The academic year at St Andrews is split into two semesters: Martinmas semester and Candlemas semester.
The semester system, similar to academic calendars at many universities across the world, makes it easy for students to join the University of St Andrews for either a semester or a full academic year. Take care to ensure that your home institution's semester dates are compatible with that of the University of St Andrews. All exchange and study abroad students are expected to arrive in St Andrews in time for Orientation, and to stay in St Andrews until the end of the semester.
See full details of the St Andrews calendar and semester dates.
Semester 1 (Martinmas semester)
Semester 1 runs from early September until the Christmas vacation. See semester dates.
This semester begins with an Orientation week in early September. You must attend this in order to matriculate and secure your modules. Orientation week also provides the opportunity to join societies, meet new and returning students, and settle into accommodation before teaching starts.
Teaching starts around mid-September and runs until early December.
Midway through the semester is Independent Learning Week - a week dedicated to providing students with an opportunity to consolidate and catch up on their learning, as well as prepare and plan for the rest of the semester. During this week, no mandatory classes, activities or assessment are scheduled. This week is not a holiday, and students will be expected to spend the week working towards their studies.
The semester finishes with a revision week for students to prepare for their end-of-semester exams held during a two-week examination diet.
Semester 2 (Candlemas semester)
Semester 2 runs from late January until the end of May. See semester dates.
The semester begins with Orientation in late January. Exchange and study abroad students who arrive in Semester 2 must attend this in order to matriculate and secure their modules; full-year students who arrived in Semester 1 do not need to attend Orientation in Semester 2. Orientation also provides the opportunity to join societies, meet new and returning students, and settle into accommodation before teaching starts.
Midway through the semester is a two-week Spring vacation.
The semester finishes with two weeks of revision for students to prepare for their end-of-semester exams held during a two-week examination diet.