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What is Imperial Horizons?

The Imperial Horizons programme was introduced in October 2012 and is available to all undergraduates. It is designed to broaden your education, inspire your creativity and enhance your potential. Our wide-ranging and innovative courses can be taken as part of, or alongside, your main degree. 

When is Imperial Horizons taught?

Classes take place as follows during the autumn and spring terms:

  • 1st Years: Tuesdays 16.00- 18.00 
  • 2nd Years: Mondays 16.00-18.00
  • 3rd & 4th Years: Thursdays 16.00-18.00

See Dates for your diary for term dates

How will my Imperial Horizons course fit in with my timetable?

Departments have been asked by the College to set aside these times to avoid clashes with your core studies.

In addition to the class time of two hours a week, you will need to set aside extra time (two to three hours for two-term courses and one hour for one-term courses) for preparation and follow-up activities that will be given in class. This is important if you want to make good progress in the course you have chosen.

How long are the courses?

2nd, 3rd & 4th year courses are all 20 weeks long and run over the autumn and spring terms.

1st year courses in Languages and Global Citizenship are 19 weeks long and run over the autumn and spring terms.

1st year courses in Business & Professional Skills, Global Challenges and Science, Culture & Society are 8 weeks long and take place in either the autumn or spring term. 1st year undergraduates are encouraged to take a course in each term.

What are the course start dates?

Please see the Dates for your diary page for further details. 

Where can I get more information?

You should be able to find all the information you need on our webpages. If you have any specific queries about a course, you can contact the field leader or the lecturer (who's email address appears on the side of the course description) or come to one of our options days or drop-in sessions

How do I decide which course to enrol on?

There is detailed information about each course on the course description. Please see course options for more details. You should choose a course in a subject you are interested in. If you have any specific queries about a course, you can contact the field leader or the lecturer (who's email address appears on the side of the course description) or come to one of our options days or drop-in sessions.

Eligibility restrictions:

Languages and Global Citizenship courses are offered at a range of different levels from complete beginners (Level 1) upwards. Please make sure that you are eligible for the language course that you are choosing by checking the pre-requisites chart. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility, please contact the appropriate coordinator.

The Humanities Project (Level 6), Global Challenges Independent Project (Level 6) and the Advanced Humanities Project (Level 7) require students to have successfully completed and achieved highly in a course at the previous level. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility, please contact the relevant contact on the course description. 

How do I enrol on a course?

Details of how to enrol can be found on the Enrolment page. 

I missed the enrolment deadline. Can I still join a course?

Late enrolment applications will be accepted, where spaces are still available, up until the second week of the course. 

Please complete the relevant late enrolment form on the Enrolment page. 

Where courses are full you may be added to a waiting list and contacted if a place becomes available. Please email the Imperial Horizons Administrator

I'm an Exchange Student, is it possible for me to do an Imperial Horizons Course?

Yes, you should enrol on a course for the year of study you are joining at Imperial College. i.e. if you are joining the 3rd year study, you should enrol on the 3rd & 4th year courses. (You should not consider yourself a 1st year student, even if it is your 1st year at Imperial College.) 

If you have missed the enrolment period, please complete the late enrolment form or email horizons@imperial.ac.uk to be added to the waiting list if your chosen course is full. 

I'm an Intercalated Medical Student, is it possible for me to do an Imperial Horizons Course?

Yes, you should enrol on the 3rd & 4th year courses, as this is the year of study you will normally be joining at Imperial College. (You should not consider yourself a 1st year student, even if it is your 1st year at Imperial College.) 

If you have missed the enrolment period, please complete the late enrolment form or email horizons@imperial.ac.uk to be added to the waiting list if your chosen course is full. 

I’m not an undergraduate, is it possible for me to do an Imperial Horizons course?

Imperial Horizons is an undergraduate programme.

Post-graduates and staff may be accepted on courses if places are still available at the start of term. This would be subject to a fee of £137.50 for a one term course, or £275 for a two term course.

Post-graduates and staff are encouraged to join the Evening Class Programme instead, where a range of courses are available at a discounted price for college students and staff. 

Can I change courses after the course has started?

You cannot change courses once you have started. The courses are designed to be delivered coherently across the whole course duration and it is important to be present for all the sessions.

Can I study more than one Imperial Horizons course?

All courses for your year group are taught during the same timetable slot, which means you can only follow one Imperial Horizons course per year if you choose a two-term course.  

If, however, you enrol for an Autumn term only course in your first year, we encourage you to also enrol for a course for the Spring term.

I am studying a course with a Year Abroad. Can I take a course?

Students on a degree which includes a year abroad (including those studying a BSc/MSci with a Language for Science) are required to study a language in preparation for that year. You will attend two hours a week language tuition through the Imperial Horizons Programme and an additional third hour of language tuition per week intended to prepare you for study abroad. It is not possible for you to take an additional Imperial Horizons course in another subject, as all courses for your year group are taught during the same timetable slot.

Students returning from their year abroad are able to take any of the available 3rd & 4th year courses.

Can I take an Imperial Horizons course for credit?

Please see Taking a course for credit for more information regarding your credit options. 

How do I withdraw from a course?

Please see the Withdrawal page. 

How do I apply for an extension to the coursework deadline?

Please check the course notes on Blackboard for the submission deadlines. If you have extenuating circumstances (i.e. documented illness or a serious personal problem) that require an extension to the deadlineplease complete the relevant extension form.

Please note that workload pressure is not viewed as a valid reason for requesting a coursework extension.

How will my results be recorded?

All passes, merits and distinctions (and grades for students taking courses for degree credit) will be recorded on your transcript.  Any fails will NOT be recorded on transcripts for students who take Imperial Horizons for extra credit or non-credit.  You therefore have everything to gain from taking an Imperial Horizons option and you are encouraged to work hard to enjoy the benefits of this opportunity.

Can I repeat a course?

Language Courses
If you have not attended more than 50% of the language course (actual attendance) and not completed more than 2 pieces of coursework*, you may re-enrol on a course that you have already started but not completed.

* For Mandarin and Japanese, you should not have completed the December in-class test.

Science, Culture & Society, Global Challenges & Business & Professional Skills courses
If you have not attended more than 50% of the course (actual attendance) you may be eligible to re-enrol. Re-enrolment will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on how much of the assessment has been completed.

Provided the above conditions are met, you may repeat a course for degree credit or extra credit. In this context it is important that you make a commitment to the course and consider the consequences of erratic attendance/submission of coursework over a longer period of time.

If you have any queries regarding whether you are eligible to repeat a course, please contact horizons@imperial.ac.uk.


Imperial Horizons courses listed in our literature and on the website are those that the Centre is currently offering in the academic year listed.  Courses run subject to sufficient demand and resources. The College reserves the right to cap numbers and change or discontinue courses.