Teaching style, assessment and credits

As a visiting student you will be taught and assessed in the same manner as normal degree seeking students. Initially, you may find that the method of teaching and assessment varies quite considerably, some classes have very few contact hours and less assessment (see below) than you may be used to at your home institution. There is a lot of focus on independent study at the University of Glasgow.

Support for your studies

As our system may be very different to what you are used to at your own University, use of the Student Learning Development (SLD) workshops and advisers is strongly recommended.

Our effective learning advisers run a series of weekly workshops on various topics such as taking lecture notes, making presentations and writing essays. These sessions are open to all students and are aimed at developing effective study techniques.

Teaching style

Study abroad and exchange students attend classes with other degree-seeking and international students and are assessed in the same manner. 

The most common form of teaching is formal lectures (particularly at Level 1 and 2) with supplementary group tutorials where discussion and group participation are encouraged.  A significant proportion of teaching for Science and Engineering takes place in practical laboratory sessions.

In upper level classes, lectures are often to smaller groups of students and in some departments are displaced by tutorials and seminars. You may find that they have very few contact hours and less assessment than you are used to at your home institution. It is important to note that higher education in Scotland places a strong emphasis on independent study.

Assessment and results

Method of Assessment

You will be expected to submit essays and tutorial work throughout the period of study, in addition to covering the texts in the recommended reading lists that are given out at the start of the study period. Assessments submitted during the course of study will be marked and returned to you and your final assessment for the class will be based on all the work you have submitted.

Semester 1 assessments 
Students who are studying for Semester 1 finish in December and will submit assignments/sit exams before the end of the Semester. Please note Semester 1 grades for certain subject areas are only ratified at end of academic year exam boards in June.
Note: Semester 1 students are not permitted to take level 3 and 4 courses in Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics as these subjects do not provide alternative assessments for Semester 1 students.

Year-long and Semester 2 assessments 
Students must take final examinations which fall in April or May.

The University of Glasgow uses a 22-point scale and we do not use curved grading. Your grade will always reflect the quality of your work.


One of the unique features of the Study Abroad and exchange programme at the University is the flexibility of combining courses from across all four Colleges (dependent upon pre-requisites being met and timetabling). 

If you are attending Glasgow under a European subject-specific agreement, then you will likely find that this agreement has been set up to support you primarily requesting classes in your home degree subject area, and you may wish to focus your course requests within a single subject area to best meet your home degree requirements. 

Course load

Students are required to be enrolled full time at the University and to take a full course load at the University of Glasgow. A full course load is 60 Glasgow credits for one semester and 120 Glasgow credits for a full year. Students are not permitted to underload or overload. 

Many courses at Level 1 and Level 2 (first and second year) are worth 20 Glasgow credits. At Level 3 and 4 (third and fourth year) they can be worth anything from 10-60 credits.

A full load normally means taking about three to four courses (totalling 60 Glasgow credits) per semester. Please note 2 University of Glasgow credits = 1 ECTS, i.e. courses which are worth 20 Glasgow credits will be worth 10 ECTS.

You can normally choose courses at Levels 1, 2, 3 or 4 and may combine courses of different levels in the timetable, but you should refer to the Visiting Students Course Selection Guide to check each subject. Please note you may not be able to combine levels within the same subject area (see how to choose courses for more details). Level 3 courses are not always available to visiting students in some subject areas.

Work that you are doing for your home university while on exchange does NOT count towards your Glasgow credit load.


An official electronic transcript will be sent to the your home institution via a secure file transfer once results are finalised and available. This is an automatic process and you do not need to do anything to request your transcript. 

For Semester 1 stays

For Semester 1 stays – Schools will normally upload marks for courses from late January/early February. Transcripts are then issued late February.

Note: For some upper level Semester 1 courses, results will only be released in the final exam diet in June. You must check with your teachers at Glasgow to confirm the anticipated release date for your marks.

For Full year and Semester 2 stays

Schools will normally upload marks for courses in June/July. Transcripts are then issued in August.

You will also be able to download an authorised electronic copy of your transcript once marks have been released. More information on this is provided towards the end of your exchange period at Glasgow.