Students who come to Imperial College for a non-degree study placement apply as Visiting Students (also known as Occasional Students). In the Physics Department, we accept Visiting Students for two types of study:

  • a major project in a research group lasting from a few months up to a year. If you would like to come on this basis, you are advised to look at our research pages, and then contact direct the research group(s) in which you are interested.
  • a year's study under an Erasmus or other exchange agreement. If this is what you are planning, these pages are primarily for you.

If you have been nominated to study at our department via the Erasmus programme but have yet to apply to Imperial College as a visiting student. Full details here.

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept students from universities with which we do not have exchange agreements (please see below).

Visiting students 2014

Tabbed information block


Main contacts for exchange students at Imperial College:

  • Physics Department Year in Europe Administrative Coordinator: 
    Amy Cripps-Mahajan , tel +44(0)20 7594 7511
    Blackett Laboratory, Room 317, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, GB
  • Physics Department Year In Europe Academic Co-ordinator:
    Professor Gavin Davies,  +44(0)20 7594 7674
  • Assistant Registrar (Placements) & Institutional Erasmus Co-ordinator:
    Adrian Hawksworth, tel +44(0)20 7594 8044
    Registry, Level 3 Sherfield Building, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, GB

Exchange Partners


  • Université de Paris Sud (Paris XI), Orsay
  • Institut National de Physique de Grenoble (INPG)/ Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Physique, Electronique, et Matériaux (Phelma)


  • Utrecht University


  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)


  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


  • Università degli Studi di Padova “Il Bo”


  • Universidad de La Laguna
  • Universidad de Valencia
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Planning your Study

Many students come with a Study Plan. We will ask you to confirm your choices by the middle of October. You can select from the following:

  • Physics undergraduate Lecture Courses (usually Level 3 or 4)
  • Atomic Physics, Nuclear and Particle Physics and Solid State Physics have been moved to year 2, though the content is less comprehensive than the original level 3 version. Codes and associated ECTS for these courses are:
    - Year 2 Atomic Physics [P2.8] = 3 ECTS
    - Year 2 Nuclear and Particle Physics [P2.10] =  3 ECTS
    - Year 2 Solid State Physics [P2.9] = 5 ECTS
  • Courses from Physics MSc programmes on Optics & PhotonicsQuantum Fields & Fundamental ForcesShock PhysicsTheory and Simulation of Materials or various DTC courses.
  • A practical (laboratory), theoretical or computational project of one or two terms duration. All projects, whether of 1 or 2 terms (0.5 or 1.0 unit / 9 or 18 ECTS) must be registered with Third Year Laboratory, and are assessed under their regulations. Details on Third Year Projects [Internal access only]
  • Courses in other departments in the College, including Centre for Co-Curricular Studies and the Business School

Details of courses for the current academic year area available in the undergraduate pages.


The College is using ECTS, and the Lecture Course Form gives ECTS values for all Level 3&4 courses


For some Level 4 courses, you are required to have studied one or more Level 3 courses as a preparation. You may have covered the relevant material at your home university, or you may be able to take the Level 3 course here in Term 1, and the Level 4 course in Term 2. Where the timetable does not allow this, you may be able to cover the prerequisite material in private study. Contact the course lecturer to establish whether this can be done.

A chart of visiting student prerequisites.

Please note when making your choices:

  • Most teaching takes place in Terms 1&2. Exams for almost all courses take place in Term 3 (May and June). (Computational Physics is tested at the beginning of January.)
  • At least half your programme must be done within the Physics Department
  • If you decide to take MSc courses or courses in other departments, you must make your own arrangements. Please be aware that there may be timetable clashes!

Useful forms and links