Study abroad and exchanges module catalogue

Almost all of our modules (excluding those in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences) are now open to incoming exchange and study abroad students, which means you have access to one of the widest range of courses available at any UK institution.

Selecting modules   

Before searching for modules please make sure you read the guidelines for selecting modules carefully. You should also check with your adviser at your home institution that you have selected appropriate module choices before submitting your application to Birmingham. This will ensure that you select modules that are appropriate to your level of study and for which your home university will award transfer credit. 

Given below are links by department of modules likely to be running in the coming academic year to help you with your choices.


Here in the UK we use the word ‘modules’, to refer to what you may know as courses, units, or classes.  Keep in mind that Birmingham discipline areas will not necessarily be called the same thing as they are at your home institution, so think laterally when exploring the module catalogue.

For example, what some universities call 'Theatre', others call 'Drama' and some may call it 'Fine Arts'. 'Gender' or 'Women's Studies' may be under Sociology, or may be listed as a separate discipline. Kinesiology is more commonly called 'Sports Science' in the UK. Many more examples could be given, but the idea is that you should try various terms when choosing modules.


You can select modules across subject areas to develop an academic programme that is suitable for your level, interests, and subject specialism, providing you meet the pre-requisite requirements.

Enrolment in advanced level modules typically requires you to have a specific level of background knowledge in the subject area. Make sure you’ve checked you meet the pre-requisites before you apply. You will need to demonstrate that you have taken the relevant equivalent modules at your home institution in order to be enrolled. We will review your home institution transcript before registering you for your chosen modules.

Level of study

Choosing modules which are the right level for you:

Certificate level denotes first year undergraduate

Intermediate level denotes second year undergraduate

Honours level denotes third year undergraduate. 

Incoming students are not permitted to take foundation level modules. These are sub-degree level and intended for students who are not yet sufficiently advanced in their studies to undertake degree level study. 

Third-year (Honours level) courses will usually only be available to you if you are majoring in the subject area and have at least two years background in the discipline. Unlike North American degree programmes, UK degrees are usually 3 years in duration and students specialize in a particular discipline from the outset. This means that even if you are in your Junior (third) year at your home institution, you will not necessarily be admitted onto year 3 modules at Birmingham. Make sure you have previously covered the background material required to take a module as stated in the module's prerequisites, and if necessary have your home adviser send an accompanying note supporting your application.

Credit load

Incoming exchange and study abroad students are required to enrol in 60 credits per semester in order to be considered full time. Credit weightings vary across modules, but generally speaking you will be looking to select six modules per semester. However, please check the number of credits attached to each module as there are variations.

The University module catalogue does not operate on ECTS credits. You will need to halve the number of Birmingham credits to work out the equivalent ECTS rating (for example, a 10 credit Birmingham module is worth 5 ECTS).

Semester of study


Pay attention to which semester your chosen module is running in. Some modules are taught in either the Autumn Term or the Spring Term. Modules starting in September (Autumn) are indicated as Semester 1; Modules starting in January (Spring) are indicated as Semester 2. Some modules are listed as Semester 0 indicating that, at the time of publication, the semester has yet to be determined. To check for the most up to date information, please contact the Study Abroad&Exchanges Team directly on

Many modules commence in Semester 1 and continue during Semester 2. Such modules are indicated as Semester 1&2 or Full Term. It is often possible for students who are at Birmingham for only part of the academic year to take just the relevant portion of year-long modules. You will be advised prior to arrival if you have requested year-long modules that are not in fact suitable for part-year study so that you can make alternative selections.

UK institutions don't have class schedules in the way that North American universities do. Your individual, personalised timetable, will not be finalised until after you arrive at Birmingham.  

Over-subscribed modules

 Spaces on modules in the subject areas listed below are in high demand and will fill up very quickly:

  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • American Studies
  • Politics
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Languages for All (LFA)

We therefore strongly recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible to maximise your chance of being able to take your first choice module options. We also advise you to select additional reserve modules at the application stage to prevent any delays should your first choices be unavailable. Please ensure you indicate your module choices in order of preference on your application form.

Subject restrictions


With regard to Music modules, the Solo Performance module is only available to students who are taking music as a major.  If you are not taking Music as a major but have a high level of proficiency, then a fee will be payable (currently £550 per term). 

Shakespeare Institute 

Undergraduate modules based at the Shakespeare Institute are taught in Birmingham. Postgraduate modules at the Shakespeare Institute are taught in  Stratford-Upon-Avon.  It is not possible to choose a combination of modules based at Stratford-Upon-Avon and Birmingham. 

Medical School 

Modules in theCollege of Medical and Dental Sciences are not available to exchange and study abroad students.

Law School

Modules in the Law School are usually only open to students who are taking Law as a major.

Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Science

Modules which comprise part of the BSc. in Applied Golf Management are not available to exchange students

Other departments 

PSA (Personal Skills Award) and English for International Students Unit (EISU) modules are not at the suitable level to count towards your credits. 


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in the online module catalogue is as up-to-date and accurate as possible at the time of publication. However, please note that we are unable to guarantee availability in all of the modules listed herein. The University reserves the right, without notice or liability, to withdraw or alter module information subject to teaching restrictions, insufficient demand, or any other exceptional circumstance.

Contact for Module Co-ordination

Modules for Exchange Students are co-ordinated by Jo-ann Lloyd

Tel: 0121 414 7734