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Academic Visitors

The Faculty has a scheme whereby visiting scholars may enrol as short-term visitors, usually for a period of between one month and one year. This generally arises out of shared interests with one or more members of Faculty staff, or the need to access specific research resources held at Cambridge. Visiting scholars will almost always have completed a doctorate by the time they plan to arrive in Cambridge.

The Faculty also welcomes visiting students for periods of up to one year. They will normally have completed at least one year of doctoral studies; the Faculty is not usually able to host students enrolled on Masters courses. We cannot accept ERASMUS students except from institutions with which the Faculty has an existing link. Please note that, as is also the case with visiting scholars, visiting students do not have any entitlement to teaching of any kind. There is a separate scheme that enables visitors to pursue two to three terms’ supervised research in Cambridge, in which case normal University tuition fees are applicable: for further details please refer to the BGS website (see Prospective Students, Studying at Cambridge/modes of study).

We welcome visiting scholars and students as members of the Faculty’s research community, and to our colloquia and other events; you will also be able to apply for access to facilities such as the Pendlebury and University libraries, and web-based resources to which the University subscribes. It may be possible for visiting students to audit a small number of lectures or seminars, but this is at the discretion of the person teaching the course. The Faculty scheme does not involve affiliation to any College, though such an affiliation may be possible in the case of visitors or students staying for a year. In addition, some colleges run visiting scholar/student schemes in their own right.

For both visiting scholars and students, there is a fee of £500 for each term or part of a term at which you are at Cambridge; prospective visitors preparing applications to funding bodies are advised to include this fee in their application. if your funding body will not cover this charge, or if you are self-funding, there is a possibility that part of the fee may be waived by the Faculty, but you must demonstrate that you have attempted to secure these funds. Please note that a minimum administration fee will always be charged.

In order to apply under this scheme, you should in the first instance contact the member of the Faculty’s academic staff whose research interests most closely match your own in order to discuss your application. If they are willing to act as your ‘sponsor’ they will supply a paragraph in support of the application. We would normally expect our visitors to be fluent in English; if you are unsure about this, the expected level in a formal language test would be (typically):

  • IELTS: Minimum of 7.5 overall, with no less than 7 in each element
  • TOEFL: Paper-based test: 637 with 5.5 in Test of Written English
  • iBT: 110 with 25 in each element.

A formal application will consist of the following documents:

  • Visitor Application Form
  • a summary curriculum vitae (of no more than 4 sides of A4)
  • a structured outline of your research interests (of one side of A4)
  • a letter of introduction from your home institution which must confirm how your research here relates to your ongoing studies overseas
  • two references
  • a paragraph of support from your Faculty sponsor.  In order to apply under this scheme, you should in the first instance contact the member of the Faculty’s academic staff whose research interests most closely match your own in order to discuss your application; please do not approach more than one staff member in the first instance.  If the staff member is willing to act as your ‘sponsor’ they will supply a paragraph in support of your application. 

The Faculty normally considers requests from visitors three times a year (February, May and October). Please ensure that completed documentation reaches the Faculty Administrator (Sue Round) by the first day of the respective month. You will be notified of the outcome of your application after the Research Committee meeting has taken place.  On no account should you arrive at the Faculty without having received confirmation from the Research Committee that your application is supported and having received a letter of invitation.

Please be aware that out of University term access to resources in the Faculty and the University Library can be more restricted. You should take this into account when planning your visit.

If you require a visa to come to the UK you must first check the website of the UK Border Agency for information regarding your situation. It should be possible for visiting scholars/students from non EEA countries to apply for entry clearance as an Academic Visitor upon receipt of a letter of initiation from the Faculty of Music. It is however advisable to make enquiries before any travel arrangements are made. Further information for non EEA visitors can be found on the HR website.

We are unable to make arrangements for accommodation during your stay at Cambridge, but you may wish to contact any college with which you have a connection, or the University Accommodation Syndicate.