Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Summer schools allocation process
How competitive is the summer schools application?
The summer schools application is open to undergraduate students from across the University of Nottingham and it is a competitive application. There is a finite number of places available at each of our partner university summer schools in any given year. However, this should not put you off applying, in 2020 around 60% of applicants were allocated to a summer school.
Only online summer school opportunities will be available for summer 2021.
The summer school opportunities for 2021 may be more limited than 2020 and options may change at any time for a number of reasons, including changes to arrangements with partner universities or other circumstances outside of the University’s control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.
What are the application criteria?
A Selection Committee will decide which applications have been successful based on the following criteria:
- Academic achievement to date: Minimum academic average of 45%, including autumn semester 2020 assessments. If you are applying to study abroad during your second year, your combined average to date, including your first year marks, will be used. Students who have attained an average grade of less than 45% will not be considered for the programme. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of their application, students who have completed modules which show a fail mark for the current academic year at the time of application without approved extenuating circumstances or are currently in resit will not be considered.
- Personal statement (included in the online application)
- Current academic year
- Suitability for the programme
Priority will be given to students, unless otherwise stated, who:
- Have not previously studied abroad or are not due to study abroad as part of their degree programme
- Are not in the final year of their degree programme
- Do not have resit examinations
However, students in these categories are still eligible to apply and these applications will be considered by the Selection Committee.
When is the application deadline?
The deadline to submit your application is Tuesday 23 February at 3pm. The deadline is strict and due to the volume of applications, we are unable to consider any late applications.
How are places allocated?
Your application will be assessed according to your personal statement and academic marks, your application will be scored and then ranked. If places are available at your chosen summer schools you will be allocated to one of them, in accordance with the number of places available.
How many places are available at each partner university?
In general, our partner universities and international campuses offer between 1 and 20 summer school places each year. The numbers of places offered is decided by the partner university or international campus.
How likely am I to be allocated to my first choice?
This is highly dependent on the number of places provided from each partner university each year, the number of students who apply to each summer school and which summer school you have selected as your first choice.
Will selecting more than one choice affect my chances of being allocated to my first choice?
No, putting more than one partner university summer school on your application will not affect your chances of being allocated to your first choice. However there is no guarantee you will be allocated to your first choice.
Can I select just one partner university on my application?
Yes, however you should be aware that if you select fewer than three partner university summer schools, you will not be considered for any other summer schools on the application.
If another student withdraws after allocation, will their place become available to other students?
There is a small timeframe where we can offer withdrawn places to unallocated students, however this is highly unlikely as many partner university application deadlines occur in March and April and very few students withdraw before these deadlines. If a place does become available, you will be contacted by a member of staff from the Study Abroad team. We can only offer withdrawn places to unallocated students, it is not possible for an allocated student to change their summer school after allocation.
When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?
By email to your University of Nottingham email account no later than Monday 15 March by 5pm.
Selecting your summer schools
How many universities can I apply for?
Up to three.
How should I select which universities to apply for?
Research into the programmes of each partner university you are considering, remember that it is not always a requirement for you to have background knowledge of the subjects offered at the summer schools to be eligible to participate. However, some summer schools do require background knowledge, which we will indicate on the partner profile on the summer schools webpage where possible. Then you should carefully consider the type of teaching, learning and assessment; your own personality and interests, both academic and non-academic and time-differences.
First choice only summer schools
Universität Zürich International Summer School is first choice only due to the stricter eligibility criteria in order to be considered for this programme. For this programme, priority is given to students whose declared household income is £42,875 or below as confirmed by University of Nottingham Financial Support and meet at least one of the widening participation criteria below:
- Your home address is in an area of disadvantage or low progression to higher education, which the University of Nottingham identifies through a post code checker tool.
- Mature student (21 or over at the start of your course)
- Students in receipt of the University of Nottingham Potential Bursary at the time of application
Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Is it possible to apply for summer schools that are not on the list?
Students are welcome to apply independently to summer schools which are not available through the University of Nottingham, but please be aware you would not be eligible for any tuition fee waivers from the partner university or scholarships offered by the University of Nottingham.
I am in my final year and/or I have studied/will study and/or worked/will work abroad during my degree programme, is it worth applying?
Students in their final year or who have studied/are due to study or worked/are due to work abroad before as part of their degree programme will be de-prioritised. Final year students are de-prioritised as many of the dates of our partner summer school programmes clash with graduation ceremonies and in previous years this has resulted in final year students withdrawing from the programme. Students who have previously studied or worked abroad or are due to study or work abroad as part of their degree programme are de-prioritised as summer schools offer study abroad opportunities to students who either have not been able to study abroad through University-wide, Erasmus+ or Inter-campus as their home school/department does not allow this, or students who are unable to commit to a semester or full year abroad.
Do I need to be studying/speak another language to participate in the programme?
No, all of our partner summer school programmes are taught in English. Many summer schools offer classes in the local and other languages at a range of levels alongside the academic courses as part of the summer school, please bear in mind some partners charge an additional fee for language courses.
Where can I find information on the summer school courses offered by the host universities?
Course information is available on the partner university webpages, where possible the links are listed on the partner university information on our summer schools webpages.
Do I need to choose courses that are the same subject-area as my home school/department/s at the University of Nottingham?
One of the best things about summer schools is the possibility to study subjects that are not available at the University of Nottingham. We encourage students to consider summer courses which you may never have had the opportunity to study before, alternatively you may wish to enhance your knowledge of a subject you have studied before or are already studying. As the universities we work with are world-leading universities, you may get the opportunity to take a course taught by a world-renowned academic. Please be aware that some of our partner university summer schools do require prior knowledge for some courses, please check if this is the case on the partner university website and where possible we will try to include this information on our summer schools webpage.
What is the personal statement?
The personal statement is a question within the application, which allows you to demonstrate to the selection committee why you want to study abroad and why you should be considered for the opportunity:
Please explain your reasons for applying for international summer schools, including:
- your motivations (academic and/or personal) for applying for your proposed summer schools (approximately 260 words);
- what you want/hope to achieve from the experience (approximately 260 words);
- a maximum of two examples of how you've demonstrated good time management and commitment, examples may include: extra-curricular activities, work experience, volunteering experience and/or travel experience (approximately 260 words).
The maximum number of words for the whole statement is 800 words.
What makes a great personal statement?
- evidence of your academic commitment and the academic reasons for choosing your partner universities or summer school programmes
- an honest presentation of who you are as a person, make it personal to you
- an excellent understanding of what will be expected of you whilst participating in the summer school, including the academic, practical, social and personal implications
- evidence that you have researched the three partner universities and summer school programmes thoroughly
- examples to show that you are the kind of person who can work to deadlines, follow detailed instructions, keep in regular contact, adapt to an online learning environment and show committment to the course.
Should I mention my summer school choices in my personal statement?
Yes. The personal statement should be specific to all of the summer school programmes you are applying to, but with emphasis on your first choice. Try to think about what you will gain from participating in your chosen summer schools.
Is there a word limit for the personal statement?
Yes, the word limit is 800 words for the personal statement.
What if I change my mind about about participating in the summer school after I have been allocated to my partner university?
If you choose to submit an application, you must be committed to participating in an online summer school and have thought through the implications carefully in advance. It is unfair on other students if you apply and are successful but then withdraw later when it is too late for the place to be offered to someone else. However if you are no longer able to participate due to a significant change in your circumstances beyond your control, please inform the Study Abroad team as soon as possible.
Do I have to apply directly to the partner university summer school after being accepted onto the programme?
Yes, once you have been accepted internally by the University of Nottingham, you will be required to submit an application to your allocated partner university. This application process is required in order to be formally registered at the partner university and participate in the programme. You will be provided with information by the Study Abroad team regarding how to apply to your allocated partner university.
Is there a chance of being rejected by my allocated partner university summer school after the University of Nottingham has nominated me?
It is very rare that you will be rejected by your allocated partner university. Possible reasons for a partner university to reject your application would be if your average grade fell a long way below their satisfaction requirement for your participation onto the programme or if there are limited places on your chosen summer school academic course(s).
Is it possible to count the academic credits earned at the summer school towards my degree at Nottingham?
No, although many of the summer schools offer academic credit for their courses. Unfortunately it is not currently possible for you to count this credit earned towards your degree programme at Nottingham.
Will I receive a transcript and/or certificate of completion/attendance from my allocated summer school?
In most cases you will receive either an academic transcript with the results of the course/s you studied or a certificate of attendance/completion or both from the summer school you attended. This will either be presented to you at the end of the summer school or posted to the Study Abroad team, in which case we will inform you when your transcript and/or certificate of completion/attendance has arrived by contacting you at your University of Nottingham email address so you can arrange to collect your certificates.