International students

The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900.

We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas.

Student life

The mix of people, nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment, ensuring that our students, academic staff and partners across the world benefit from the experience that the University of Birmingham has to offer. 

In this video, international undergraduate Sarah Heta takes you on a tour of a typical day in the life of an International Relations student at the University of Birmingham:

If you would like further information about entry requirements, how to apply and funding options, then you can visit our international students webpage. You may also wish to take a virtual tour of our campus.

Support for international students

Studying in the UK as an international student can be a daunting prospect. In the School of Government and Society, to ensure that your time here is as comfortable as possible. Find out more about support for international students

Birmingham International Academy
The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) combines the highest standards of one of Britain’s leading global universities with a fully integrated student experience. The BIA provides the University's Foundation Pathways, Presessional English programmes for students preparing to study at the University, Pre-Doctoral programmes, and Pre-Masters programmes in addition to English support for students who are already at the University. The department is accredited by the British Council.

Why study at Birmingham?

  • Our Professional Development Module (in final year)  is a placement-based module providing a learning experience that will help bridge the gap between your current academic life at Birmingham and your future professional life. The Module helps identify personal/professional skills and strengths, and reflect on the skills developed during the placement.
  • Our programmes offer the chance to combine your studies with a year abroad, studying in a different country in the third year or your degree, returning to Birmingham to complete your studies in the fourth year.
  • The School supports up to six students to form a delegation at the annual Model NATO Conference to participate in a role play exercise of decision making in NATO.
  • There’s an active Politics Society that includes extra-curricular events and seminars throughout each term, including visits from high-profile political figures.
  • POLSIS runs an annual student conference open to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students interested in multi and inter-disciplinary fields related to social sciences. It is an opportunity to celebrate and promote students’ achievements here at the University of Birmingham. It is designed to provide an opportunity for students from all departments and courses to present their own papers alongside academics.

International student stories

Student profile: Bryony Pike, International Model NATO Conference 2018

Model NATO 2018 was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. As a mature student doing a masters in International Development, doing something so politically focused was out of my comfort zone.
18 September 2018

Student report: Graciela Margareta Correia Magno, Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation training programme with ICCS (2017)

Thank you for the funding support from the School of Government's Student Enhancement Fund to attend the training program in Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation.
08 June 2017

Student report: John Allison, Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation training programme with ICCS (2017)

Thanks to funds from the School of Government's Student Enhancement Fund, I was able to participate in a 5-day training programme in Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation.
08 June 2017

Student report: Ciaran McDiamond, BA International Relations and Political Science with Year Abroad

Whilst on my year abroad at The University of Hong Kong I was lucky enough to take part on a study visit to The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea).
08 June 2017

POLSIS students visit the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As exchange students at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, one of our modules; Political Economy of the Middle East; included a "pressure cooker". A pressure cooker is an intense two and a half day assessment, where the class is split into groups and has to develop a 'policy solution' for a 'client'. For our pressure cooker, we had to develop foreign policy advice for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a current issue in the Middle East.
01 March 2017

Find out more