Studying in the UK as an international student can be a daunting prospect. In the School of Social Policy, to ensure that your time here is as comfortable as possible, we aim to offer you as much suport as we can, during the application process, your arrival in Birmingham and throughout your studies. We have put together this section to help you through every stage of your journey.
Applying to the University of Birmingham
For information about the application process, visit our application section for international students, which will help guide you through your application (for all levels of study).
A Visa is generally needed if you (or your family) are nationals of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This Visa is called 'entry clearance' because it gives you permission to enter the UK.
If you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to enter the UK.
Read more about applying for a Visa to study in the UK
What is it like to be an international student?
Read our current student and alumni profiles and find out what it is like to be an international student in the School of Social Policy.
Read more about student life at Birmingham as an international student.
What support will I receive from the University as an international student?
As an international student, you will be met with a warm welcome when you arrive at the University of Birmingham. From applying for your student Visa and planning your journey, and right throughout your time with us, our International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) will make sure you get all the support you need to make the most of the excellent student experience we offer and to achieve to the very best of your abilities. Visit the International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) website to find out what support they offer and how to contact them.
What support will I receive from my department as an international student?
You will receive ongoing support from the course team, from the University International Offrice and from the International lead for the School of Social Policy, Professor Barbara Fawcett. The University organises events for International and European students and in the School of Social Policy, we ensure that international students are supported and have a specific social forum. The School of Social Policy is a vibrant, dynamic and exciting place to study and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future.
English language support - before your studies
The University offers pre-sessional English courses for students whose IELTs score does not meet the entry requirements. If you successfully attend one of these courses you won't need to retake IELTs. Find out more information about our English for International Students Unit (EISU), the support they can offer you and how to register for a pre-sessional English course.
English language support - during your studies
Our English for International Students Unit (EISU) offers free English classes during the academic year; these include academic English, grammar, and vocabulary. You can also get individual advice about your writing and other language needs, receive answers to your questions by email and download more than 100 self-study materials to improve your English. At the start of your studies you will take an academic English language assessment, so that we can advise you on your individual needs.
You can apply online for accommodation at Birmingham. We offer a number of different types of accommodation at Birmingham. Read more about the accommodation you can apply for.
Guarantee deadlines for 2014-2015
The University guarantees accommodation in University owned or third party owned accommodation to students who meet certain criteria. Further information can be found on our Guarantee Schemes page. The application deadlines are below:
Freshers Guarantee deadline
UK and EU students - 31 May 2014
International students - 31 July 2014
Postgraduate Guarantee deadline
International students (including EU students) - 31 July 2014
How much does it cost to live in Birmingham?
If you are planning to become a student at Birmingham, tuition fees and living costs are the main areas to consider when allocating your finances. If you are an international student, you should ensure that you have enough funds to cover your tuition and living costs for the duration of your course before you apply for a visa. If you cannot provide an official letter from a sponsor stating that they will cover all of your fees and living costs for the duration of your course, you must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to be able to cover the cost of your course. For more information please visit the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs Visa application web pages.
Read more about living costs as an international student
Fees, Funding and Scholarships
You can find out information about fees, funding and scholarships available to international students at Birmingham, by visiting our International Student Finance pages.
If you are unable to find the information you need or have any questions, please contact our International Student Coordinator: