By Graham Norrie, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10193606
Why choose the University of Birmingham?
The University of Birmingham is one of the largest universities in the UK, offering a truly phenomenal education at one of the original Red Brick universities. Birmingham is a member of the Russell Group, an elite cadre of research universities in the UK, and has a wide-ranging alumni network. Despite all that, for many Americans admission to the University of Birmingham is much more accessible than other peer institutions. It is based almost solely on academic performance, and does not require the fives on AP tests that Oxbridge does for many fields. Additionally, both the University itself and Birmingham in general are much more affordable than other highly ranked options.
Number of International Students at the University of Birmingham
Nearly 20% of the University of Birmingham’s student body are international. Students will find plenty of exposure to other cultures in Birmingham, but won’t find it to be as global of a city, or a university, as the southeastern part of the country around London.
University of Birmingham Ranking
Birmingham ranks as one of the top 100 universities in many global rankings, typically around #85. In the UK, depending on the subject, it often makes the top ten.
What does the University of Birmingham Specialize In?
Given the size of the University of Birmingham, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact area of focus. However, there are a number of places where it excels. In particular, the medical school is renowned, as are programs in STEM, law, political science, international relations, and music.
By stephen boisvert from Birmingham, UK, I miss Canada - University of Birmingham - Aston Webb, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6451048
University of Birmingham Programs for International Students
As home to one of Europe’s oldest business schools, it’s no surprise many students decide to focus on Birmingham for their graduate degrees. From MBAs to PhDs and everything in between, Birmingham offers many great options.
Like many other UK universities, PhD programs at Birmingham are only three years full time. Unlike many others, there is a wide range of programs that allow students to earn a PhD via distance learning.
One of the most popular options for overseas students, especially Americans, is to get a Masters degree at the University of Birmingham. Typically, GRE requirements are lower here, if results are even required at all.
The University of Birmingham offers a summer program for students at other universities who are over 18, but nothing for high school students.
Entrance Exams Required for US Students at the University of Birmingham
One of the most intimidating factors for many students considering university in the UK is the sheer weight given to AP scores at elite universities. For many of the best programs, a number of fives are required. The University of Birmingham, despite being one of the most storied institutions in the country, is unique in offering multiple ways of admission, ranging from high school GPA to dual enrollment credit, as well as traditional AP or IB tests.
That said, you’ll still need great ACT or SAT scores, with a 28 for ACT and 1350 for SAT, being the minimum for most programs. Also, if you do decide to use your AP scores, you will need at least two fives in addition to those ACT/SAT marks.
University of Birmingham Acceptance Rate for International Students
The University of Birmingham, like most other British universities, admits on the basis of the program rather than as a whole. This means that acceptance rates vary widely: some programs see offer rates of nearly 60%, while others are considerably lower. In particular, Birmingham’s medical school is very competitive for overseas students..
Is it hard to get into the University of Birmingham for US students?
Americans applying to Birmingham who treat their application like any other American college will be sorely disappointed; the University takes a great interest in American students, but only those who can prove that they actually want to be there and who show an understanding of the British system.
University of Birmingham International Tuition
Tuition at the University of Birmingham is around 24,000 pounds per year, or about $31,000. Remember that most undergraduate degrees in the UK are only three years long, so there is often a considerable savings here. Worth noting is that living expenses are typically much lower in Birmingham than they are in London.
Scholarships for International Students
Like many other UK universities, scholarships for international students from the US are somewhat limited, though like many others, Federal financial aid is available in the form of loans. Some private scholarships through the university are also available, and Birmingham does strive to make sure that cost isn’t a factor.
Interestingly, Birmingham does offer a small number of athletic scholarships.The amount is not comparable to a full-ride athletic scholarship to be found in the US, but does allow national and international level athletes the chance to have further training subsidized while gaining some extra funding for their studies.
How to Apply for the University of Birmingham from the US?
Applying to the University of Birmingham is an incredibly straight-forward process for most American students, especially at the undergraduate level. Birmingham accepts applicants from the US via UCAS, which allows students to apply to up to five programs across the UK. The application fee is 26 pounds for all five programs. A single letter of recommendation and a common personal statement are required for all five applications.
Students will be expected to self-report their test scores, but in most cases should not expect to be interviewed (outside of a few disciplines like medicine).
Tips for Getting Accepted to the University of Birmingham - Expert Advice
1. Don’t Submit a Common App Personal Statement - The University of Birmingham doesn’t care about your extracurricular activities unless they relate to your field of study. Save the Common App style personal statement for the US; stick to the UCAS guidelines.
2. Apply Before Mid-January - While some programs will accept American students later, applying by mid-January means that you’ll have equal consideration compared to every other student.
3. Consider the Liberal Arts Program - Birmingham is one of a growing number of UK universities to offer a program in the liberal arts. For Americans who worry about committing to a field of study for all three years, this can be a great option.
At Ivy Tutors, our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized guidance, ensuring you're well-prepared for the specific admissions requirements of the University of Birmingham. Whether you need help acing your entrance exams, our AP tutors, SAT tutors and ACT tutors are here to help. Even if you need any help with crafting a standout application, we have the expertise to guide you every step of the way!
By Kevin Newton (aneducationabroad.com)