Applying to Imperial as a visiting student

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

Most of these are here as part of an exchange scheme, such as the ERASMUS programme, but a small number are here as independent students.

Visiting (or occasional) students are not awarded a degree by Imperial. Often the work they do here is part of a degree from elsewhere.

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 biomedicine curriculum
  • Study placements at undergraduate level in Imperial College Business School
  • 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, ordinarily for independent-study (i.e. research project/placements)

Please ensure you have read the guidance for applicants. 

Guidance for applicants

Guidance for prospective applicants in the 2019-2020 period will appear here in January 2019.

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

Imperial College London is involved in over 60 Erasmus+ student "study" exchange links, mainly at undergraduate level, with institutions in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, with limited links in Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Czech Republic and Portugal.

Imperial also has other student exchange agreements with the following institutions abroad (all undergraduate unless indicated):

  • AUSTRALIA: University of Melbourne (Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Bioengineering), Queensland University (Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering), University of Sydney (Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Australian National University, Canberra (Earth Sciences). 
  • CANADA: University of British Columbia (Earth Sciences); 
  • CHINA: Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Civil Engineering); 
  • JAPAN: Tokyo University (Graduate Chemical Engineering); Tokyo Medical & Dental University (Medicine); 
  • SINGAPORE: National University of Singapore (Aeronautics,  Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Nanyang Technological University (Chemistry); 
  • SWITZERLAND: ETH Zurich (various subjects) and EPF Lausanne (various subjects). Note: Switzerland is no longer a participant in Erasmus+ (for the mobility of students). 
  • USA: University of California (Engineering only : via the UC Education Abroad Program), Carnegie Mellon University (Chemical Engineering), Columbia University (Chemical Engineering), Emory University (Chemistry), Georgia Institute of Technology (Chemistry), MIT (Materials).

    For Exchange Partners connected to our Business School contact

    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 university and:

  • is currently a PhD student at another university should always apply as a visiting (non-degree) student.
  • is currently a registered/enrolled 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 and will require a visa to enter the UK for the purpose of undertaking their research internship should always apply as a visiting (non-degree) student.
  • is currently a registered/enrolled 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 but who does not require a visa to enter the UK, are advised to read the information below on UROP. Departments at Imperial will normally use the UROP registration system to host you, so bring to the attention of your host supervisor. However, the host department might still opt to host you as a visiting (non-degree) student. Be prepared. 

Please note that Imperial will classify any Erasmus Traineeship student it admits as a non-exchange student. However, if you are hosted as a visiting (non-degree) student the College will waive the tuition fee. Please note that, in contrast, UROP does not normally charge a fee. 

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, if you wish to make an application then please apply online. Firstly you will be prompted to create an account. Once you have done this, you will need to select the visiting (non-degree) students tab from the top of the application website to apply through this route. 

Those applying within the framework of a student exchange programme should speak to the subject co-ordinator at their home university before applying.

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 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

Orientation Information for Visiting Students 2018 (for use by students commencing non-degree periods of study as a visiting student DURING the 2018-19 academic year).

Visiting students who commenced a study period at Imperial College on 29 September, 2018 can contact for a copy of the orientation information document they received before their arrival.


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).

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

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 while UROP is a non-student status and there are no programme fees applicable, it is the decision of the host department to use this option.

If you are an Erasmus+ Traineeship Student, then any research internship you organise at Imperial would normally be hosted within UROP, unless you require a visa in which case your host department would advise you to apply as a visiting (non-degree) student.

Further details are available on the UROP website.