Lancaster castle

Lancaster University

Experience the traditional British residential college system at the institution that was named for the best university halls multiple years running.

About Lancaster

Get the best of urban arts and culture and picturesque scenery in Lancaster, a historic city, with one of Great Britain’s best preserved castles (12th century) and surrounded by everything one might want to do or see in England. Lancaster has great road and rail links to the surrounding national parks and to Manchester, a bustling big city with excellent transportation links through the rest of the UK and Europe. Directly to the west is the Atlantic coast, to the north is the awe-inspiring Lake District, and to the east lie the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland. 

Key information


Lancaster, UK




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status


Apply Now

2024-2025 applications

Fall 2024 and Winter 2025
First come, first considered


University-specific additional requirements

No university-specific requirements. See the Eligibility section below for more information.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Student experience

Lancaster University - Study Abroad

UK Opportunities Info Session

Program details

Areas of study:

American studies, biology, business, chemistry, computing, creative writing, criminology, economics, engineering (electrical, energy, mechanical), English, environmental biology, environmental science, European studies, film studies, fine arts, gender/women's studies, geography, history, law, linguistics, math, neurobiology, music, philosophy, physics, politics & international relations, psychology, religious studies, sociology, social work, statistics and theatre studies.

Languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

Haskayne students, please see Haskayne program page.

Course Information:

Courses at Lancaster are called "modules". One UCalgary half course equivalent = 12 UK credits (or 6 ECTS credits). Modules open to exchange students are found here. The credit load for full year students will be 60-64 ECTS. In Michaelmas term it will be 24 ECTS (4 Ucalgary courses) and in Lent & Summer term it will be 32-40 ECTS

There is a summer program at Lancaster and the last module (Culture, Literature & Society in England) can be taken as a pre-semester course for students going to Lancaster in the fall. Adding this module to a fall term would allow students to bring back credit for 5 courses for that term.

The academic year is divided into three terms.

  • Michaelmas term runs from early October to mid-December,
  • Lent term runs from early January to late March,
  • Summer term runs from mid April to late June.

Students can study at Lancaster for the academic year (October - June), just the Michaelmas term, or for both the Lent and Summer terms. Students cannot choose only the Lent term or only the Summer term, the two must be combined (January - June). 

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    Lancaster has provided a cost estimate sheet on the Partner Fact Sheet linked under the useful links column. (You can disregard the Lancaster tuition section.)

    Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

  2. Funding

    The Faculty of Arts is generously funding up to 4 awards of $1000 each for Arts students studying at Lancaster in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science for the 2019-20 academic year, Fall 2019 or Winter 2020! 

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information. 

Lancaster has won the 'Best University Halls' award for the last six year. Exchange students can choose to live in one of 8 halls of residence (called "colleges"). The majority of on-campus rooms are ensuite and all accommodation is self-catering (no meal plan). Incoming exchange students are guaranteed a room on campus as long as they apply by the deadline. For more information on accommodation options click here.

Although the page shows the accommodation as 40 week contracts, students attending for Michaelmas term will only be charged for 11 weeks and students attending for Lent & Summer term will be charged for 25 weeks. Full year students will be charged for the full 40 week contract. 

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at the University of Calgary, who have completed at least one full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B).

Students apply to UCalgary first, then we nominate accepted students who have met the minimum requirements to our partners. Once you have been nominated to Lancaster, you will then apply directly to their exchange program.

Students traveling on passports from countries that don't have English as a first language must prove their English proficiency. For more information about Lancaster's requirements click here.

What's special about Lancaster and the university?

With the university's focus on sustainability, Lancaster makes the perfect base for students passionate about nature and environmental stewardship. The city is entirely surrounded by lush verdant hills and to the North, the postcard-perfect UNESCO Lake District National Park, the UK's most popular park. The Lake District, made famous by the Romantics and literary icons like Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Beatrix Potter, also makes an excellent day trip for those interested in climbing or hiking - with incredible views of Wales from Scafell Pike, the highest point in England. Join the hiking club, Harry Potter club, or any of the unique clubs and teams available at Lancaster. 

First recorded in 1086, Lancaster is an ancient city where Romans, Saxons, and Normans fought for territory - and in later years the House of Lancaster, symbolized by the Red Rose, also played a key role in the civil "War of the Roses", against the white-rosed House of York. As a result of its history, the city possesses great examples of nearly a dozen historical architectural styles still in use today, from 1710's Colonial, to Georgian, to Queen Anne, to the more modern Art Deco buildings from 1925-45. It also retains some of its Roman charm with the remains of ancient bathhouses, and other sites around the city. Medieval Lancaster is best reflected in the architecture of its castle, founded in the 11th century on top of a former Roman fort.  

However the most recognizable aspect of Lancaster is its nationally-recognized Arts scene. From arts-focused businesses and festivals, to its Concert series, Lancaster provides one of the most arts-focused environments in the UK, from music to theatre, to arts festivals. The Lancaster Library also hosts regular music events under the "Get It Loud in Libraries" banner, which has provided a space for artists like Adele, the Wombats, Kate Nash, and others to perform live in the library.   


What resources are available for new students?


Lancaster Arts is a program and venues that bring innovative new artists in theatre, music and art to campus. 

Lancaster also has a newly refurbished library that is open 24/7.

What supports or services are available at Lancaster?

Students with disabilities can access the disability office on campus. 

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The advisor for the program is: Saniya Korhalkar

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.