Swansea University

Guidelines on Mobility Opportunities - Semester and Year Study Placements

Guidelines on Mobility Opportunities - Semester and Year Study Placements

1. Undergraduate Programmes with Mobility Opportunities – Semester and Year Study Placements

These guidelines apply to undergraduate programmes where either:

  1. the programme requires a student to undertake study at an approved host institution for a full academic year for the award of credit, i.e. a ‘Full Year Study Placement’; or
  2. study is undertaken at another institution for credit in lieu of the credits that the student would have normally taken at Swansea, i.e. a ‘Semester Study Placement’.

2. General Principles


Where the period of formal study is a required part of the programme the programme specification must clearly identify how the intended learning outcomes of the programme should be met.


All new partnership agreements must ensure that a credit framework and mark allocation guidelines are provided.


Any formal period of study placement must be credit-bearing and contribute to the award of the programme and consequently the degree classification (i.e. therefore not pass/fail).


The Study Year Placement should normally be taken:

  • During the third year of a four-year initial degree which includes a year or semesters abroad
  • During the fourth year of a five-year advanced initial degree including a year of semesters abroad


Any marks from a study placement will be determined by the translation of marks that have been gained at the partner institution using the approved Swansea University Guidelines . The University’s official transcript will show the Swansea University translated mark(s) from the study placement period.

3. Structural Framework


Study placements should conform to one of the following structures:

  • One year in duration (equivalent to 120 Swansea credits and commonly referred to as an intercalary year)
  • Two semesters split over two years (equivalent to 2 x 60 Swansea credits and commonly referred to as an intercalary year)
  • One semester (equivalent to 60 Swansea credits within a three-year degree or a four-year advanced initial degree)
  • Combination of one semester study placement and one semester work placement (equivalent to 120 credits and commonly referred to as an intercalary year


The Full Year Study Placement will be recorded as 120 credits and the Semester Study Placement as 60 credits on the Swansea University student transcript.


Students are required to enrol on approximately 80% of a full course load at partner institutions. Any additional credit taken will not count towards the Study Placement mark.

CountryFull Year Load80% Load
Europe 60 ECTS credits 48 ECTS credits
USA 24 credit hours 19.2 credit hours
Australia 48 credits 38.4 credits
CountryFull Semester80%
 Europe (ECTS) 30 ECTS  24 credits 
USA  12 credit hours  9.6 credit hours 
Australia  24 credits  19.2 credits 



Marks will be converted using the approved Swansea University Guidelines . The University’s official transcript will show the Swansea University translated mark(s) from the study placement period.

4. Minimum Threshold for Participation


In order to participate in a study placement, students must be performing at a second class honour division two standard or better at the end of the assessment period as indicated in the table below. *

Commencement of Study PlacementAssessment Period
Autumn start January (end of Semester 1)
Winter start June (end of Semester 2 or August following supplementary exams)

*Except for modern languages degrees where the study placement is a compulsory part of the degree


Colleges are permitted to set higher minimum averages subject to University approval processes. 

5. Responsibilities of Academic Coordinators

Academic Coordinators must ensure:


that students are fully aware of the academic arrangements for any period of study placement prior to the student committing his or herself to it, and that students wishing to undertake study in a language other than their own have the relevant language skills.


that modules studied on a Study Placement are at a level of study appropriate to the programme.


that an approved Learning Agreement is completed prior to commencement of the Study Placement and that any changes to it are only made with their explicit agreement and that of the student.


that students are informed if there are re-sit opportunities available in the host university/country prior to the student selecting a Study Placement.


that regular contact is maintained with any student undertaking a study placement arrangement in addition to the requirements on the student of the Attendance Monitoring Policy for Taught Students.

6. Recording Study Placement Modules on the Student Record


The University has adopted an evidence-based approach for converting marks gained from mobility placements in the form of approved grade conversion tables , benchmarked against both transcripts and grading tables from both our partner institutions and other HE institutions in the UK.


The University recognises that there can be significant differences in the number of courses and credits available for study at the host university. It is recommended (for purposes of recording a Study Placement on the Swansea record) that one of the following options be used (Colleges may select the most appropriate option):

Year PlacementSemester Placement
1 x 120 SU credit module 1 x 60 SU credit module
2 x 60 SU credit modules 4 x 15 SU credit modules
8 x 15 SU credit modules  
Or an alternative structure as defined by a specific partnership agreement


If the College decides to use one Swansea module (60 or 120 SU credits) to represent the study placement the final mark should be calculated as follows:

  • use the marks and credit value recorded on transcript (before conversion) to
  • calculate the weighted average of all the marks achieved
  • calculate the median mark
  • select the mark most advantageous to the student from each of these calculations and convert them to Swansea University grades using the approved conversion tables.


If the College opts to use 4 (or 8) x 15 credit Swansea modules (equating to 4/8 equally weighted modules at a host university) to represent the study placement, each module mark should be calculated as follows:

  • convert the mark for each module on the transcript using the approved tables and allocate it to Swansea equivalent module


Marks must be converted using information provided on the host university transcripts and translated on to the approved conversion tables as referred to above using the approved Swansea University Guidelines .


The International Development Office will carry out the initial mark conversion on behalf of the Colleges and will send the recommended mark to the relevant Academic Coordinator (together with the a copy of the student transcript).


The Academic Coordinator will be responsible for reviewing the recommended mark(s) to ensure that they are robust.

7. Redemption of Failure


Swansea University does not normally offer a supplementary opportunity for students who fail a module(s) during a study period abroad.


Students must be informed of the availability of re-sit opportunities in host universities/countries prior to making their selection.


Where partner universities do offer re-sit opportunities as standard practice during the normal study mobility period students are advised to avail themselves of this opportunity to re-sit any failed modules.


In cases where there are extenuating circumstances (or circumstances beyond students control) a supplementary assessment opportunity may be offered on the recommendation of the Regulations and Cases Board.


Where a supplementary assessment opportunity is offered the College must ensure that it meets the module learning outcomes.

8. Contribution to Degree Classification


Guidelines on how mobility opportunities are to be counted towards final degree classification can be found in the Academic Guide.

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