Program duration: one semester or year.

The Lancaster campusLancaster University is a modern, comprehensive British university that enrolls just under 10,000 students, with approximately 1,900 of those students coming from other countries. Located on the northwest coast of England, near the spectacular Lake District, Lancaster is roughly halfway between London and Edinburgh.

The university features a strong reputation for both its teaching programs and the quality of research conducted by its more than 440 faculty members. In addition, Lancaster University has had extensive experience in hosting American students; some 2,000 have attended since 1968.

American students are fully integrated into the academic, cultural, and social life of the university. Randolph-Macon students are housed along with their British peers in one of the eight colleges of the university, and they enroll in the regular courses available through the university.

The university has a broad and diverse curriculum with especially strong programs in the natural and social sciences. It also offers a wide range of courses in the humanities and in business.

Those interested in studying at Lancaster University are encouraged to visit the school's International Office web site.


The academic year at Lancaster University has three terms:

  • Michaelmas term (October through December)
  • Lent term (January through March)
  • Summer term (April through the end of June)

The Fall program consists of the Michaelmas term.
The Spring program consists of both the Lent and Summer terms.
The ten-week terms (Michaelmas, Lent, and Summer) are separated by four-week vacations. University term dates are available online.

Summer term is part of the Spring program (January entry) and should not be confused with Lancaster's International Pre-Sessional Programme, offered in late summer. During the Summer term, some classes meet less frequently or not at all. The Summer term is intended as a time for students to review their readings and lecture notes from the Michaelmas and/or Lent terms and prepare for their final examinations, papers, or projects.

The Pre-Sessional Programme is not part of either the Fall or Spring programs. It is a separate program that can be taken alone or in conjunction with further study at Lancaster or another university in the U.K. The Programme runs from mid-August to late September. There is a two week break between the end of the Pre-Sessional Programme and the beginning of the Michaelmas (Fall) term.


Courses descriptions appear in Lancaster's online Study Abroad Handbook. Printed copies of the Handbook are available from Randolph-Macon's Office of International Education.

Courses of study are often spread over two or three terms at Lancaster. For this reason, participation in a semester/year abroad program for less than a full year is discouraged but can be arranged in suitable cases. When this is done, students may attend Lancaster for the Michaelmas (Fall) semester or the Lent and Summer semesters. However, due to the structure of courses and exams at Lancaster, students may not attend the University for only the Lent semester or only the Summer semester. The Lent and Summer terms must be taken together. Students who attend for the Michaelmas term only may not take more than 12 credits (3 courses, 4 credits each).

Normal Academic Workloads
Full Year

4 courses in the Michaelmas term

4 courses in the Lent/Summer term

32 semester hours total

Michaelmas term only

3 courses

12 semester hours

Lent/Summer terms only

4-5 courses

16-20 semester hours


In addition to Randolph-Macon's Semester Abroad application process, students must also complete an application for Lancaster University and be accepted by that institution. Copies of Lancaster's application form are available from R-MC's Office of International Education.

Lancaster University Application
Due Dates
Michaelmas term entry June 30
Lent term entry November 15


US citizens planning to study in England for less than six months do not need a visa. As of October 2003, citizens of the U.S., and several other countries, who plan to study in the U.K. for more than six (6) months must apply for entry clearance.

Lancaster Information / Web Pages

More Information