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Study in Birmingham, United Kingdom

Population: 1,074,000

City overview

Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city and a major international commerce centre. Despite its sleepy reputation, Birmingham is the UK’s second largest economy and the world’s 72nd. It has a thriving arts scene and a reputation as one of the UK’s best destinations for students.

What was once a grimy urban city is now a cultural hotspot complete with glamorous shops, nightclubs and trendy galleries – and some of the finest curries in the UK.

Education profile

Birmingham is home to three universities offering postgraduate courses:
The city is also home to two university colleges in Newman University College and University College Birmingham.

Particularly popular graduate programs in Birmingham include many art subjects, with the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) both falling under Birmingham City University.

Immigration and visas

EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate program in the UK providing they fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in the UK for more than three months
  • Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution
  • Have proof of sufficient funds to cover your graduate program in the UK for its duration
Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa under the tier 4 visa category. They will need to demonstrate the following:
  • Proof of funding to cover a postgraduate course and living costs
  • A confirmation of acceptance to study (CAS) reference from a university with sponsor status
  • Adequate English language skills
You can find out more about visas at the UK Border Agency.

Life in Birmingham

Studying a postgraduate course in Birmingham gives you the opportunity to live in an exciting diverse city with all the entertainment, restaurants and shops you could ever need. With more than 1 million residents from all over the world, Birmingham is a dynamic and multicultural city which flies under the radar.

Although Birmingham doesn’t have the best architectural reputation, the council and private developers are working hard to improve its image – one of the best examples being the Custard Factory, which is now filled with art galleries, vintage shops and handmade crafts.
Studying a graduate program in Birmingham allows you to live in the heart of England and in England’s second city.

Working in Birmingham

Non-EU international students wanting to stay on to work in Birmingham after their studies will need to apply for a work visa. You can find out more about the various visa options through the UK Border Agency.

Birmingham is the UK’s second largest centre but is curiously overlooked when it comes to industries and jobs. Nevertheless, Birmingham is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering in the UK and is also home to the Jewellery Quarter, the largest concentration of jewellers in Europe.

Birmingham is also a major destination for conferences and exhibitions, accounting for 42% of all conference trade.


Student accommodation in Birmingham tends to focus around the suburbs of Selly Oak and Edgbaston, which are both well equipped with the usual array of supermarkets, pubs and takeaways. Students on graduate programs in Birmingham looking for something a bit more upmarket should consider living in the city centre or near Aston.

Postgraduate accommodation in Birmingham is comparable to most major cities in the UK. Expect to pay around £250-£300 for a single room in a private three bedroom house.

Weather and climate

The climate in Birmingham is similar to much of the UK, with an average maximum temperature of around 21.5C. You can expect mild summers and cold winters, but Birmingham does have a reputation for seeing more snow than most UK cities due to its elevation and inland location.

Summer months in Birmingham are between June and August, with the main winter season between December and February.

What to do next

Are you interested in studying a graduate program in Birmingham? If so, you should sign up for our Free Application Service. We'll provide you with tailored information, courses to suit you and the option to apply online for the graduate program you want.