Year Abroad opportunities

Berliner DomThe University of Birmingham is committed to producing global citizens by providing students with as many opportunities as possible to internationalise their degree. Each year our Social Policy and PPE students have the opportunity to complete a year abroad as part of their degree programme and benefit tremendously from increased confidence and different academic perspectives of having studied a social policy based degree in a foreign country.


Sony centre, Berlin.Our Social Policy and PPE programmes provide students with the opportunity to develop a broad disciplinary knowledge base and a range of analytical and transferable skills, as well as allowing them to build up expertise in specific areas of political life.

On four-year Year Abroad programmes, students will undertake a year abroad between their second and fourth years at a partner HE institution. This will give the student opportunities to experience a different academic environment and way of teaching (and even different approaches to the subject).

The year abroad will also enhance employability prospects through a proven ability to succeed in a foreign setting, and will provide an additional opportunity to develop relevant, marketable skills in terms of organisation, communication, and intercultural awareness.

Full list of Undergraduate Degrees offered in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

How does it work?

Access is by direct entry or transfer assuming you are registered on a relevant three-year degree programme and have met the necessary academic progression requirements. Priority will be for students who have joined the programme by direct entry.

Students wishing to transfer from a three-year programme should contact the Year Abroad Tutor (Dr Nando Sigona) as soon as possible and certainly no later than the end of term 1 of the academic session preceding the year abroad. The Year Abroad will be weighted at 10% of the final degree classification. Year 2 will contribute 15% and final year 75%.

Where can I go?

A lot of our European partner universities teach in the native language and so, if you wish to apply to one of them, it is usually a requirement that you have a good working knowledge of the respective language.

Freie UniversityOutside of Europe, we have exchange partners in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, the USA, Uruguay, and the West Indies. For more specific details on the names and locations of our partner universities, you should consult the study abroad website.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

At certain post universities there will obviously be a requirement that you speak a foreign language, since teaching is conducted only in that native language. As you will see from the above list though, there are a wide range of universities where teaching is conducted in English. For more specifics you should contact the Study Abroad office.

How much will it cost?

You will be required to pay 15% of the full tuition fee during your year abroad. For 2014/15 this will be £1,350. You will not normally be required to pay any fees at the host institution.

Financial support

For additional financial support you should consult the following Student Finance England PDF, or the Student Finance England homepage for more details.

How do I apply?

There is an online application form available.

This form should be completed and signed by School Year Abroad Tutor (Dr Nando Sigona) and returned to the Study Abroad office:

Study Abroad & Exchanges Assistant (Outgoing)
University of Birmingham
Aston Webb Building
Birmingham?B15 2TT

Other useful information

For more detailed information from Department of Social Policy and Social Work, please contact:

Dr Nando Sigona, email:  
For more detailed information on host universities and potential locations please see our Outgoing students page.