Find out how to spend a semester studying abroad during your undergraduate degree.

Studying abroad for a semester

The semester abroad is a variation of studies, incorporated within your 3-year degree, and takes place during your second year. You apply for this option during the first year of your studies. 

You can choose to study abroad during semester 1 or 2 of your second year, depending on when you have fewest core modules. Some Schools have freed up one of the two semesters to allow students to study abroad during that time. Find out more through your Departmental Representative or the Sussex Abroad team.

All applications for a semester abroad must be approved to make sure you are taking the equivalent of 60 Level 5 credits and are meeting the learning outcomes of any missed core modules from your course.

The semester abroad is contributory and counts towards your final degree classification. It will not be included as part of your degree title. 

If you wish to have a pathway reflected in your degree title, you will need to take equivalent modules to those missed from the pathway whilst you’re abroad. When agreeing a study plan for your study abroad with your School, you should discuss this with them. You will need to pass the specific module that replaces the Sussex pathway module while you’re abroad (as well all the other pathway modules at Sussex) in order to receive the pathway degree title.

You will usually return to finish your third year at Sussex. You are not allowed to study abroad for a semester during your final year of studies.


You need to be on track to achieve an average of 60% in year 1 and maintain a high academic standard over year 2. If you do not achieve this you will not be able to go on the study abroad semester (but you could be considered for the study abroad year).

The following subject areas are not eligilbe for a semester abroad:

  • any Science subject
  • Law
  • Engineering and Informatics
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Primary and Early Years
  • Psychology
  • Media Practice
  • Media Production
  • Journalism.

Please note that Politics students can only study abroad in semester 2.

If you are in receipt of a US Federal Loan you will not be eligible to apply to study abroad.

How to apply to study abroad

You'll apply for a place through the Sussex Abroad team.

Find out how to apply.

Studying abroad for a year after your semester abroad

Following your semester abroad you may apply to spend the following year on a voluntary study abroad year (leading to a 4-year course). However it is not possible to convert a study abroad semester into a year. To find out more contact the Sussex Abroad team and allow plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements. Depending on where you spend the study abroad semester, and where you want to spend the study abroad year, it may not be logistically possible (due to semester dates, visa requirements etc).If there is competition for places at particular destinations, students who have not previously spent a semester abroad will get priority.

See more from Study abroad options