Students are expected to sit their face-to-face exams in Bournemouth. The exam period dates are published well in advance and students should make their holiday and work plans around them.

In some exceptional circumstances, however, it may be possible to sit exams overseas in a British Council venue or a higher education institution with English speaking staff, if you have exceptional circumstances that are well supported by evidence. In order for your request to sit exams abroad to be considered, you must first email sufficient evidence of your exceptional circumstances with translation if appropriate, to [email protected] followed by the completion of an online form in full by the relevant deadlines below. If you do not meet the deadline or do not provide sufficient evidence of your exceptional circumstances, you will need to sit your exams in Bournemouth.

Deadlines for submitting a request to sit an exam overseas:

  • For January 2024 exams the deadline is the 15 December 2023
  • For May 2024 exams the deadline is the 3 May 2024
  • For resit exams in August 2024 the deadline is the 12 July 2024.

If you have any queries, please do let us know by emailing [email protected].

The following circumstances will not normally be considered valid reasons to sit an exam abroad:

  • Family or personal holidays
  • Work commitments
  • Costs associated with travelling or accommodation.

An exceptional circumstance to sit exams overseas may include exchange students or placement students (with an official placement module as part of their course requirements) required to be at their overseas location by a date that is before the date of their exam. For other exceptional circumstances, read the guidance on the exceptional circumstances page.

Process for arranging to take a BU exam at an overseas venue:

  1. Obtain written evidence of your exceptional circumstances (such as a medical certificate proving your inability to travel)
  2. Email the evidence with a translation if appropriate, to [email protected] for approval. No requests will be considered without seeing evidence of your exceptional circumstance.
  3. Once your request has been approved, contact your local British Council Office to ask if they can accommodate your exams and what their fees for this service are. Obtain written confirmation that they are willing to host your exam, along with the name and email address of a specific contact person whom BU can liaise with to make arrangements.
  4. Complete the online Overseas Exams Form with the details BU needs to judge whether your exceptional circumstances meet the criteria to sit abroad, and the details of the Exam Centre
  5. You will receive an auto-response reply upon submission of the form which confirms that we have received it. If any further information is required, we will contact you directly. A decision on whether exceptional permission to sit abroad has been granted will be emailed to you within 7 days. 
  6. If exceptional permission to sit abroad is granted, the Student Lifecycle Team will liaise with the British Council to confirm arrangements and send them the relevant materials prior to the exam taking place
  7. You will need to liaise with the overseas Exam Centre to arrange the payment of their fees, to find out where your exam(s) will be taking place and who you should report to on the day
  8. All students taking an exam overseas will be required to sign a non-disclosure form prior to sitting their exam to confirm they have / will not contact and discuss with anyone anything to do with the exam paper (except those involved in organising the exam). Anyone failing to comply with the non-disclosure requirement may be subject to disciplinary action.

If you have any queries with regard to taking an exam overseas, please email [email protected]

Please note: You are responsible for making ALL arrangements for your exam(s) yourself and you will be responsible for the payment of any local exam fees the British Council may charge (eg. for invigilation, room hire, and courier costs).