Birkbeck, University of London

The International Office at Birkbeck, part of the University of London, supports international students with advice and guidance on choosing a course as well as applying to or enrolling with Birkbeck, making visa applications, and more.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Silver is awarded to institutions that deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for their students, and consistently exceed "rigorous national quality requirements" for higher education in the UK. Find out more about TEF.

Welcome Arrangements

  • Birkbeck organises an orientation programme at the start of the academic year, which includes sessions specific to international students.
  • The International Alumni Friendship Scheme partners new students with alumni for ongoing personal support.
  • Bloomsbury orientation tours are provided for Birkbeck students living in halls.

English Language Requirements

Birkbeck accepts several English language qualifications such as the IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge C1 Advanced Tests.

  • The standard English language entry criteria is IELTS 6.5 or IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) depending on the course.
  • Exemptions to language tests may be given to international students from countries specifically designated by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
  • Please refer to the college website for full details of English language entry criteria.

Accommodation for International Students

  • Applications for accommodation in partner halls open at the end of April and remain open until late August.
  • International students who apply by the specified date are guaranteed an offer of accommodation. Most halls are located within minutes' walking distance of Birkbeck.
  • There is a variety of private halls of residence available to suit a range of budgets depending on individual students' preferences regarding the distance from the college, facilities and catering options. Couples and family accommodation is available.
  • Free professional advice is available from the University of London housing services for students opting for private rented accommodation, including housing board, contract checking services and legal housing advice.

Bursaries and Scholarships

  • Birkbeck offers a number of scholarships specifically for international students. Some are offered directly by Birkbeck, while others are offered in partnership with organisations, including the British Council and Santander.
  • Birkbeck also offers a range of competitively awarded studentships to prospective MPhil/PhD students.
  • Please refer to the university website for details.

Ongoing Support

  • International students are offered subsidised stays in volunteer families across the UK (with the charity Host-UK) allowing them to discover new parts of the country and to experience local customs.
  • Free membership to International Students House gives access to free lectures, workshops and classical music concerts, along with subsidised trips in the UK and Europe.
  • Well-being workshops are scheduled throughout the year. Some focus on international students (adapting to life in the UK, culture shock, dealing with homesickness) while others suit all students (communication skills, self-awareness, and resilience, mindfulness). There are also counselling services.
  • Study skills workshops cover academic English and academic writing.
  • A number of international students join Team Birkbeck every year, working flexible hours while meeting other students. Team Birkbeck ambassadors represent the college at events, deliver campus tours or facilitate workshops.

Quick Guides to International Tuition Fees and Finance