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Study Abroad (JYA)

Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig am nad ydyw wedi'i chyfieithu i'r Gymraeg.

Os ydych o’r farn y dylai cyfieithu’r dudalen hon fod yn flaenoriaeth, cysylltwch â a chopïo cyfeiriad y dudalen yn eich neges.


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As a study abroad student at Cardiff University you will be fully integrated into the student body and will take your courses alongside UK and international students pursuing their degree.

You can be assured of the quality of teaching at Cardiff University. Cardiff degrees are accredited by more than 40 professional bodies and the latest assessment of teaching at the University won the highest possible award from the UK Government.

How will studying be different at Cardiff University?

Part of your study abroad experience will involve adapting to a new academic culture and system. This section will give you a better understanding of how studying in the UK may differ and what type of classes you will attend.

Grading system

The grading system at UK universities differs from those in other countries and can cause confusion if you are used to high achieving.

In the UK system it is impossible to get 100%.

70% or above is the top band of grades (a 1st) and 40% is a pass (a 3rd). 60-69% (called a 2:1) is considered a good mark.

Semester dates

While UK education is similar to the US system in that the main study semesters are autumn/fall and spring, the UK system generally starts 'later'. For example: the autumn semester usually starts in late September. Cardiff University does not have a summer semester.

Exact dates are available on the semester dates page.

Contact hours

If you study humanities or arts based subjects you may find that you have less contact hours per week than you are used to in your home university.

This is because university study in the UK is aimed at encouraging a high level of independence and self-directed study. This means that you will be given guidance and help but you will be expected to do a great deal of self-directed research which you may be asked to present or discuss.

Teaching methods and class types

Classes in UK universities are delivered through the following types of classes:

  • Lectures
    Lectures are large classes that usually last for one hour. The lecturer gives a general overview of a topic and students take notes. There is usually little opportunity to ask questions.
  • Seminars
    Seminars are small classes of around 12 students that involve student interaction and discussion is encouraged. Seminars will be based around a theme and you are often asked to prepare a short presentation or materials in advance.
  • Tutorials
    Tutorials can be an individual meeting with a lecturer or with a small group. If with a small group, it can include discussions relating to a particular topic. If an individual meeting, the session can be an opportunity for you to discuss the progress of your work, a particular essay, or to discuss any problems you may be having.
  • Labs and other subject-specific facilities
    Study abroad students are fully integrated into the classes of other students at the University. This means you will work with them in subject-specific facilities such as laboratories and other practical environments.


While assessment methods vary between courses there will probably be a difference to what you are used to in your home university. In arts/humanities subjects especially, you can expect to have a smaller number of longer assignments which you have to plan effectively in order to achieve high grades.

Assignments will require your own research and, where possible, your own ideas. You will commonly be able to write assignments on areas of particular interest to you within a broad area.

Examinations take place at the end of each semester.

Support for your studies

At Cardiff we pride ourselves on providing a student experience that is as productive and happy as possible. Learn more about support services.


UK System US System
Academic school Department / college
Academic staff / lecturer Faculty
Essay Assignment / paper
Full stop Period
Ground floor First floor
Induction Orientation
Module Class / course
Refectory Dining hall
Residences Halls
Tick Check mark

Study Abroad (JYA)