Overseas Exams

in exceptional circumstances

The information below is only applicable if and when students may not be able to attend an exam which must ordinarily be sat on campus.

The School expects all students to sit their exams in London. However, there may be exceptional cases where there is good cause to arrange an exam sitting overseas.

Airplane taking off

The School expects all students to sit their exams in London. There are two key reasons for this:

  • to ensure that the integrity of the exams are maintained
  • to provide you with the best conditions in which to prepare for and sit your exams, therefore giving you the best chance of success

There may, however, be exceptional cases where there is good cause to arrange an exam sitting overseas. Applications to sit overseas are considered based on the guidelines set out below by a panel.  

If you are experiencing difficulties during the exam period and wish to make the exam board aware of this you should also ensure that you submit an exceptional circumstances form.

There are two types of scenario where students may need or wish to apply to sit their exams overseas:

Scenario one for current, registered students

The first scenario, is for students who are registered for the 21/22 academic year, and will therefore be expected to attend their exams on campus. The Panel will only consider cases to sit an exam overseas in the following circumstances:

  • serious injury or a serious medical condition affecting you or a close family member that prevents you from being in, or travelling to, the UK
  • the death of a close relative – i.e. a member of your immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or other person where there is clear evidence that the death would have a similar effect on you
  • Unexpected, exceptional financial hardship that prevents you from being in, or travelling to, the UK
  • other exceptional circumstances which, in the Panel's view, have had a profound effect on you to the point of making it inadvisable for the School to require that you should return to the UK

The Panel are unlikely to approve applications that are based on:

  • employment or internships
  • failure to apply for a visa with sufficient time or evidence
  • personal convenience (you are expected to be available until the end of all relevant exam periods, exams can take place at any time during these periods)
  • cost of travelling to London

Consideration will also be given to whether sitting the exam overseas may disadvantage you and whether it would be preferable for you to consider deferral to the next relevant exam period.

Scenario two for unregistered students, residing outside the UK, taking resit or deferred assessments only

The second scenario, is for students who are unregistered for the 21/22 academic year, reside outside of the UK and only have resit exams to undertake to either complete or progress their programme of study in either the January 2022 or May/June 2022 exam periods. Students in this scenario will be able to apply for overseas exams where an exceptional policy and leniency will be applied. Students who are eligible for this criteria, will have their £150 administration fee waived. For this scenario, no supporting evidence will be necessary.

This exceptional policy is only applicable if the following criteria are met:

  • Students are unregistered (not a current student for the 21/22 academic year)
  • International students who reside outside of the UK
  • Have only resit assessments to undertake to either complete or progress their programme of study, in either January 2022 or May/June 2022
  • No further classes to attend or repeat teaching to undertake and are therefore not required to be in London or on campus

Key dates

You should make every effort to apply by the relevant deadline. These dates are only applicable if on-campus exams go ahead.

  • January 2022 Exams - 10 December 2021
  • Summer 2022 Exams - 01 April 2022
  • 2021 Undergraduate Resit/Deferral exams (IRDAP)  - 25 July 2022

If you need to apply after the deadline please see Applying After the Deadline below.

  • The Panel will respond to your application within 15 working days. 
  • If your application is successful you will be informed and sent an Overseas Exam Registration form. You should complete and return this form as quickly as possible and at least 10 working days before your first overseas exam.
  • Applications to sit overseas for Summer Term will not be considered until after the course by course exam timetable has been published unless there are very specific reasons why you feel the Panel needs to make an early decision.
  • For details of when the exam timetable is published please see Exam Timetable.

How to apply

  • Complete an application form at the earliest opportunity and return it to the Student Services Centre or attach it to this enquiry form as soon as possible but no later than the above deadline. If you need to apply after the deadline please see below.
  • As part of your application you will need to provide official, original, evidence in English in support of your request. Applications submitted without supportive evidence will not be considered. 
  • You will also need to submit a personal statement setting out the reasons for your request. You should include an explanation of why remaining in, or travelling to, London would be inadvisable. 
  • If you are making an early application (i.e. before the timetable is published) please include an explanation of why you are applying early.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Panel. You will normally be notified of the Panel's decision within 15 working days. 

As far as possible, exams should be sat at the same time as in London. Students sitting at alternative times (due to time zone differences) will be required to confirm that they will not make any contact with anybody regarding the paper. If a student is found to be in breach of this it is likely that an allegation will be brought against them under the School's  Regulations on Assessment Offences: offences other than plagiarism.

If the panel approves your request

  • You will be emailed with the Panel's decision, a copy of the Overseas Exam Registration Form and details of how to make payment.
  • You will need to find an overseas centre that is willing to accommodate your exam(s). 
  • The Overseas Exam Registration Form will need to be completed by you and your chosen centre.
  • The completed form should then be returned to LSE as quickly as possible and at least 10 days prior to your first overseas exam. 
  • You should make payment of £150 following the process outlined in the email.
  • If you are using a centre that is not a British Council Office or that has been pre-approved the Panel will assess the suitability of the centre. The Panel will contact you by email if the centre is unsuitable. LSE will contact your centre to confirm arrangements.
  • LSE will send all exam materials, by DHL, to your centre in good time for your exams. This pack will include details of any Central Exam Adjustments that should be put in place. 
  • You will need to cover any costs that are levied by the centre administering your exam, this includes the cost of sending completed scripts and spare materials back to LSE by courier (scripts sent by regular mail will not be marked because we cannot guarantee they are secure).

If the panel declines your request

  • You will be notified by email of the Panel's decision. 
  • In some circumstances the Panel may request additional evidence, you are advised to return this as soon as possible. 
  • If you believe that your request to sit an exam overseas has been rejected unfairly, you have a right of appeal. To submit an appeal you must submit the Appeal Against an Overseas Exam Panel's Decision form
  • Appeals must be based on either new evidence relating to the circumstances that led to your request for an overseas exam sitting; or alleged procedural defect in the original decision (i.e. that the decision taken was not in line with the criteria set out under Guidelines - see above)
  • If your appeal is based on evidence you must attach the evidence to the appeal form. If it is new evidence you should also explain why the new evidence was not submitted with the original application
  • Any appeal will be considered by the Head of Student Services or a suitable delegate. If an appeal is rejected there is no further right to resubmit it or to ask for a further review of the decision.
  • You cannot appeal the Panel's decision to accept a late application if the Panel refuse the application on logistical grounds (i.e. that there is not enough time to arrange an exam overseas). 

Applying after the deadline

You should make every effort to apply by the deadline. Applications made after the deadline may not be possible, simply because there is not time to deliver the materials to your chosen centre. 

In very exceptional cases where circumstances are unforeseen the Panel will decide whether a late application can be considered. Please note however, that even if a late application is accepted in theory there may be practical issues preventing the School from putting arrangements in place at short notice. 

Finding a centre

It is entirely the candidate's responsibility to find a centre that is both acceptable to LSE and willing to host their exam. 

British Council Offices
LSE's preference is that British Council Offices should be used for overseas exams wherever possible. Please note however that the British Council does not run exams in the USA.

Pre-approved Centres
If it is not possible for you to use a British Council Office then you should aim to use a centre on the pre-approved list. If you use one of these centres you can be assured that your registration will be approved without issue. Please do bear in mind though that this list is not exhaustive - it is simply a list of centres that have successfully hosted LSE exams in the past. 

Other Centres
If it is not possible for you to use a British Council Offices or a centre from the pre-approved list then you should find a centre that is willing to host your exam. Please bear in mind the following when searching for a centre:

  • higher education institutions (universities) are likely to be acceptable
  • further education institutions (colleges) may be acceptable but will be judged individually
  • public libraries are not acceptable
  • private companies are not acceptable (even if they are hosting internships or run other exams)

You should include all the details of the centre on the Overseas Exam Registration Form and it will be assessed by the Panel for suitability. The Panel need to be wholly satisfied that it meets the LSE standards of exam service provision and the integrity of the invigilation process. The Panel may require you to choose a different centre if they feel the one you have suggested is unacceptable. The Panel's decision on suitability of centres is final and cannot be appealed. 


LSE Charges

There is a charge of £150 for overseas exams. This is payable per centre so, if you sit two exams in one centre you would pay £150. If you sit two exams in two different centres you would need to pay £300.

This charge covers the additional administration and outgoing courier costs associated with overseas arrangements.

Charges levied by the overseas centre

You are responsible for any charges levied by the centre and the cost of having your scripts couriered back to LSE. 


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