Support for international students

Studying in the UK as an international student can be a daunting prospect. In the School of Government, to ensure that your time here is as comfortable as possible, we aim to offer you as much support 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

International Students: How to Apply
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).

VISA information

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 profiles and alumni profiles and find out what it is like to be an international student in the School of Government. Read more about student life at Birmingham as an international student.

Latest International student profiles

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Support from the University

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 Team (IST) 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 Team (IST) website to find out what support they offer and how to contact them.

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional 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. 

English language support - during your studies

Birmingham International Academy provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.  For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.

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.


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.

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.

More information

Find out more about what the University of Birmingham can offer: