Studying Abroad in Stage 3

As a BSc Social Sciences with language minor (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese) student, studying abroad for Stage 3 is an integral part of your programme.  Below is some important information to help guide you through this process.  If you have any further questions, please contact Joanna Kozielec, Erasmus Exchange Programme Manager (

See our FAQ section below which answers questions about costs, your grant, application timelines and much more.

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  • Eligibility

 Social Sciences students studying with a language minor will study abroad for a year (two trimesters) at stage 3, if you have passed 110 credits at Stage 2. 

Note: you will need to pass all your Stage 2 language modules before you can progress to take Stage 3 language modules. 

Please note, host universities may have their own language eligibility criteria eg. some universities require a B1 in French (according to the common European frame of reference). The UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics can assist you with this certification, subject to you passing all your stage 1 and 2 languages modules. Please note: If you fail your Stage 2 language modules this may impact your ability to go abroad. Should this be the case, you will need to speak to the Head of the Language Department and your CoSSL programme manager ( contacted through  to discuss alternative options.

If you are successful in your application, you will need to have completed 60 credits at Stage 1 including all cores, and at least 50 credits in Stage 2, to be eligible to take your exchange or Erasmus place.

  • When and for how long can I go abroad? 

You will study abroad in a host university for a year (two trimesters) in Stage 3 of your programme.

  • How many modules do I need to take and what do I need to study while I am abroad? 

A minimum of 45 ECTS credits must be completed at your host institution, of which:

  • 35 ECTS credits should be in your Social Sciences subject (eg. Politics), these modules can be taught through English or your minor language. 
  • a minimum of 10 ECTS credits should be in your minor language. These could be language modules or a Social Science module taught through your minor language. Students should not usually be taking language modules at a level below B1/ B2 or you will have difficulties with languages modules on their return.

Pre-term language courses (language courses offered prior to the commencement of your lectures) can be accepted as the language component of your academic requirements as long as you can obtain a certificate showing a final result and the number of credits/hours involved in such course. Please note that some Universities may charge a fee for language courses. ‘Language Tandem’ courses: although these may be highly beneficial in order to improve your language skills, they are not recognized by UCD as part of your language credits. 

The remaining minimum number of credits (5 ECTS) may be used as elective credits and may be taken and examined through English or your minor language (eg. host country culture modules or a module from a different area of study or faculty).

Note: Elective credits can be substituted with the corresponding number of credits in your discipline i.e. you could choose to take 30 ECTS credits of your discipline (eg. Politics) modules for the year (two trimesters). 

You should be aiming to balance your academic workload over the two trimesters as evenly as possible. You are required to attend lectures during the whole academic year (two trimesters) and the minimum number of credits that a student is required to take during any trimester is 20 ECTS.

Note: If you take exchange outside of Europe, you will be required to take specific course workload relevant to each university, as outside of Europe institutions don’t use the ECTS system.


  • Unable to Travel in Stage 3

If you believe you are not in a position to travel in 2020/21 to study, please contact the Social Sciences Office as soon as possible - a form is linked at the next section of this website.  Your academic lead and Programme Manager will discuss your options. Erasmus Exchange Programme Manager email address:

  • Where Can I go?

The destinations available for 2020/21 Stage 3 are listed below, to discuss with your Programme Director. Depending on which language you are studying, the Erasmus Exchange Programme Manager will help you make contact with the correct academic lead.


BSc Social Scienes (with language) students will study abroad for a year (two trimesters) in Stage 3.  Your study plan will need to be discussed with the academic coordinator in advance.

Please note: Destinations listed are for guidance and are subject to change, based on a number of factors, including availability of places and agreements with host universities.

Destinations languages 2021


It is important that you research the language requirements for any institution that you wish to apply to. As the exchange programme is very competitive and you may not be offered your top preference, you are encouraged to check at least a few options -  which you can then include in your application.

It will be your responsibility to ensure that you check in advance the course catalogue on a host university website to see if there are sufficient subjects/modules offered through English.

You don’t need to select modules before you apply but you must check their suitability in advance so you are fully aware of subjects choices should you be nominated to that institution. Your Academic/ Erasmus exchange Coordinator  will be able to advise you if you have a specific question on particular subjects offered in host university.

For more information on requirements please check the  UCD Global website.

Students studying a Social Sciences subject with a Language minor through BSc Social Sciences are expected to spend Stage 3 abroad, immersed in the language and culture of their chosen language. We understand that circumstances may exist in your life that prevent you from being able to take up the opportunity to study abroad. Please see below a form to commence the exemption/alternative process.

In exceptional circumstances you can apply for an exemption from an exchange.  The deadline for exemption applications for 2022/23 is by 19th November 2021.