The University of Central Lancashire

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University Overview

The University of Central Lancashire traces its roots back to the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge founded in Preston in 1828 and became Preston Polytechnic in 1973 and was granted University status in 1992 when it became the University of Central Lancashire.

It now has around 30,000 students studying on the main campus in Preston, and other campuses throughout Lancashire. The University has five faculties, or colleges: the Lancashire Business School; Cultural, Legal & Social Studies; Design & Technology; Health; and Science.

The University has extensive computing facilities and the newly extended and refurbished Library and Learning Resource Service provides access to national and international resources. Student amenities on the campus include shops, restaurants, travel agency, clubs and societies, sports center, arts center and the Students' Union Building.

City Overview

The university is located in the city of Preston, which is the commercial, administrative and cultural capital of Lancashire. Preston is ideally located with Manchester and Liverpool only one hour away, and London and Glasgow accessible by train in under 3 hours.

Preston holds a rich history dating back to 1179, early Saxon times, but is better known today as a major center of shopping, entertainment and learning.  The indoor market is considered one of the best open markets in the Northwest while modern shopping centers likewise offer a convenient environment to cater to your shopping needs.

Visitors will also be impressed by the variety of restaurants, pubs and excellent night-life Preston offers as well as its premier entertainment centre, the Guild Hall & Charter Theatre.

Preston is surrounded by the  breathtaking countryside of the magnificent Lake District, which provides excellent opportunities for many outdoor activities such as mountain biking, sailing, climbing or just walking.

A short walk from campus finds just about everything a student might need. But for trips further away, Preston's public transit is excellent and numerous. Regular buses run past the University from all areas of the city.

Program Highlights

Courses available in any major!

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester:Late August to mid-December

Spring Semester: Early January to mid-May

Academic Year: Late August to mid-May

Please see the 2015-16 Academic Calendar for specific dates

Academic Focus

  • Exchange students can enroll in any class, provided they meet the prerequisites. Certain fields, such as Photography, are reserved for continuing UCLan students, and unavailable as an exchange student.
  • Generally study aboad students select level 1 (Intro) and 2 classes. Level 3 & 4 classes assume a depth of knowledge in the field, and as such, are advised for seniors or serious students only.
  • Teaching will typically be in lecture format, with less formal discussion sections led by tutors.  A knowledge of library research methods and writing is highly advisable, as is a willingness to read beyond the scope of the course.
  • Final grades are usually based upon a comprehensive exam.   For this, keeping up with assigned and supplemental reading becomes critically important.

  • All work transfers back to San Marcos and can be used to fulfill all graduation requirements.

  • UCLan Grading Scale

View of PrestonLanguage of Instruction

English, in the truest sense


  • Class Level:  Upper-division status (completion of 60 units)
  • GPA of 2.75 or above and good academic standing to departure.
  • Prerequisites:  Level 3 & 4 classes generally require significant experience in the field.  If, based upon transcript review, you do not have the necessary prerequisites, you will be asked to consider an alternative course.
  • Special Note to Business Majors:  In order to receive credit for upper-division courses abroad, you must have already completed your Pre-Core course work at CSUSM. Only yearlong Business study is possible.


16 semester units.  Typically this equates to 4 classes/semester.  Module (Class) units at UCLan are usually 20 credits each, equating to 4 CSU units each course.


Assured place in one of several student residence halls.  Bathrooms are usually shared amongst flatmates, but on occasion exchange students are invited to stay in ensuite dorms (each room has a private bath).

  • Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,634/semester. No tuition or fees due at the University of Central Lancashire.
  • On-campus residence: Currently $515-$600/month.  Off-campus residence: $600-$750 per month.
  • Health Insurance: $47/monthUCLAN Campus
  • Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary, but average $500 per month.
  • UK General Tier 4 Student Visa--optional (Allows students to work up to 20 hours/wk):  currently 322 pounds, roughly $500 plus shipping
  • Sample Fall 2015 Budget
  • Sample Spring 2016 Budget

Application Deadlines

For Fall Semester/Year Study March 15

For Spring Semester Study October 1

How to Apply

  1. Visit the University of Central Lancashire website at to learn about the University and life in Preston.  Use for a listing of local events and overview of life in the city.

  2. Meet with the CSUSM Study Abroad Advisor in Craven Hall 3200 to determine if you are eligible for this program.

  3. Obtain course descriptions from the Module Catalogue for each of the Faculty in which you wish to study.   Please view the guide to course codes to more easily find courses in your field.  You can search available courses online at:

  4. Consult with a faculty advisor in your major department to determine if Central Lancashire courses will count toward your major. If so, complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form.

  5. Order an official transcript from CSUSM and any other college from which you have taken a semester or more in classes (even if you have already transferred credit to CSUSM).  Please send the transcript(s) directly to Global Education, c/o Tiffany Gabbard, Craven 3200, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd. San Marcos, CA  92096-0001 or pick in person and drop off at Global Education (preferred).

  6. Read about international student accommodations.  Accommodation application will be made online after initial acceptance by UCLan.  

  7. Complete the UCLan Application and submit it to the CSUSM Study Abroad Advisor in Craven Hall 3200 along with your other application materials.

  8. Submit a photocopy of your passport along with your medical disclosure form, personal conduct agreement, air travel release form, and proof of travel medical insurance to the Study Abroad Advisor.

  9. Attend the pre-departure orientation and consult with the Study Abroad Advisor as necessary regarding the Student Visa process after UCLan acceptance.

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