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Direct Exchange Programs - University of Sunderland

sunderland univ2The University of Sunderland, founded in 1901, is a modern university, at the heart of a vibrant city in the North East of England. The University of Sunderland is based on two main sites. On the north bank of the River Wear, the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s is at the heart of the university’s development plans. Sunderland Business School, the David Goldman Informatics Centre, and the brand new Media Centre are all based at this riverside location. Other state-of-the-art facilities include the impressive Murray Library and the science complex, a modern range of laboratories for students undertaking science programs.  The university’s acclaimed glass and ceramics teaching and research are based in the National Glass Centre.

United Kingdom

England, Scotland and Wales, make up Great Britain, along with Northern Ireland come together to form the United Kingdom.

EnglandEngland consists of rolling lowland terrain and small mountain ranges in the northwest. Scotland, made up of 800 islands, and rolling hills, lies northeast to Ireland and north of England and Wales. Wales is the most mountainous country, with Northern Ireland known for its luscious green landscape and rolling hills. From temperate to oceanic climates of frequent rainfall, winds, and winter snows, the United Kingdom sees a variety of temperatures and has, overall, enjoyable weather.


Located at the heart of the great North East, Sunderland can offer both a great social scene and cultural attractions as well as mile upon mile of great golden beaches.  The city is a place full of history, from the earliest Christian settlements through to the industrial heritage of shipbuilding, heavy industry and glass blowing. Close to the coast, and only a short distance from Newcastle, modern Sunderland is alive with cultural possibilities, and has a great range of bars, restaurants and clubs. 

The city center has beautiful parks, restored historic buildings and a first-class modern shopping area.  The Tyne & Wear rapid transit rail system – the metro – is quick and easy for students to use to travel around the city and to other parts of the surrounding region.  Some of the most beautiful countryside in the North East is within easy traveling distance.  An efficient train service from the city means the historic cities of Durham, Newcastle, York & Edinburgh are within easy reach.  Budget airlines operate from Newcastle Airport which makes it a fantastic base from which to explore Europe.

Areas of Study

Advertising, Business, Computer Science, Drama, English Literature, Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, Health, History, Kinesiology (Sport Science), Modern Languages, Music, Performing Arts, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Studio Art (Drawing, Ceramics and Glass, Photography).


Minimum overall GPA 3.0


Estimated budget for a semester at the University of Sunderland.


Fall Semester – mid September to early January

Spring Semester – late January to late May

Fall 2014

  • Arrival: September 13 or 14
  • Orientation: September 15-19
  • Semester dates: Sept 22 – January 20 (students can arrange to take finals earlier by special permission)

Spring 2015

  • Arrival: January 21
  • Orientation: January 22-23
  • Semester dates: January 26 – June 20

For specific dates, visit Academic Calendar.


Students can participate in a direct exchange program at the University of Sunderland for one semester or for a full academic year. The first semester (fall) at University of Sunderland overlaps with the spring semester at UMaine with a week. UMaine exchange students may apply for a special permission to leave in December and take their finals early. A full-time program consists of 60 credits per semester, or 120 credits per academic year.

Classes at the University of Sunderland are called modules. The following links can help you select courses:

Modules at the University of Sunderland are offered with different duration:

S1 – modules offered in Semester 1 (September – January)

S2 – modules offered in Semester 2 (January – June)

FY – modules offered for the full academic year (September – June) and cannot be studied on a semester basis

Full-time enrollment:

UMaine students must be registered for 50-60 credits each semester.

Transfer Credits:

20 Sunderland credits = 5 UMaine credits

Course Levels:

Sunderland Course Level UMaine Course Level
100 100 and 200
200 300
300 400

Grading Scale:

Sunderland grade UK Grade – Honors Class ECTS grade UMaine grade

70 – 100%

First (1) A A
66 – 69% Upper Second (2.1) B A
64 – 65% Upper Second (2.1) B A-
60 – 63% Upper Second (2.1) B B+
54 – 59% Lower Second (2.2) C B
50 – 53% Lower Second (2.2) C B-
46 – 49% Lower Second (2.2) D C+
44 – 45% Lower Second (2.2) D C
43 – 44% Lower Second (2.2) D C-
40 – 42% Third E (No Transfer Credit)
0 – 39% Fail F F


Exchange Students are housed in Clanny House.  The accommodation is modern, comfortable, self-catered with internet access and very competitively priced. Students can purchase a bedding set for $30 on site. Laundry and wireless internet available. For more information visit Residential Services.

Helpful Links

Student Voice

sunderland city

I became extremely independent and able to be in large groups of people comfortably. You learn conversational skills, and skills for meeting new people (you’re going to a place where you know NO ONE so you have to try!) Make sure you join a club or get to know people in your classes. It is not difficult if you make an effort! You will meet tons of other international students living in Clanny House, but not as many British students. Sunderland is a small city, but you can get the very rural feeling just by going outside of the city. I wish I’d known beforehand because I would have planned many more local trips!

~Emily Colfer

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Last Modified On June 4, 2014

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