Office of Study Abroad and Outreach

Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University (BCU) is based in the heart of the UK's second-largest city, with all the social and professional opportunities that brings.  They offer a wide range of courses on a modern campus to provide the best possible learning environment.  With over 29,000 students, you'll find a diverse and welcoming environment.  BCU is a modern and dynamic international university, with staff, students and alumni from more than 120 countries.

Location Birmingham, England
Term(s) All terms
Fall: September - January
Spring: January - June
Summer: Mid-July - Early-August  (see Summer at BCU for more details)
Areas of Study Accountancy, Art, Broadcasting and Journalism, Business Analytics, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Cyber Security, Economics, Engineering, Engineering Technology, English, Event Management, Finance, Graphic Design, Human Resource Management, LEJA, Management, Marketing, Medical Sciences, Music, Music Business, Pre-law, Psychology, Sociology, Sports Broadcasting, Theatre
Housing Residence hall, private apartment
Passport Required
Visa (for US citizens) Not Required for stays of less than 6 months
GPA 3.0
WIU hours completed
Student conduct
Good standing
Grad credit Not available
Pre-requiste Varies by course.  See the "Studying at BCU" tab for more details
Student Year Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Entry Requirements

Passport: Required. Must be valid for at least six (6) months after your study abroad program ends.  For information on how to apply for or renew a passport, see Passports 101 .
Current passport processing times are 10-13 weeks.  Plan accordingly to avoid issues obtaining your visa, airine tickets, and other necessary items for travel.  Failure to receive your passport in time can lead to postponement of your program.

Visa:  Student visa requirements vary based on the length of the study abroad program:
Programs shorter than 6 months:  You can apply for your UK Student Visitor Visa upon arrival in England.
Programs longer than 6 months:  You must apply for a student visa before entering England.  Visa requirements can be found on the UK Immigration website .

Traveling to England without the proper visa or paperwork can lead to denied entry to England, forced removal from your program, and financial consequences.

Health Insurance

It is University policy that you must have international health insurance for the time you are abroad.  Only two options are approved to meet this requirement:
  • WIU Student Health Insurance
  • A supplemental plan (Patriot Travel Medical) from International Medical Group (IMG) .

Health Precautions

COVID-19 - You are REQUIRED to follow the policies of your host school, host country, the CDC and TSA.  It is your responsibility to know and understand these policies.  If policies change before or during your program, it is your responsibility to comply with the new policies.  Failure to do so can result in removal from your program and/or the host country, financial consequences and academic consequences at the host school and WIU.

Walking/mobility/travel - Expect more walking than on-campus.  It is a mixture of urban (pavement/concrete) and natural (grass/dirt) terrain, including uneven/hilly terrain and up/down flights of stairs.  Some historic sites and tourist areas have limited handicapped accessibility.  Sidewalks in these areas can be narrow with uneven surfaces. 

Vaccinations - No vaccinations are required for entry into England.  Up to date vaccination recommendations are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .

Accessibility - Accessibility and accommodation are very different from that found in the United States.  Please contact Disability Resources for questions on the availability of accommodations for your specific situation.

PLEASE NOTE  It is your responsibility to request accommodation from DR; staff are not legally permitted to inquire about such needs.  Requests should be made as early as possible so there's sufficient time to arrange accommodations in your location. 

Costs (Comparative Table)

last updated 7/19/2023         
Items WIU Birmingham
Tuition 12 semester hours, plan W 4,835 4,835
Commitment Fee --
Health Insurance 1,052
Passport --
Student visa  (only for programs 6 months or longer)
Housing and meals 5,450 5,560
Books and supplies 480 355
Local transportation
Personal/misc. (phone, laundry, recreation, etc.)
Total 13,495 12,665*

*You are responsible for purchasing your own flights.  

Various types of aid are available to help fund your experience.  Check out our Financial Aid and Scholarships pages for more details.


Exchange students at BCU take 3-4 classes per semester, equaling 12-15 sh at WIU.  An "average" BCU class is 20 UK credits or roughly 4 WIU semester hours.  You must take at least 60 UK credits to maintain full-time status. 
Classes are graded on a 100 point scale with letter grades of A, A-, B+, B, C+, C, and F.

Classes at BCU are taught in English. 

"Course" - Major
"Module" - Course or class 
"Faculty" or "School" - Department or School 

Exchange students are eligible to take classes from all areas except the Faculty of Art, Design and Media - Games. 

Classes in Computing and Engineering require proof of pre-requisite coursework during the application process. 
Classes in Art, Design and Media require students to submit a portfolio of prior work during the application process. 
Music and Theatre classes require an audition during the application process.

All class requests are subject to approval by the BCU School/Faculty during the application stage.  Individual classes may require proof of pre-requisite coursework.
The majority of your classes must be taken from one academic area/School/Faculty.

Classes are listed by academic area.  Select your appropriate WIU major from the BCU Course search engine and choose "Course in Depth" from the menu bar.

Housing and Meals

The accommodation options at BCU are residence halls and private apartments.  Residence halls do not offer a meal plan; all meals are your responsibility.  You must apply for on-campus housing.  On-campus housing is not guaranteed.

More information on housing and meal options can be found on the BCU  accommodation webpage .


"Studying abroad has opened my eyes to how young our country is. There is so much to learn from fellow nations, and likewise they can learn from us".

Madison (Maddy) Ellis
Spring 2018
Scholarship: $1,100





Contact Us

Office of Study Abroad and Outreach

Horrabin Room 8


Advising appointments