

Students preferences will be taken into account and where possible students will be placed with their preferred option.  Where there are more students than available spaces academic performance, motivation and research experience will be used as the selection criteria.

Will I receive academic recognition during my year abroad?

A programme of study will be agreed between all parties before the study period abroad commences.  The assessment structure will be as follows:

  • elective lecture courses attended and exams taken at the host university
  • culture essay OR language project OR extended language project 
  • MSci research project report
  • MSci research project talks and synoptic vivas held at Imperial (exactly as for other Yr4 MSci)

You will receive an exam transcript from the host university, however ultimately the academic credit for the year will be granted by Imperial College who will issue your final MSci degree grading and certificate.


  • Will I have support during my Research Abroad?

Exchange programme coordinators at Imperial College and the Host Institute will be available to offer support at every stage of your Study Year Abroad.  You will also have academic support from an Imperial college supervisor who will typically visit at least once during the year.

  • Do I have to pay tuition fees ?

Tuition fees at the host institute will be waived however you will continue to pay tuition fees to Imperial College during your Year Abroad charged at a reduced rate for Home fee status students. Students who have been receiving financial assistance from Student Finance England will continue to do so.  

  • Do I need to speak the native language of the overseas institution? -

You must have an adequate proficiency in the relevant language (studied for degree credit in years 1 and 2) to be eligible to study abroad in an overseas institution where English is not an official language. Please note that some English-speaking placements are available. 

  • Can I transfer on to a Chemistry with Research Abroad Degree Programme?

Students are able to transfer degree programmes on the condition that they meet the minimum requirements for the programme. The final possibility to transfer programmes is the end of year 2.

Visiting student applications

To participate in the department of chemistry exchange programme visiting students must be registered as a student at an approved exchange partner university. Students cannot apply directly to the Imperial College Department of Chemistry. Official nominations must be sent by approved home exchange / study abroad coordinators.

Please contact your home institute exchange coordinator to discuss your eligibility for the study exchange programme.

Comprehensive information for the reference of student exchange partner universities can be found on the College placements website.

Information for nominated exchange students


Key dates and orientation

  • Living costs: Here is a rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London
  • Key dates: Term dates can be found on the Registry website. Visting students are expected to attend departmental orientation events.
  • Accommodation: Visiting exchange students who attend for a full academic year are normally guaranteed a room in an Imperial hall of residence if they have applied for such a room by the advertised deadline. Exchange students who are admitted for less than a full academic year are not guaranteed a room in an Imperial hall of residence. Guidance on searching for private section accommodation is provided at student hub website.

Lecture courses

Exchange students will be able to enrol on courses within the Department of Chemistry undergraduate degree programme only.

  • MSci Year 4 courses take place in the Autumn term, are examined in January and are worth 5 ECTS credits
  • Year 3 lecture courses may take place in the Autumn or Spring, are examined in January and/or May and are worth 15 ECTS credits per term

Research project

Most exchange students will complete a research project during their time at Imperial.

After you have been officially nominated by your home exchange coordinator you will be invited to contact academics within the department of chemistry one at a time to secure a research project supervisor.

You should contact your preferred supervisor as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Find out more information about our staff and their research areas.