Semester and Year Study Placements
These guidelines apply to undergraduate programmes where either:
- 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’
- 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’.
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.
Where required (for example, due to delayed placements as a result of a global pandemic or other issue), placements can also be taken in year 4 of a 4 year programme or year 5 of a 5 year programme, with agreement from the Faculty/School.
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.
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.
|Country||Full Year Load||80% Load|
|Europe||60 ECTS credits||48 ECTS credits|
|USA||24 credit hours||19.2 credit hours|
|Australia||48 credits||38.4 credits|
|Europe (ECTS)||30 ECTS||24 credits|
|USA||12 credit hours||9.6 credit hours|
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.
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 Placement||Assessment 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.
Faculties/Schools are permitted to set higher minimum averages subject to University approval processes.
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.
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 (Faculties/Schools may select the most appropriate option):
|YEAR PLACEMENT||SEMESTER 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 Faculty/School 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 Faculty/School 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 Faculties/Schools 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.
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 Faculty/School must ensure that it meets the module learning outcomes.
All students will be given guidance on modules appropriate for pursuit as part of their Swansea University degree. Each student will be provided with a learning contract in advance of their departure detailing the number and level of credits which they are expected to enrol on. Students spending a Semester Abroad will be required to enrol on approximately
25 ECTS credits (or the equivalent approved amount of credits from international universities). On return from the Semester Abroad the grades will be converted into 60 Swansea University credits for a Semester Abroad.
All students returning from a Semester Abroad will receive an official transcript from their host university. A copy of the transcript or result letters are normally also be sent to the IDO and then distributed to the relevant academic coordinator for calculation and conversion.
1. Converting marks achieved at partner institutions
When allocating a mark from a Semester, academic coordinators should refer to the completed learning contract together with the academic transcript provided by the host university.
Transcripts received from partner universities in Europe will contain information on the credit value of each module/course pursued, together with an ECTS grade (on a scale of A-E) and an actual module/course mark. Transcripts received from international partners will contain information on the credit value of the module/course studied and an actual module/course mark.
To calculate the mark which will contribute to the Swansea Award the following procedure should be adhered to:
Allocation of marks
Decide on the most appropriate method of allocating marks awarded from a partner Institution into Swansea credits (to the best advantage of the student):
- 1 x 60 credit module - usually most suitable for representing ECTS credits
- 4 x 15 credit modules - usually used for representing Hong Kong and some USA marks
- a University approved alternative structure as defined by a specific strategic partnership agreement
Calculation and Conversion of Marks
a) For marks being represented as 1 x 60 credit module
The range of marks awarded from partner institutions should be calculated first by
- the weighted average and
- the median
The mark most advantageous from these calculations to the student should then be converted to Swansea credits using the Swansea Grade Conversion tables
To calculate the weighted average:
- multiply the numerical mark achieved by the number of credits for that module (for each of the modules to be included in the calculation).
e.g. a student has taken a semester abroad at a French University and has studied 25 ECTS credits. The results achieved are as follows:
module XX1 mark achieved = 12 (3 credits) 12 x 3 = 36
module XX2 mark achieved = 13 (5 credits) 13 x 5 = 65
module XX3 mark achieved = 11 (6 credits) 11 x 6 = 66
module XX4 mark achieved = 10 (5 credits) 10 x 5 = 50
module XX5 mark achieved = 14 (6 credits) 14 x 6 = 84
Add all of these marks together 36+65+66+50+84 = 301
and divide by the total number of credits used in the calculation (i.e. 25 in this case) to arrive at the weighted average
301 ÷ 25 = 12.04
The weighted average is 12.04
To calculate the median:
module XX1 mark achieved = 12 (3 credits)
module XX2 mark achieved = 13 (5 credits)
module XX3 mark achieved = 11 (6 credits)
module XX4 mark achieved = 10 (5 credits)
module XX5 mark achieved = 14 (6 credits)
List the numbers in order (highest first)
Find the middle value = 12
(if there are an even number of modules, add the two middle numbers together and divide by 2)
The median is 12
Consider if the weighted average mark or the median is the most advantageous to the student.
The above student has a weighted average of 12.04 and a median of 12
Using the Swansea University Grade Conversion Table a weighted average score of
12.04 in France would approximately equate to a Swansea Grade of approximately 58%, whilst a median mark of 12 would equate to a grade of approximately 57%.
Therefore in this case the weighted average should be used and a final mark of 58% should be recorded for the Semester Abroad.
b) Marks to be allocated to 4 x 15 credit modules
e.g. A student at a partner University studies the following modules and is awarded the indicated partner grades which can be allocated to 4 distinct modules:
Using the conversion table the Swansea marks awarded would be as follows:
|Module||Swansea Converted Grade|
|MOD1||A = 72|
|MOD2||B = 61|
|MOD3||A = 72|
|MOD4||C = 51|
These marks would then be recorded on the Swansea transcript as 4 x 15 credit modules which would give the following results:
Swansea1 = 72%
Swansea2 = 62%
Swansea3 = 72%
Swansea4 = 51%
2. Classification of Awards
Module results will be entered into the Classification of Awards framework using the appropriate method as published in the Undergraduate Assessment Regulations, Classification of Honours Degrees.
|Swansea Mark Range||ECTS||Austria||Belgium||Denmark||Finland||France||Germany||Greece||Hungary||Italy||Netherlands||Poland||Spain||Sweden||Switzerland|
|ECTS percentages||ECTS equivalent Grade||Swansea percentages 2013/14|
|10%||A||78 – 100%|
|25%||B||66 – 78%|
|30%||C||57 – 66%|
|25%||D||45 – 57%|
|Australia||Canada||Hong Kong||New Zealand||USA (awarding A+)||USA (not awarding A+)|
|80||High Distinction (85‐100)||A+|
|40||Pass Condoned (46‐49)||D||C‐|
These tables are for guidance only and should be used in conjunction with the transcript and conversion table provided by the host university.