Arriving in the UK

Travelling to the University is a busy and exciting time for all students. If you are arriving from outside the UK, there are some extra things you will need to think about, but we are here to help make your arrival as smooth as possible.

COVID-19

We recommend that before you travel you continue to refer to the UK Government Guidelines in case anything changes. Remember to check rules and guidance for any countries you may transit through.

As with students currently in the UK, all international students are eligible for a vaccination. Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. More information is available from the NHS website, including information on which vaccine you may receive.

We strongly encourage you to register with a GP, and follow the guidance provided by the NHS to get vaccinated if you are eligible.

Practical tips for travelling

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides advice on preparing for your arrival, including what to bring with you in your hand luggage. 

When you arrive, you will need to go through passport control. It is important that you are ready to answer questions about your visa and that you make sure the details are correct. Read more about immigration and passport control.

You will then need to collect your luggage and proceed through customs. You will need to declare certain items. Find out more about restricted and prohibited items.

Travelling to campus

Airport collection service

We offer a collection service from Birmingham Airport and London Heathrow Airport around Arrivals Weekend.

Airport collection

Travelling independently

From Birmingham Airport (BHX)

Option 1: Taxi

We currently recommend TOA Taxis, who is a trusted supplier of taxis to the University. This is a private, fast and comfortable way to travel once you land in the UK and the taxi will take you directly to your accommodation. 

The approximate costs to travel to University of Birmingham campus will be £30 plus car parking charges, though this may vary. All TOA vehicles accept cash payment, but also offer ‘Chip & Pin’ card payment option for debit or credit cards.  

At the airport, follow signs for the taxi rank. The taxi can take you directly to your University accommodation. You should only take a taxi from the marked taxi rank to ensure that it is a registered and insured taxi driver.

A taxi can be the quickest option and may particularly suit you if you have heavy luggage or arrive late at night or very early in the morning.

Option 2: Train

You can catch the train from Birmingham International railway station (BHI) to the station on the University campus (UNI). This will take around 45 minutes - 1 hour, and will cost between approximately £5 and £20 depending on travel time and route. You can plan the journey in advance and check train times using National Rail Enquiries.

At the airport, take the free 'Air Rail Link' monorail from the airport (near the Terminal 1 Departures area) to Birmingham International railway station. It takes two minutes and operates between 05.15 and 02.00 daily. From Birmingham International, you will need to take a train to Birmingham New Street (BHM). These trains run as regularly as every three minutes throughout the day, though schedules may be subject to change.

From Birmingham New Street you can either:

  • Take a taxi - follow the signs to the taxi rank at the station. A taxi to the University will cost approximately £15 and will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Take a train to University station - take a train towards Longbridge, Redditch, or Bromsgrove. Check that the train will stop at University station. This will cost approximately £3 and will take approximately 10 minutes. You will then need to travel from University station to your accommodation. Depending on how far your accommodation is, you may find it easier to take a taxi directly to your accommodation.

From elsewhere

If you are travelling from other UK airports, or elsewhere in the UK, there are several ways to get here.

Train

The University has its own train station, simply called 'University' (UNI). There are also stations in Selly Oak (SLY) and at Five Ways (FWY) which are near to some student accommodations. Trains run through these stations up to every 10 minutes during the week, and regularly at weekends. You can plan rail journeys and check times and ticket prices in advance using National Rail Enquiries

Birmingham New Street (BHM) is two stops away on the cross-city line and is a major national station, with trains running to cities across the UK, such as London and Manchester, as well as Wales and Scotland. If you are travelling by Eurostar, you will need to change at London stations.

Coach

If you are travelling with heavy luggage, you may find a coach more convenient. Remember that we offer free airport collections by coach from both Birmingham Airport (BHX) and London Heathrow (LHR).  

You can travel to Birmingham Coach Station, in the Digbeth area of the city centre, and then take a taxi directly to your University accommodation. Coaches to Birmingham Coach Station are operated by National Express

Megabus coaches also travel to the city, but do not use Birmingham Coach Station, so check where the stops are.