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England - Lancashire

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The University of Central Lancashire traces its roots back to the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge founded in Preston in 1828, becoming Preston Polytechnic in 1973 to later be granted University status in 1992.

UCLan now has around 35,000 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 Student 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 within an hour train ride of Manchester and Liverpool, and London and Glasgow are accessible by train in under 3 hours.UCLAN logo

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 abound only a short distance from campus.

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: Mid-September to mid-January (early exams may not be possible)
  • Spring Semester: Mid-January to mid-May (students may elect to re-sit exams in June)
  • Academic Year: Mid-September to mid-May (students may elect to re-sit exams in June)

Please see the 2021-22 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 (introductory/lower-division) and 2 (upper-division) classes. Level 3 classes are considered Honours and 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.  Expect exam scores to arrive 2-3 months after your return.
  • All work transfers back to San Marcos and can be used to fulfill all graduation requirements.

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 classes generally require significant experience in the field and may sometimes be restricted.  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.


15 semester units.  Typically this equates to 3 classes/semester.  Module (Class) units at UCLan are usually 20 credits each, equating to 5 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) for an additional cost.

Estimated Cost

  • Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,858/semester. No tuition or fees due at the University of Central Lancashire.
  • On-campus residence: Currently $540-$650/month.  Off-campus residence: $600-$750 per month.
  • Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary, but average $500 per month.
  • Short term students will hand carry Short Term Study Visa documents with them through Customs (no cost but no work allowance) may apply for the UK General Tier 4 Student Visa (allows students to work up to 20 hours/wk) which is currently 348 pounds, roughly $481 plus shipping
  • Students on approved study abroad programs are entitled to apply Title IV federal financial aid to their program costs.
  • Sample 2021-22 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 UCLan to learn about the University and life in Preston.  Use Visit Northwest for a listing of local events and overview of life in the city.

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

  3. Review the course lists 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: UCLan Courses.  Please be advised that course descriptions are not readily available.

  4. Consult with a faculty advisor in your major department to determine if Central Lancashire courses will count toward your major. If so, complete the 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 pick up official, paper transcripts in person and deliver them to Global Education.  Keep in mind that transcripts are now taking 7-10 business days to process.  Plan accordingly.

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

  7. A UCLan Application will be sent to you after you have been nominated.  Please print and submit it to the CSUSM Study Abroad Advisor along with your other application materials.

  8. Submit additional application details to Global Education:  CSUSM General Study Abroad Application
  9. Submit your flight details to Global Education:  Flight Information Form
  10. 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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International students Studying at UCLan