Birmingham City University has always been a popular choice with students in the UK and overseas. And the word is spreading fast. This large, multicultural university attracts 23,000 students from near and far. But some things haven’t changed. The reputation of Birmingham City University for innovation, its engagement with business and emphasis on practice-based learning and focus on preparing graduates from Birmingham City University for the future. Through the continuous innovation, University fosters intellectual, critical and creative endeavor. Its mission is to be a powerful force for learning, creativity and enterprise, promoting economic, social and cultural well being.
Their internationally-renowned School of Jewellery is the largest in Europe. An estimated 40% of British jewellery is still made there today.
Birmingham itself is exciting diverse city with world-class restaurants, entertainment and shops. Birmingham is home to more than one million people from a range of different cultures and ethnic groups, including the UK’s largest student population outside London. Birmingham is one of the largest cities in Europe offering a mix of galleries, music, restaurants and bars.
Reasons to study at Birmingham City University:
1) Multicultural University with sparkling social life
2) Excellence of teaching, especially in areas of creative and professional practice
3) First choice among UK Universities -in 2009 it had the biggest rise in student applications of any UK university – a 35.6 per cent increase compared with a national average of eight per cent
4) Excellent job opportunities after graduating
5) Many of courses involve work placements, making graduates highly employable
6) Modern facilities close to the city center
About the UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is usually shortened to just the UK or United Kingdom) is a political union made of up of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The UK is still a major political and economic force in the world, with membership in the G8 and an economy that is the fifth largest in the world and second largest in Europe. The UK’s colonial history also means that it has been subject to a multitude of international influences and influxes of people, helping to create the multi-cultural society that exists today.
Education in the UK
Hundreds of thousands of international students study in the UK each year, making studying in the UK the number two choice for international students in the world, second only to the USA. For students worldwide that would like an English-language education, what better place to study than the country that invented the language?
With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions at every corner and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to offer international students that other English-speaking countries cannot offer.
Studying in the UK will provide students with an academic qualification respected and valued throughout the world. It gives students the experience of living in the UK, providing them with a vibrant, energetic educational experience, whilst enabling them to enjoy charismatic surroundings and a traditional British culture.
Financing your studies in the UK
Besides savings, support of parents and relatives, scholarships and student jobs you can finance your studies in the UK by taking a student loan.
Max student loan for 2010/11 is £3,290.
Positive side here is that you don’t need to start paying back your loans until you reach the repayment threshold. This means that you will begin making repayments when your gross earnings are more than either: £1,250 a month or £15,000 per year (9% what is over the minimal earnings needs to be paid back monthly).
More info: http://www.direct.gov.uk
Why study in the UK?
- Academic excellence - the quality and standard of UK higher education which combines the best elements of tradition and modernity.
- Worldwide recognition – the quality of UK education is recognised across the world by employers, universities and governments. When looking for work in the future, this can be a great selling point in your favour.
- Value for money – courses in the USA can be over $25,000 a year in tuition alone. Tuition for the majority of UK higher education institutions is around £6,000 to £7,000 a year. Unlike the equivalent programmes in the United States or Australia, most UK Masters programmes can be completed in one year.
- Improve your English skills – studying in the UK will give you the opportunity to improve your English language skills as English is the language of business, science and technology.
- Experience of living in the UK – a multi-cultural and multi-faith country which offers both strong tradition and a diverse culture to any international student choosing to study here.
- International education - the UK has always welcomed students from all over the world. Universities are used to looking after the welfare of non-UK students and have well-developed support services and social networks on campus. At postgraduate level, students from outside the UK form over 30% of the entire student body.
City of Birmingham
Living in Birmingham offers you the chance to live in an exciting, diverse city with world-class restaurants, entertainment and shops.
Birmingham is home to more than one million people from a range of different cultures and ethnic groups, including the UK’s largest student population outside London.
Its friendly population is what makes Birmingham the dynamic, multicultural city that is – and also one of the largest cities in Europe offering a heady mix of galleries, music, restaurants and bars.
Currency: 1₤ = 1.1€
Education: Please find this information on the left side of this page.
The Halls of normally start from about £50 per week, moving up to around £80 per week for some larger universities.
If you opt to not go the halls of residence option, you can always go and find your own accommodation. Rents can then range from anything from £35 for one week upwards depending on the standard of accommodation and the number of people you are going to split the costs.
- Food - if you buy your own food, try and budget in about £25 to £30 per week to purchase food supplies. You can of course be smart and save much more.
- DSL/ Internet - most companies charge a base of £5/ week for standard DSL in the UK.
- Bills - if you live in a house or apartment you will need to calculate water, heating and electricity into your budget - this can be anything from £10/week for all bills depending on the time of year.
- Travel - if you live away from University you will need to include travel expenses in your budget. This can be anything from £10/ week, more if you live in London.
- Study Materials - books, notepads, paper, printer cartridges are all things you will need and you should budget about £7/ week for this.
In average students should consider £6000-£10 000 for living expenses depending on the location.
Expenses in Birmingham City University
In addition to your tuition fees, we estimate that you will require approximately £6,000 to £7,000 per year to cover the cost of accommodation, heating, food, books, stationery, travel and other basic living expenses.
The main sources of funding for students who reside in England are:
- Student Loans
- Maintenance Grants
- Special Support Grants
- Additional Grants
- Trusts and charities
University of Birmingham has an extensive information on each of the option for undergraduates and postgraduates on their web page as well as contact persons mentioned for more information to ask for. For more information check the fallowing page: Information on financial aid possibilities
Whilst you are staying in the UK, you will have a variety of accommodation options available to you. Your choices will depend largely on whether your college or university has halls of residence, what city you are located in, and the amount of your monthly budget.
When you sign up for a particular college or university, you will need to indicate that you will require accommodation. Do not assume that you will automatically be given accommodation, but generally as an international student you will be given priority over other students.
One important tip - once you have been accepted into a program, start looking and arranging accommodation right away! Places fill up quickly and demand generally exceeds supply.
Halls of Residence
Halls are a great way to meet new people. They are large buildings, sometime divided into flats where you will have either a single room or share with another student. The room itself may be basic, and if it does not have an en-suite bathroom, communal ones will be provided. Generally the hall will provide basic furniture such as a bed, desk and chair and the rest you will have to supply.
Most halls of residence have a canteen where food is supplied (at a cost) to students. As an international student the food may be unfamiliar, but a good way to immerse yourself in the culture of the UK. Halls are either single or mixed sex, so if you have a preference for either you should make this clear to your university from the beginning when choosing where to live.
Self Catered Halls
Many international students prefer the self-catered option because it allows them the freedom to cook their own food and on their own schedule. Self-catered halls are very similar to standard halls of residence, but there is also a communal kitchen available to all hall residents. Be warned, though - communal kitchens can become places where only the stout of heart dare to venture!
Typically students live in halls during their first year, as it makes adjusting to campus life much simpler and helps in making friends. In their second and third years, some students opt to move into a house or flat which is not part of the university.
If you do move into a flat or house, you will have to sign a tenancy agreement, which is a legal document outlining the terms of the tenancy. Be very careful to make sure you fully understand the terms and issues of the contract, and if you do have any doubts talk to your international student advisor who can assist you further.
A flat or house is generally more expensive than any other option, and you may find it hard to find accommodation that is close to your campus. However many students like the freedom to live where they choose, live with whom they like and choose the type of place they want to live in.
For more information about student housing and renting accomodation as a student in the UK please see our two articles covering What you need to know about student renting in the UK and Student Housing Overview fo the UK
Accommodation in Birmingham City University
You're guaranteed a room in halls of residence for your first year of study provided Birmingham City University is your first choice, you have accepted an offer on a full-time course at the University, do not live in Birmingham and apply by the start of the Autumn Term.
More info: Accommodation at Birmingham City University
International students who are studying on a course lasting longer than six months are normally allowed to work for 20 hours per week during term-time and unlimited hours during vacations. Students may find part-time jobs as administration assistants, receptionists, customer service assistants etc. Students may find job ads in newspapers or at school. Finding job may be difficult but if you really need and want it, you will find one.
You should keep in mind to have at least 4 month’s money before arrival as it may take time to find a job. If you don’t then it is advisable to work for some time before you start your studies.
Student jobs hourly wage minimum is around £4.83 per hour if you are aged 18-21 years and £5.80 per hour if you are 22 or over.
You can find more information about student jobs and job databases on the following pages:
Search and apply!