Applying to Imperial as a visiting student

Imperial accepts a number of visiting (non-degree) students each year.

Most students who attend Imperial College on a non-degree basis do so while undertaking a degree at another institution (including exchange students mobile through schemes such as ERASMUS). In addition, a small number are admitted on an independent basis.

Visiting (or occasional) students are not awarded a degree by Imperial but may be issued a transcript for any official assessments they undertake. Often the outcomes of the study they undertake at Imperial College contributes to a degree awarded by another institution.

Whether you are a prospective exchange student or a prospective non-exchange student please ensure that you consult the more detailed information below before making an online application. 

If you are an academic or administrative member of Imperial College London please consult guidance on the subject of hosting visiting students on our internal webpages

Information for Visiting (Non-Degree) Students

Placement types

Imperial College London will consider the following applications from prospective visiting (non-degree) students:

  • Undergraduate Level: (1) independent projects OR (2) a study plan composed from the Imperial College undergraduate bachelor/masters curriculum (with or without a project)
  • Postgraduate Masters Level: (1) independent projects OR (2) a study plan composed from Imperial College postgraduate MSc/MRes courses
  • Doctoral Level

Exclusions: Options you cannot apply for as a visiting (non-degree) student

When making your application it is important to note that there are certain placements which we are normally unable to offer, so you should not apply for the following:

  • Study placements with access to Year 1 of an undergraduate course
  • Study placements based on the undergraduate medicine curriculum
  • Study placements based on the undergraduate medical biosciences curriculum
  • Study placements at undergraduate level in Imperial College Business School
  • Study placements at Postgraduate Research (PhD) level in Imperial College Business Schoolexcept within the framework of an official International exchange agreement
  • Study placements at undergraduate level in the Department of Mathematics & Department of Computing, except within the framework of an official International or Erasmus+ student exchange agreement
  • Penultimate or final year undergraduate medical students seeking clinical attachment elective study periods at one of the NHS teaching hospitals partnered with Imperial College London should read the guidance on the Faculty of Medicine website. Such students should not apply as a visiting student as they have a separate application route. 
  • Formal teaching (i.e. courses) in the April to September period. 
  • If you wish to apply for a Summer School (for university level students) please do not apply as a visiting student, but review the information on the appropriate College website. 

Other important issues to consider

Imperial is also unable to offer placements involving teaching from more than one department or from both the undergraduate curriculum (BEng/MEng/BSc/MSci) and postgraduate curriculum (MSc/MRes), unless:

  • that teaching is normally available to degree students of the admitting academic department
  • you are an Erasmus+ or other exchange student and you have been advised by the exchange programme co-ordinator at your home university or the exchange programme co-ordinator at Imperial College London that such access can be arranged

In addition, admission for less than a full academic year is not possible unless:

  • prior agreement has been obtained from the host department.

Please ensure you have read the guidance for applicants. 

Guidance for applicants

For study periods commencing during the current academic year (2020/21), please review this guidance

Please note that the guidance for 2020-21 does not make specific reference to covid-19. The guidance remains the same and if a student receives an offer of admission they can expect to receive any covid-19 related guidance prior to enrolment.

For study periods commencing next academic year (2021/22), please review this guidance

 See below for information for Erasmus traineeship students.

Will I need to pay tuition fees?

  • Students who are admitted within the framework of an official student exchange programme do not have to pay tuition fees to Imperial College London.  Such students would normally be expected to continue to pay normal tuition fees to their home university for the relevant period. 
  • Students who are admitted on the basis of being an Erasmus Traineeship student do not have to pay tuition fees to Imperial College London. Such students would normally be expected to continue to pay normal tuition fees to their home university for the relevant period.
  • All other applicants are liable to pay a tuition fee if they are offered admission.

Imperial's student exchange links

Student exchange partners can read guidance here.

Imperial College London is involved in over 70 Erasmus+ student "study" exchange links, mainly at undergraduate level, with institutions in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, with limited links in Austria, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium.

A complete list of the College’s global (curriculum-based) student exchange agreements, including links with Swiss universities and postgraduate partners for the Imperial College Business School, can be found at:

For Exchange Partners connected to the MA/MSc Global Innovation Design taught jointly by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, contact the Royal College of Art. 

Erasmus traineeship students

A student who has been awarded an Erasmus Traineeship Grant by their home (non-UK) university and:

  • is currently a PhD student and would continue to be registered as such at their home university for the duration of the planned research period at Imperial should always apply as a visiting (non-degree) student.
  • is currently a bachelor or master level student and would continue to be registered as such at their home university for the duration of the planned research period at Imperial should always apply as a visiting (non-degree) student.

Please note that Imperial will classify any Erasmus Traineeship student it admits as a non-exchange (visiting) student.

The College will waive the tuition fee when knowingly hosting a student with Erasmus (Traineeship) status. 

Queries regarding Erasmus Traineeships can be addressed to Adrian Hawksworth, Assistant Registrar (Placements)

How to apply and contacts

Once you have researched the opportunities available, you will need to make an application online.

Applications are open for study in the (2020/21) academic year and next academic year (2021/2022)

Review our academic term dates to determine your study period and academic year.

Please apply online Read the relevant Guidance for Applicants for instructions (see above item. Guidance for 2021-22 entry will be available in January 2021).

Those applying within the framework of a student exchange programme should speak to the subject co-ordinator at their home university before applying. Please note that Imperial College London will continue to consider nominations made by partner universities within the framework of both the Erasmus+ scheme and the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) until the end of 2021-22.

If you wish to apply to undertake an individual project at the College please ensure that you have the provisional agreement of an Imperial College London member of academic staff before you apply. 

Please email the appropriate Admissions Team if you have any queries. 

Please note that the College's Student Exchange Co-ordinator and Erasmus+ Key Action 1 (Mobility of HE Students and Staff) Co-ordinator is: Mr Adrian Hawksworth

Orientation information for students whose admission has been confirmed

The below orientation guide is for visiting (non-degree) students who commence their studies at the start of the 2021 academic year (2nd October 2021):

Orientation Info for New Visiting Students (starting October 2021)‌.

The following orientation guide is for visiting (non-degree) students who commence their studies during the 2021-22 academic year (3rd October 2021 to 1st October 2022):

Orientation Information for visting student starting during 2021 academic year



Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

Imperial's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) is an alternative mechanism for hosting bachelor and master level students from other universities for research experiences/placements (project/internships). Applications for UROP are made informally to potential supervisors.UROP research experiences which are agreed to by the host department are then subject to a UROP registration.

Please note that UROP is a non-study (student) status and there are no programme fees applicable. It is the decision of the host department to use the UROP option.

 However, UROP registrations can only be used for students who do not require a visa to enter/remain in the UK for the purpose of the research experience/placement.

The eligibility criteria for a UROP registration exclude non-UK nationals who are not already in the UK for study purposes. For example, an EU national studying currently a university outside the UK would need to apply as a Visiting Student (once they have found a supervisor willing to host).

Further details are available on the UROP website.