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Universities in Birmingham, UK

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The city of Birmingham has an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture.

Birmingham is a city located in the West Midlands region of England. With a population of over 2.5 million residents, Birmingham has been an important centre for trade and many industries over the years.

Known as the world’s “first manufacturing town”, Birmingham was the site of multiple key industrial inventions such as the steam engine. In recent years, Birmingham has become a world-class university destination for international students with multiple top-ranked institutes.

A youthful city population with nearly 40% of residents being under 25 also adds to the vibrant charm of life in Birmingham outside the classroom. Additionally, with a large number of African and South Asian communities residing in Birmingham, international students have frequent access to a large immigrant community where they can feel at home.

Top Universities in Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Founded in 1900, the University of Birmingham was the first institute in England to offer many courses including Dentistry & Medical programmes. The university is home to over 30,000 students, of which nearly 10,000 are international students.

The university has one of the world’s largest medical schools, and also offers as many as 500 exchange programmes for international students every year. The University of Birmingham is also a member of the Russell Group, a prestigious organisation of 24 member universities in the United Kingdom with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement.

Aston University

Originally founded as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, Aston University is a public research university located on a beautiful 60-acre campus in the Gosta Green neighbourhood of Birmingham.

Aston University is especially well-known for its world-class Aston Business School, founded in 1947. Aston University has an excellent track record in securing employment for international students after graduation. Aston University is home to slightly more than 11,000 enrolled students, of which nearly 25% are international students.

Birmingham City University

Originally known as the Birmingham College of Art and founded in 1843, Birmingham City University is especially well-known for its world-class course programmes in creative and performing arts. 

The university is home to over 20,000 enrolled students, of which nearly 5,000 are international students. Birmingham City University is primarily situated on two urban campuses in Birmingham, with multiple additional campus sites nearby.

Birmingham Universities World Ranking 2024

Below are the top-ranked Birmingham universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2024 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2024QS Rank in United KingdomTHE Rank in United Kingdom
University of Birmingham841011512
Aston University=446401-50046=30
Birmingham City University1,001-1,200601-80081=32

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Birmingham

In addition to the three best Birmingham universities for international students, the city is also home to multiple world-class institutes and universities offering specialisations in subjects such as Engineering, Law, and Business.

Below are a few of the other top-ranked institutes in Birmingham for international students:

Tuition and Living Costs in Birmingham

Undergraduate tuition costs at top-ranked Birmingham universities can vary between 25,000-30,000 US Dollars per annum for international students. Fees are slightly higher for specialised programmes, such as Dentistry and Veterinary Science degrees, at 35,000-40,000 US Dollars per year.

Meanwhile, tuition fees for Master’s and other postgraduate courses depend on the specific programme and courses selected, and usually total between 20,000 and 35,000 US Dollars per annum.

As for living costs, the University of Birmingham estimates that you should budget between 1000-1100 US Dollars per month. This figure consists of 650-750 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 200 USD for food expenses, 100-120 USD for transport, and another 100 US Dollars for utilities and miscellaneous expenses.

Life in Birmingham for International Students

Situated mid-way between the large English cities of London to its south and Manchester to its north, Birmingham is excellently located for international students to explore the British countryside and cities during their time away from the classroom.

Birmingham itself is also full of exciting sights, entertainment venues and outdoor parks. Below is a list of the must-visit destinations in and around Birmingham for international students:

  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • Cadbury World
  • Black Country Living Museum
  • National SEA LIFE Centre
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • Library of Birmingham
  • Bullring & Grand Central
  • Ikon Gallery
  • Dudley Zoo & Castle
  • Cannon Hill Park
  • Barber institute of Fine Arts
  • National Exhibition Centre
  • Villa Park
  • National Motorcycle Museum
  • The Bear Grylls Adventure Park

With easy access to large-scale international airports in London and Manchester, you can comfortably travel to your top-ranked Birmingham University from your hometown anywhere in the world. Birmingham represents an excellent choice for international students, with its top-ranked universities, sizable immigrant community, and value-for-money living costs.

See all universities in the UK.

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