This policy relates to the Incoming Study Abroad (ISA) programme with a September 2022 or January 2023 start date and Leeds International Summer School (LISS) with a July 2023 start date.
Applicants to these programmes will earn University of Leeds credits, which contribute towards their home-degree programme.
The Incoming Study Abroad programme and LISS are not offered on a part-time basis.
The main admissions principles and policies of the University of Leeds are outlined in the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy and the following policy highlights any variation or additional information to supplement the institutional policy.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Further information about these programmes can be found at:
Types of applicants this policy applies to
Incoming Study Abroad Programme
- An exchange applicant. Exchange applicants will be nominated by one of the University’s international exchange partners via a reciprocal student exchange agreement. They could be nominated for a single semester or full academic year of study, or to undertake a period of research. The applicant will continue to pay fees to their home university and therefore fees at Leeds will be waived for exchange applicants.
- A fee-paying applicant. Applicants who wish to spend a semester or academic year at the University of Leeds and pay the Study Abroad tuition fee. They may apply independently or through one of the University’s agents or Study Abroad fee-paying partner institutions. If applying through an agent, the agent will pay their tuition fee. If applying independently the student or the partner university will pay the fee, depending on the arrangement we have with their home university.
- An applicant who applies via a University partner where an Enhanced Partner Mobility Agreement (EPMA) has been signed between the institutions. This route offers fee-paying students guaranteed places on a limited choice of subject-specific modules. The student will pay the relevant EPMA tuition fee agreed between the International Office and the academic school.
- An exchange applicant studying at Masters level at their home university. Taught postgraduate exchange applicants will be nominated by one of the University’s international exchange partners via a reciprocal student exchange agreement signed at postgraduate level.
- A Global Engineering education exchange applicant (GE3 programme) who applies via the GE3 application system. Students are selected for a semester or year in the Faculty of Engineering. The applicant will continue to pay fees to their home university and therefore fees at Leeds will be waived for exchange applicants.
Leeds International Summer School Programme
- An exchange applicant. Exchange applicants will be nominated by one of the University’s international exchange partners via a reciprocal student exchange agreement. They could be nominated for the full four-week programme or a single two-week block. The applicant will continue to pay fees to their home university and therefore the tuition component of the fee at Leeds will be waived for exchange applicants. They will still pay the remainder of the summer school programme fee (which includes accommodation, meals and the social and cultural programme).
- A fee-paying applicant who pays the full LISS programme fee including tuition. They may apply independently or through one of the University’s agents or Study Abroad fee-paying partner institutions. If applying through an agent, the agent will pay their tuition fee. If applying independently, the student or the partner university will pay the fee, depending on the arrangement we have with their home university.
Pre-sessional English language courses
Applicants who do not meet standard or higher language requirements for the Incoming Study Abroad or LISS programme are given the opportunity to complete a Language Centre pre-sessional language course.
Applicants are admitted to a joint ND-IELSA or ND-ELU programme. Following completion of the pre-sessional programme, students progress on to the most relevant non-degree programme for Incoming Study Abroad (e.g. ND-LCS-ISA).
Applicants to the ISA and LISS programmes must apply directly via an online University of Leeds application form. Guidance on making an application to each programme and links to the forms can be found on the ISA website and the LISS website.
Applications from exchange students and the University’s agents are processed once a formal nomination of the student has been received from the exchange partner or agent.
Exchange partners nominate their students via a Microsoft Form providing the name, email address, subject area and duration of study for their nominated student(s).
Applicants are encouraged to apply in advance of the relevant deadline to allow sufficient time for them to receive an offer and then be able to make the necessary arrangements for study on the programme. Examples of arrangements may include applying for a visa, arranging accommodation and making travel plans.
Applications made after the relevant deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis; however, it is recommended that applicants contact the Study Abroad Office prior to making an application to check.
During the online application process, the applicant uploads required documentation outlined on the following websites:
The application will be processed upon receipt of a completed application form and supporting documents.
Applicants who need to take a pre-sessional language course
Applicants to the ISA programme who need to take a pre-sessional language course prior to their semester or year of study abroad can apply for a combined pre-sessional and study abroad programme via the application form.
There are several intakes per year for pre-sessional English study and the duration of the pre-sessional programme is based on the applicant’s existing IELTS score (or equivalent qualification) at the time of application to the University.
The ISA programme has several intakes per year, therefore the application form remains open all year.
ISA semester 1 deadlines
Students applying for semester one (September start) can apply from the previous January onwards. Applications close on:
- 31 March (non-European applicants)
- 30 April (European applicants)
- 31 May (applicants applying under an Enhanced Partner Mobility Agreement)
ISA semester 2 deadlines (January) start
Students applying for semester two (January start) are encouraged to apply from 1 May onwards and their applications will be reviewed from July.
1 May is the date used due to the application form linking to the accurate module catalogue for their year of study.
Applicants applying between May and July are contacted and advised that their application will remain on hold until a given date (usually mid-July onwards).
- Applications close on 31 October (all applicants).
Pre-Sessional English language programmes
Applications close on:
- 31 March (July/August start)
- 15 June (September start)
- 15 October (January start)
Undergraduate summer research
- Applications close on 28 February
The LISS programme has one intake per year and the application form is available when applications open (usually between November and January) until applications close in May. The Study Abroad Office will consider applications prior to the final deadline of 1 May.
The University of Leeds Incoming Study Abroad and LISS programmes for current international students.
For the ISA programme, applicants should have completed at least one year of study at their home institution.
For the LISS programme, applicants should have completed at least one semester of study at their home institution. They will not get an award from the University of Leeds, but they may use credit gained towards their home institution qualification.
The programmes are designed to support the broader exchange of students between the University of Leeds and partner institutions across the world as well as to recruit international students who may want a short ‘taster’ experience studying at the University of Leeds.
Assessing an application
Admissions staff will use the following to assess if a student is eligible for the Incoming Study Abroad or LISS programmes at the University:
- A formal nomination from the home university (for exchange applicants only)
- Transcript of Records; signed and stamped, and translated into English where necessary
- Description of the grading system used by the home university
- English language certificate (if the country of the home university is not on the Student visa exceptions list)
- Copy of the information page of the passport (ISA only)
- Language module questionnaire if applying for a foreign language module (ISA only)
- Portfolio of work if applying for performance music modules or studio Fine Art or Design modules (ISA only)
- Academic reference (ISA independent fee-paying applicants only)
Competition for places
The Incoming Study Abroad Programme is small scale, with fewer than 1,500 applicants per year.
Admissions staff monitor the subject area of applicants and where necessary, may restrict entry to high-demand subjects.
The number of exchange students from our partner institutions is monitored when annual balance negotiations begin with our partner institutions. The exchange programme is based on supply and demand.
There are no limits on the number of applicants from partner universities that are most popular with University of Leeds students applying to study abroad. There are much stricter controls, managed annually, with other exchange partners that see less demand from Leeds students.
The LISS programme is small scale with fewer than 500 applicants per year.
There are no limits on the number of applicants from an individual partner or institution, but places on individual modules are limited. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Applicants provide a first and second choice module for the block(s) of the programme they wish to attend. If a student’s first-choice module is full, the student will be enrolled on their second-choice module. If their second-choice module is also full, the Study Abroad Office will contact the student with information on the places remaining on alternative modules.
Applicants to the Incoming Study Abroad programme must have completed at least one year of study and must be in good academic standing at their home university, with a grade of Upper Second Class (UK system), GPA of 3.0 (US system), GPA of 5.5 (Australian system) or equivalent.
Applicants to the Leeds International Summer School programme must have completed at least one semester of study and must be in good academic standing at their home university, with a grade of 56 (UK system), GPA of 2.8 (US system), GPA of 5.0 (Australian system) or equivalent.
Applicants to both programmes must also meet the English language requirements outlined in the Language evidence and requirements section. .
Further information about academic requirements can be found at:
Flexibility on the typical requirements may be applied at the discretion of an academic school for students applying via an exchange agreement.
Partner universities may select candidates who have the potential to succeed and will benefit from the academic experience at the University of Leeds but who do not meet the typical academic requirements. Consideration is given on a case-by-case basis and in conjunction with the relevant academic school. In these cases, the partner university is expected to outline any mitigating factors that may have had an impact on the candidate's academic performance at the time of nominating their student to Leeds.
Open Access scheme for Incoming Study Abroad programmes
A select number of priority Australian partner universities can nominate applicants to the University of Leeds with a GPA of between a pass and 5.5 on the Australian scale. This has been granted with the aim to generate greater capacity for our outgoing students.
Language evidence and requirements
For the ISA programme, language requirements vary according to which teaching school a student will study in.
Some schools have higher language requirements so applicants must have attained the higher entry requirement of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent by the time they apply to Leeds, or must take a pre-sessional language programme prior to the start of their programme. Details of the teaching schools requiring a higher entry requirement can be found from the links that follow:
- Language requirements for exchange and Study Abroad applicants
- Language requirements for LISS applicants
There are some exceptions if a student has been nominated by a partner university, is being taught in English and is joining the Incoming Study Abroad programme for a single semester only or the LISS programme (and therefore intending to apply for a Visitor visa). If these criteria are met, an official letter from the home university, stating their entire degree programme is taught in English, may be supplied rather than an applicant providing an official language certificate.
In line with the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy, the Study Abroad Office must accept the most recent English language certificate submitted.
A decision on the application is normally given to the applicant within:
- six weeks of receiving a complete application for ISA
- three weeks of receiving a complete application for LISS.
If further information is needed, the University will contact the applicant and/or partner institution to request further information.
Accepting an offer
Incoming Study Abroad and LISS applicants do not need to take any further action to accept an offer from the University of Leeds. If applicants wish to withdraw from either programme, the applicant, agent or home university should notify the University by email (see the Useful contact details and resources section).
LISS applicants must pay their deposit within seven days of receiving their offer letter as detailed on the fees page of the website.
The University will contact unsuccessful applicants using the personal email address provided on their application to give a reason why their application was not successful. If the applicant is from a partner university, the partner will also be notified of the decision.
Visas, arrivals and extensions
International applicants to short programmes are advised to refer to the guidance about the type of UK visa to apply for.
Single semester or LISS applicants are advised to apply for a Visitor Visa but have the option to request a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and apply for a Student Route visa if they wish.
Applicants travelling to the UK using a Visitor Visa
The Study Abroad Office will issue an acceptance letter that the student can use to obtain a Visitor Visa.
If an applicant’s nationality is on the UK Government’s list of visa national countries, they must apply for a visa online before they travel to the UK.
If an applicant’s nationality is not on the visa national list, they can choose to apply online before they travel or get the correct immigration permission when they arrive at a UK airport.
Course start date and arrival
The course start date is indicated clearly in the acceptance letter and applicants must ensure that they are able to attend their course from this date and for the full duration of the programme.
The University reserves the right to refuse admission to those offer holders who arrive after this date. Should there be any possibility of a delay to arrival, offer holders should seek advice from the Study Abroad admissions team before travelling.
Extensions of stay
Incoming Study Abroad students can request to extend their duration of stay from a single semester to a full academic year with support from their home university and parent school at the University of Leeds.
This is also possible across two academic years (i.e. January–January).
The Study Abroad admissions team will check the balance between the partner institutions and ensure the student has provided accurate language certificate evidence in order to apply for a Student visa. The student will be referred to the Student Visa Advice team as part of the extension process and it will only be granted if a visa is issued.
It is not possible for LISS students to extend their stay.
Useful contact details and resources
- Further information about the ISA programme
- Further information about the LISS programme
- Contact details for Incoming Study Abroad Team: email@example.com
- Contact details for the LISS Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated by Liz Simpson and Lisa Beare, November 2021