In many countries (such as France, Spain, ...), (science) master thesis is a research project of a couple of months spent in the lab/field under the supervision of an academics, at the end of the year of the Master study. The thesis manuscript is submitted to the Master to validate the course at the end of the project. The project can be done in any research laboratory, especially in a different university (or different country) you are registered in. Usually, labs publish their master project proposals independently of the Master courses and students can apply to. It is like a mini-PhD.

In the UK (and probably other countries?), it seems that the Master project should be done in a lab from the same University where registered.

My questions are:

  • is it possible to do a Master thesis project in a UK lab if one is registered in a Master which University is outside the UK or is different than the Master's University?

  • Or from the point of view of a UK academic, is it possible to supervise a project of a student who is enrolled in a Master outside its own Uni or outside the UK?


  • My Master's dissertation was informally supervised by a professor from a different university (both the university I was attending and his are in the UK), so it's certainly possible. But I think things like this are arranged completely on a case-by-case basis; in my case, I got in touch with my supervisor by email to ask about a project after confirming with the dissertation coordinator at my own uni that it would be fine to do so. Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 18:39
  • Thanks @astronat
    – Noil
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 11:34
  • @astronat Did you have to pay extra fees to the University where you was to carry out your thesis?
    – Noil
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, this does happen occasionally. I know that the PI I share lab space with had a Dutch masters student in his lab for 6 months a few years ago for a very successful project.

Some things to bear in mind:

  1. What's in it for the UK supervisor? They won't get paid. Their university won't give them workload credit for doing it. So you want to make it worth their while, most obviously by being able to do research they want doing (with their help obviously). I frequently get requests for masters students to come to the lab to do things I have no interest in.
  2. I don't know what the tuition fee/immigration situation is like currently for overseas visiting students. Once upon a time this would have been simple, especially for EU students, but I don't know if that is still the case.

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