How Long are University Semesters? (Uni Year Start – End)

While going to the university you will be studying different degrees of different durations. It is very important to know what you will be going through in college. You must have heard about having semesters at the university. These semesters help to divide each year into different blocks. Thus it is important to know how long is the semester at the university.

Generally, the semesters are 12 weeks long for all the universities. However, Russel Group Universities have a shorter semester duration around 9 weeks. We will be discussing in detail the semester length further but let us first understand what is a semester.

What do you mean by a semester?

A semester is a period of time which divided the university year into different parts. In each semester you get to learn the topics that are related to the degree.  The syllabus is divided among all the semesters equally. It is divided in such a manner that you will be learning the concepts one by one. You will have to study in the pattern of such semesters in each university year. 

How long is a semester at University?

There are three different semesters (also known as terms) in each year of the university-

  • Autumn – September to December  
  • Winter – January to March 
  • Spring/Summer – April to June

The first semester that starts for an academic year is the Autumn semester. Each of this semester is around 12 weeks which involves lectures, holidays, exams, etc. Though, Russel Group Universities have semesters of shorter duration around 9 weeks Each semester will help you to learn the related topics one by one. The syllabus is divided in such a manner that you will be studying from basics and will slowly get into the syllabus which is hard.

How do semesters work in university?

As discussed above the main thing that the semesters do is to split the academic session into three different blocks. You will have to study for three different semesters in the academic year and in each semester, you will be gaining more and more knowledge. After each semester you will need to give exams that are related to concepts that you have studied in the semesters.

After completing the semester one and second you will be given exams related to the concepts that you have studied in each of the semesters. Whereas in the semester third you will be giving the exams related to semesters 1, 2, and 3 as well. As you now know how each semester works, it is now the time to know what is an academic year. 

What is an academic year in a university?

The years that you spend in the university depend upon the courses you have taken. Each year that you have to study at the university is known as the academic year. Thus an academic year is nothing but a single year in the university in which you will be studying different semesters. 

How many years are there in university?

How many years you need to stay in the university will depend upon the degree you are doing. Generally, there are two different types of degrees-

Undergraduate degrees are the ones in which you will be studying at the university for three-four years depending upon the course you have taken. Whereas the postgraduate programs are usually 2 years. Thus how many years you will be staying in the university will depend upon the course and the degree you have taken. However, if you fail in your third year you may have to repeat the whole year which will add up to the university years.

Are the starting dates the same for each university?

The exact date at which your semester will be starting will depend on the university you want to enrol in. Though the time period of starting the university is similar for each of the universities, the date may vary.

Similarly, the ending time period of almost every university is the same, but the exact date may vary. It will not only depend upon the university but also on which course you are enrolling in. The start date of the course and the university year can be found on the official website itself.

What month does the university year start and end?

As you know the starting semester which is Autumn, starts in the month of September, and the starting month of the university is around September. However, the date is different for each university. As far as the ending is concerned, the last semester of the year is the Summer semester which usually ends in June.


A semester is one which helps to divide the single year of the university into three different blocks. There are three different semesters- Autumn, Winters and Summers and each the semester last for 15 weeks. In addition to that, the Russel Group University have a shorter semester period, generally 9 weeks. These semesters help the university divide the syllabus in a way that the students start with learning the basics of the degree. The university is generally started in September and ends at the month of June. The division of the semesters is generally the same for each year. 

William Christie