Courses for exchange students

Uppsala University offers about 900 courses that are taught in English to incoming exchange students on university-wide agreements. We understand that the courses you take are the most crucial part of your exchange, and want to give you the information you need to find and apply for the courses that fit you best.

Course catalogue
Course mapping
Academic calendar


Students coming on exchange to Uppsala University via a university-wide agreement are able to choose courses from across the university - provided that the entry requirements are met and there are seats available in the course. The courses presented in the course catalogue are available for exchange students. For questions about course proposals contact the Unit for International Mobility,

Students coming on exchange to Uppsala University via a departmental exchange are restricted in what they can study. Please contact your departmental coordinator at Uppsala University to find out which courses or subject areas are available for you.

Planning your semester

In contrast to many university systems, courses at Uppsala University are often taken one at a time, one after another. That is, they are taken sequentially, as opposed to in parallel, which means taking four (or more courses) at the same time for the whole semester. Please note that this is not the case for all courses at Uppsala University, some departments will still offer courses designed to be taken in parallel with other courses.

This can make choosing your courses complicated, as you must not only find courses that are interesting and where you meet the entry requirements, but you must also make sure that you are able to combine the courses so that they do not clash. For further information, please see the information under Course Mapping.

Course entry requirements

You must meet the entry requirements for each course you select. Please refer to the individual course syllabus. Where a specific number of credits is required within a specific subject, you must refer to specific courses in your transcript of records. The more specific the entry requirements, the more specific your answer must be. For example: if a course requires “object-oriented programming” it is not enough to have taken any programming course, it must be in object-oriented programming.

Credits and grades


The duration and extent of programmes and courses is expressed in a system of credits equivalent to ECTS credits - that is, you take 30 credits per semester for full time studies. A full academic year corresponds to 60 credits, thus, one semester corresponds to 30 credits. Furthermore, one semester corresponds to 20 weeks and one week corresponds to 40 hours of study. Each week of full-time study is worth 1.5 credits.

Grading scales

Uppsala University uses five different grading scales. Each faculty decides which of the grading scales will be used in that faculty. The syllabus for a course must always specify which grading scale will be used for that particular course.

It is very important to note that if a student receives a passing grade, no re-takes or supplemental assignments can be done to receive a higher grade, nor can a student be re-registered on the course.

Course levels

All courses are labelled with the cycle (First or Second) and the In-Depth Level. The cycle refers to the level of the programme as a whole, whereas the “In-Depth Level” refers to the level of the course within that specific programme, or cycle. For example, in some higher education systems you may describe a course as being a “second year course” or a “200 course” (the “In-Depth Level”) within a Bachelor’s degree programme (the cycle). The “In-Depth Level” is expressed in terms of the expected number of credits a student will have completed within that specific subject area by the time they take that course.

Date and time in Sweden

In different parts of the world, people use different ways to define date and time. In Sweden the ISO 8601 standard is used to define date and time. This means that, for instance, the date 2 September 2019 is defined as 2019-09-02 (YYYY-MM-DD). We also use the ISO 8601 standard to define the weeks of the year by numbers. The first week (w01) of the year is defined as the week containing 4 January, and week 52/53 the last. The first day of the week is always a Monday.

Course mapping

It is essential that you understand how you should map your courses and plan your semester before you submit your exchange application. We hope you can get help from the information below and the illustration document.

At many universities around the world you will study a number of courses in parallel for the entire semester, whereas at Uppsala University it is normal that you take courses sequentially – that is, one after the other, not in parallel. Furthermore, a full-time study load at Uppsala University is 30 credits per semester, equivalent to 30 ECTS. Courses at Uppsala University are often given during 5 or 10 week periods (7.5 or 15 credits courses). There are two key concepts students must understand to plan (or ”map”) their semester, which are described in further detail below:

1. Study period (dates and/or weeks)
2. Study load (percentage

Study period

The period a course is offered is defined by actual dates, for example 2019-09-02 to 2019-10-02 for the course Swedish Politics. There are four periods during a semester. Period 1 starts on the first day of the semester and ends approximately five weeks later, when period 2 starts, et cetera. In the example given above, the course Swedish Politics is given in period 1, whereas American Politics, which runs from 2019-10-07 to 2019-11-10, is given in period 2.

Please note that in the Course Catalogue, period 1 and 2 are merged and called period 1, while period 3 and 4 are merged and called period 2. As this may be confusing, please always check the actual dates that courses are given.

Study load

  • 100 % study load equals full-time studies, i.e. 7.5 credits over 5 weeks
  • 50 % study load equals half-time studies, i.e. 7.5 credits over 10 weeks
  • 25 % study load equals part-time studies, i.e. 7.5 credits over 20 weeks

In order to get an even study load, students should make sure that they have a 100% study load (full-time studies) in each of the four periods. This could mean one course with a 100% study load per period, for example Swedish Politics in period 1 and American Politics in period 2. But, it could also mean two courses with a 50% study load per period, for example Celtic History and Culture, and Energy and Environment in period 1 and 2. In both cases, the student studies full-time, i.e. he or she has a 100% study load and studies 7.5 credits per period.

Help mapping courses

The following diagram illustrates three acceptable ways your semester may be planned, and then a fourth non-acceptable way. Note that other combinations are possible!

  • Acceptable: Four 7.5 credit courses, each with a 5 week duration (100 % or full-time study load), one after the other
  • Acceptable: Two 15 credit courses, each with a 10 week duration (100 % or full-time study load), one after the other
  • Acceptable: Two 7.5 credit courses, each with a 5 week duration (100 % or full-time study load), one after the other, followed by two 7.5 credit courses, each with a 10 week duration (50% or part-time study load for each course) taken in parallel.
  • Non-acceptable: Two 7.5 credit courses each with a 5 week duration (100 % full-time study load) at the same time, i.e. in parallel, followed by a 7.5 credit course overlapping a 15 credit course.

Still can’t work out your study load? Try the following formula:

(credits)/(weeks x 1.5) x 100 = % study load. If the figure you get is less than 100% the course you are interested in is likely designed to be taken in conjunction with another course.

Last modified: 2023-03-22