Support for international students

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 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 Team (IST) 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?


The School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham has vast experience of welcoming students from all over the world. It is a vibrant, dynamic and exciting place to study. You will receive ongoing support from the course team, from the University International Office 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.  We look forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Birmingham International Academy (BIA)

English Language development and skills for international students.

English language support - before your studies

Presessional courses are designed for students who wish to improve their knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for academic study at the University of Birmingham. Students with conditional offers have the option of attending one of these courses instead of retaking IELTS.. 

English language support - during your studies

BIA 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.   


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.

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.

More questions?

If you are unable to find the information you need or have any questions, please contact our International Student Coordinator:

Barbara Fawcett