Travelling from overseas

The University is well connected for travel, making it easy for you to get here. Take some time to read this information and consider your travel options before making any travel arrangements.

When should I arrive?

The main moving-in period for University-owned accommodation is Arrivals Weekend (Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September 2019). Arriving at this time will ensure you do not miss any Welcome and induction activity. Make sure you have a plan for how you will travel to the University. It is a good idea to have a back-up plan too. It is likely that you will want to travel directly to your student accommodation.

Flying to the UK

If you are travelling from overseas, you will almost certainly fly to the UK. Most students will arrive at Birmingham Airport (BHX) or London Heathrow (LHR). We advise you to fly to Birmingham Airport where possible.

You must make sure you have made all necessary arrangements regarding your visa, and understand everything you must do when you arrive. Make sure you have read our information for students who require visas.

We strongly advise that students do not travel to the UK via Ireland. The UK and the Republic of Ireland are part of a Common Travel Area. This can cause problems for non-visa nationals who have not applied for entry clearance before travelling because you will not pass through the correct UK immigration control, meaning you will enter the UK as a tourist and therefore will not have the correct permission to study in the UK.

Booking travel to the UK

We’re delighted to have teamed up with our travel partner, Key Travel, who will be operating an online booking portal especially for Birmingham students to help you arrange your flights. This dedicated service can be used to book your flights from anywhere in the world, and means we can align our free airport collection service from London Heathrow and Birmingham to ensure your smooth transition to our campus.

The Key Travel team have 24/7 traveller support services and they are working with global airlines to offer you promotional packages including additional luggage allowance and access to special academic fares.  We’re continuing to work with Key Travel on the specific arrangements and hope to launch this for you in early August. Register your details and once the service is confirmed we’ll be in touch to tell you how to book your flight.

Register to use the Key Travel service

Airport Collections

We offer a free airport collection service for international students from Birmingham Airport (BHX) and London Heathrow (LHR) during Arrivals Weekend on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September 2019, with additional collections from Birmingham Airport (BHX) on Friday 20 and Monday 23 September 2019.

Book your airport collection now.

If you have any questions regarding the airport collection, please contact the International Student Team (IST)

What happens when I arrive? 

Passport Control

If you arrive at an airport, you will pass through immigration control before collecting your luggage. You need to have your immigration documents ready to be checked, as well as documents relating to your studies such as your offer letter, and finances. Your face should be clearly visible - remove sunglasses or hats. The Border Force Officer will ask you questions in English, and you should be prepared to answer in English.

If you are arriving in the UK as a Student Visitor, please check that you have been given entry as a Student Visitor.

If there are any problems you must telephone the International Student Team (IST) immediately on +44 (0) 121 414 8464 to speak to an advisor.

Collecting Luggage

After immigration control you will be able to collect your luggage from the baggage carousels. If any of your luggage is missing you must find a member of staff from the airline and inform them before leaving the carousel area. You will need to complete a lost luggage form.

Make sure you do not leave anything behind.

Not sure what to bring with you? Check our advice on what to pack.


You must check the rules on what you can bring to the UK carefully before you travel.

You will need to go through the area marked as customs and will have to declare certain items:

  • Money over 10,000 Euros, or equivalent in other currencies, in cash, bankers drafts and cheques (including travellers' cheques)
  • Alcohol, tobacco, perfume and souvenirs above the permitted duty/tax-free allowances
  • Food is restricted and certain products including meat and dairy are not allowed into the UK

You must declare any banned or restricted goods. If you don't, you may face long delays, the goods will be seized and destroyed, and you may be prosecuted.

 Travelling to the University from Birmingham Airport (BHX)

There are several ways to travel from Birmingham Airport to the University campus. If you are travelling during Arrivals Weekend (Friday 20, Saturday 21, Sunday 22 and Monday 23 September 2019) we strongly recommend you use our airport collection service.

Option 1: Taxi

A taxi from Birmingham Airport will cost approximately £25 and takes around 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. The majority of UK taxis will require you to pay in cash.

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. 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. 

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 or Redditch. 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.

Travelling to the University from elsewhere

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


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 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.


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.


The University is well connected by national motorways and the road network, however parking at the University is limited, particularly at University-owned accommodation, and in most cases requires a parking permit. Most students find they do not need a car at the University because of the excellent local transport links in the area.

Driving in the UK

There are a number of legal requirements to drive in the UK; breaking these can be a criminal offence, which may affect future visa applications.

You may be able to use your existing driving licence in the UK.

You must follow all laws relating to driving, including having road tax, insurance and a driving licence, as well as following the Highway Code.

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